IRL: USA: Indianapolis Motor Speedway notes 2004-09-16

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Notebook September 16, 2004 Red Bull tabs USGP Formula BMW driver; Rice earned piece of history with Indy victory INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004 -- Jonathan Summerton, winner of one of two Formula BMW USA ...

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Notebook
September 16, 2004

Red Bull tabs USGP Formula BMW driver; Rice earned piece of history with Indy victory

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004 -- Jonathan Summerton, winner of one of two Formula BMW USA support races during the United States Grand Prix in June at Indianapolis, was one of three drivers to advance to the Red Bull Driver Search finals after recent testing at Sebring, Fla.

Summerton, 16, from Kissimmee, Fla., joined 13-year-old John Edwards and 15-year-old Wade Van Hooser as winners in the Sebring semifinal. Drivers turned laps in 2-liter Skip Barber Formula Dodge cars at Sebring under the eye of 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan, the Red Bull program director, and other judges.

The three winning drivers will compete in the final in October at Estoril, Portugal, where they will face off in three days of laps in Formula 3 cars. The winners will represent America in the Red Bull Junior Team next season.

Summerton became the youngest driver to win an official race in the 95-year history of the Speedway when he captured the Formula BMW USA race June 19. Summerton ended up third in the standings this year in the inaugural season of Formula BMW USA.

The Red Bull Driver Search aims to find and groom young American talent for a chance to reach Formula One. Red Bull provides the search winners with a fully funded drive in European or North American road racing the following season.

2002 program winner Scott Speed dominated the Formula Renault Eurocup series this season, clinching the championship earlier this month.

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Rice's rarity: When Buddy Rice won the 88th Indianapolis 500 on May 30, he became just the fourth driver since World War II to earn his first victory in a top-level series in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Others who performed the feat were George Robson in 1946, Troy Ruttman in 1952 and Buddy Lazier in 1996.

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Gordon up for honor: 2004 Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon is among the candidates nominated for third-quarter honors in the Speed Channel Driver of the Year voting.

Gordon earned his record fourth Brickyard 400 victory Aug. 7 in the DuPont Chevrolet. He's one of three drivers nominated for third-quarter honors who have competed this year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, joining NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teammate Jimmie Johnson and IRL IndyCar® Series title contender Dan Wheldon.

A fan vote and media vote will determine the winner of the third-quarter and year-end awards.

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Indy 500 veteran Turner dies: Indianapolis 500 veteran Jack Turner, who survived three spectacular flips in consecutive Mays of 1961, 1962 and 1963 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, died Sept. 12 in Renton, Wash. He was 84.

Turner, nicknamed "Cactus Jack," made six Indy 500 starts, with his best finish of 11th in 1957 coming at the wheel of the Bardahl Spl.

But Turner was best remembered for his flips that became a feature of Indy 500 highlight films. He retired after the 1963 crash, which took place in practice.

"He truly loved racing, and he truly loved Indianapolis," said Turner's wife of 58 years, Joyce.

A native of Seattle, Turner began racing in the Northwest in 1938. He enlisted in the Army shortly after Pearl Harbor and spent 32 months in the South Pacific. He made his first Indianapolis 500 start in 1956.

Survivors in addition to his wife are two sister-in-laws and five nieces and nephews.

No services were held at his request. Joyce Turner requested that donations be made to the Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club, of which Jack Turner was a member, in lieu of flowers.

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IMS tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for either the Indianapolis 500, United States Grand Prix or Brickyard 400, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, (317) 492-6700 locally or log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

-ims-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW , IndyCar , Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Buddy Lazier , Jimmie Johnson , Dan Wheldon , Danny Sullivan , Scott Speed , Buddy Rice , Skip Barber , Jonathan Summerton , John Edwards