IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League Notebook 2004-03-24

Indy Racing League Notebook March 24, 2004 Today's IRL headlines -- Rahal hopes to name third driver soon -- Menards Infiniti Pro Series Phoenix 100 broadcast Thursday -- Texas to get SAFER Barrier Rahal hopes to name third driver soon: Team...

Indy Racing League Notebook
March 24, 2004

Today's IRL headlines

-- Rahal hopes to name third driver soon
-- Menards Infiniti Pro Series Phoenix 100 broadcast Thursday
-- Texas to get SAFER Barrier

Rahal hopes to name third driver soon: Team Rahal hopes to name the driver of its third entry for the Indy Japan 300 within the next few weeks.

The entry will join Buddy Rice's No. 15 Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone beginning with the Twin Ring Motegi event. Roger Yasukawa's No. 16 Sammy Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone entry will join the cars at Motegi and Indianapolis.

"Certainly we're committed to running a third car at Motegi, and Kenny (Brack) is not available, so we're going to have to fill that seat," said Team Rahal Chief Operating Officer Scott Roembke. "Fortunately, we've got an interest from a list of drivers who are all highly qualified. I mean, as you would expect, the motor home was a busy place in Phoenix."

Roembke would not identify who is on the team's short list of candidates to fill the seat, but added that the driver may not remain in the seat long if Brack is ready to return at Indianapolis.

"I think any of the people we choose will come in and do a fine job," Roembke said. "You know, all of them understand the situation. If a driver doesn't have a job at this point, he just wants the opportunity to show he can do the job."

***

Phoenix 100 broadcast Thursday: ESPN2's tape-delayed coverage of the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series Phoenix 100 will be broadcast at 2:30 p.m. (EST) on March 25.

Thiago Medeiros captured his second career win in the March 20 event at Phoenix International Raceway.

***

Texas to get SAFER Barrier: Texas Motor Speedway announced on March 22 that it will install the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier this summer.

TMS president Eddie Gossage said the barrier may not be in place for the IRL IndyCar® Series Bombardier 500 on June 12, but it will be up for the IndyCar Series season finale, the Chevy 500, on Oct. 17.

"This is a step in the right direction where safety is concerned," Gossage said. "The safety of both our drivers and fans is always our number one priority, and we will take every possible precaution to ensure that.

"We are currently wrapping up a $400,000 upgrade to our crash fence. We have reinforced the existing fence on the outside crash wall and have constructed a new 10-foot fence on top of the inner crash wall."

Texas is the latest IRL venue to announce plans to install the barrier. Kansas Speedway, California Speedway and Nazareth Speedway will also install the SAFER Barrier this year.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Richmond International Raceway already have the SAFER Barrier.

***

The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the Indy Japan 300 at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 16 at Twin Ring Motegi. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series Freedom 100 will take place May 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live by ESPN2.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Roger Yasukawa , Buddy Rice , Thiago Medeiros