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CHAMPCAR/CART: IRL: Mo Nunn closes a chapter in his life

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CHAMPCAR/CART: IRL: Mo Nunn closes a chapter in his life

Morris Nunn has pretty much seen it all and done it all in motorsports. Nunn has worked with and/or owned Formula One teams, done the same in Champ Car and the Indy Racing League and now, well, maybe it might be time to play a bit more golf...

Morris Nunn has pretty much seen it all and done it all in motorsports.

Nunn has worked with and/or owned Formula One teams, done the same in Champ Car and the Indy Racing League and now, well, maybe it might be time to play a bit more golf with wife Kathryn, who had her own successful 2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series squad.

Item up for bid at the Mo Nunn Racing shop.
Photo by Anne Proffit.
Five years after opening Mo Nunn Racing, Morris decided closure was the best route for him and held a two-day auction to rid himself of the accoutrements of his most recent incarnation. Never the sentimentalist, everything went.

From his personal 1981 Ferrari 308GTi, every chair, wastepaper basket and pair of shoes, gloves or trinket went on the block at Nunn's Indianapolis Airport-adjacent shop. Race cars, trucks, tractor-trailers, paddock bikes, and tools large and small, clothes, belts, lathes - you name it and you could surely find it at Mo Nunn Racing's auction.

The team's final campaign came during this year's Indianapolis 500 as a collaborative effort with Fernandez Racing and that team's co-owner Adrian Fernandez. The two complete Panoz chassis allocated to Fernandez went on the block, as did a bare carbon chassis. Felipe Giaffone's Kentucky- winning G-Force, converted to show-car status found a new owner.

Even a Vel's Parnelli Jones Champ car from the bad ol' days of 1972 presented in boxes for the most part generated a sale. The auction of the race shop was for racers, by racers.

On Wednesday evening and into the night, memorabilia went on the block, ranging from fire suits, crew clothing and travel bags, shoes, belts, gloves, helmets and hats, all the way to artwork and trophies.

The sole surviving piece of carbon fiber from Alex Zanardi's crash on the EuroSpeedway Lausitz 1.5-mile oval was auctioned to benefit the Italian's charitable foundation. Zanardi is working to build a new hospital wing for children who might be amputees or have orthopedic challenges.

The highest bidder on Zanardi's Reynard nose cone was Kathryn Nunn herself, who vowed to return the piece to auction a second time and donate her $3000 bid without reward.

Mechanic Timothy Bumps, who has worked for many an exemplary race team in his career came to Nunn's 2005 Indy 500 operation on a freelance basis.

Item up for bid at the Mo Nunn Racing shop.
Photo by Anne Proffit.
Bumps told the tale of the tape on this auction when he remarked that Mo Nunn Racing had to be the "best-equipped race shop I ever worked in. We had everything we needed."

All that he, or any other person who worked at Mo Nunn Racing went to bid and the proceeds must be cleared by next Tuesday for someone else to sublet the place until Nunn's lease is done.

What lies ahead for Morris and Kathryn Nunn?  Some fishing, some golfing,
some moving around to a new home they'll both enjoy?  Yes, most likely.
But will they leave racing behind?  Don't bank on it.

Mo Nunn will be on site at Chicagoland Speedway for this weekend's IndyCar Series Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean.

Nunn is driving up to Joliet at the behest of team owner Chip Ganassi, who could use a bit of the magic generated when Nunn helped accelerate the Champ Car career of Zanardi back in the waning days of the last century.

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