IRL: Indy Racing Weekly Notebook 2001-09-27

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2001 - 1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. turned laps Sept. 26 on the repaved Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for the season-finale Chevy 500 Oct. 6. The 1.5-mile superspeedway was completely ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2001 - 1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. turned laps Sept. 26 on the repaved Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for the season-finale Chevy 500 Oct. 6. The 1.5-mile superspeedway was completely resurfaced after Indy Racing's last visit to the track on June 16.

"When they resurfaced the speedway, we decided to come and test," said Cheever, who drives the #51 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. "We went quicker today than the last time we were here.

"We came to Texas to work on aerodynamics and air resistance. With the new asphalt being so smooth, we are trying to take all the resistance out of the car that we can. The cooler temperatures like today create a higher amount of downforce and drag. Reducing resistance will be important to run good in the race. We always try to learn tricks to cheat physics."

With one victory this season, Cheever is eighth in the point standing just 36 points out of a top-five finish.

Indy Racing drivers Buzz Calkins and Robbie Buhl plan to test Sept. 28 on the 1.5-mile superspeedway.

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A good deal: Special ticket promotions still are available for the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 6. Beginning Sept. 30, fans can clip a coupon in the Dallas Morning News Sports Day section for free admission to MBNA Pole qualifying on Friday, Oct. 5. The Nabisco Family Four Pack offers discount coupons in hundreds of participating grocery retailers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Coupons will be located on store shelves near Nabisco products. The Pack includes four grandstand tickets, four hot dogs and four Cokes for $79.99, a retail value of over $200. Fans must present two Nabisco cookie or cracker product UPC codes to purchase the Nabisco Family Four Pack at the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office. Tickets for the Chevy 500 are available online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com <http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com>, by calling (817) 215-8500 or at Ticketmaster outlets.

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New viewpoint: Indy Racing driver and former F1 competitor Eddie Cheever Jr. will see racing from a different view Sunday, Sept. 30, at the SAP United States Grand Prix. Instead of being in the driver's seat, Cheever will be the color analyst alongside Bob Jenkins in the ABC broadcast booth.

Cheever competed in the Formula One World Championship from 1978-1989. He holds the record for the most Formula One starts by an American at 132.

The SAP U.S. Grand Prix is the first ABC telecast of a Formula One race since the early 1990s. This event will be the first time Cheever has been in the broadcast booth for an entire race. "On Board With Eddie Cheever" is a regular segment on "Indy Racing 2Day," the pre-race show for all Indy Racing Northern Light Series events.

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A.J. Foyt and co. on the go: A.J. Foyt's Indy Racing drivers Eliseo Salazar and Donnie Beechler signed autographs Sept. 27 at the Harrah's in Metropolis, Ill., to kick off the week-long festivities celebrating the grand opening of the gaming facility, located about 80 miles north of Nashville.

While the drivers keep a tight schedule, their car owner seems to be in even more demand. Foyt will be in Kansas Sept. 27 overseeing his Winston Cup team's practice session. He then will travel to Indianapolis the next day to watch his grandson A.J. Foyt IV attempt to qualify the No. 14 Conseco/Craftsman/Harrah's Beast/Gaerte entry for A.J. Foyt's Hulman-Hoosier 100 USAC Silver Bullet race at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds. After the Sept. 28 race, Foyt will return to Kansas Speedway to watch his son, Larry, race in the NASCAR Busch Series event on Sept. 29. He will stay in Kansas City, Kan. to watch his driver Ron Hornaday compete in the NASCAR Winston Cup event on Sept. 30.

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A helping hand: Greg Ray and Texas Motor Speedway employees joined the ABC Radio Group in Dallas-Fort Worth Sept. 17 to raise $280,000 for The American Red Cross.

1999 Indy Racing League Champion Ray, speedway general manager Eddie Gossage, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver David Starr and other speedway employees participated in the "Change the World" Day fundraiser to hand out American flags and race tickets to thousands of citizens who made donations at the 13-hour event.

"This is exactly the kind of thing we should all be doing," said Gossage. "Everyone wants to find a way to help the victims of the recent tragedies in New York and Washington D.C. We brought more than 20,000 American flags to give away. We also brought tickets for the Oct. 5th and 6th Silverado 350 truck race and the Chevy 500 Indy car event for those who made a donation. We have a great group of employees who volunteered their time to work this event with our official radio stations, and I believe each of them have really enjoyed being part of this."

The "Change the World" Day event held at the Grapevine Mills Mall is the second "drive through" donation event organized by the ABC Radio Group, which includes Newstalk 820 WBAP, 96.3 KSCS, ESPN 103.3 FM, Memories 96.7 and AM 620 Radio Disney.

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Hot laps: 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Sam Hornish Jr., Kelley Racing driver Mark Dismore and Walker Racing driver Sarah Fisher will sign autographs from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EST) Sept. 29 in the east parking lot of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. ... A collection of memorabilia gathered by Firestone Racing will be auctioned on eBay through Sept. 29. Proceeds will benefit High Hopes, a Nashville facility for special needs children. The items include an autographed script from the TV show "ER" and Firestone Racing jackets signed by racing legends such as Al Unser Jr., A.J. Foyt and Johnny Rutherford. ... The Racing For Kids visit to the Children's Medical Center in Dallas has been rescheduled for Thursday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. (CDT). Indy Racing driver and Racing For Kids national spokespman Robbie Buhl will visit with patients and give each child a autograph card and Racing For Kids hat and pin. ... The Indiana Sports Alumni Golf Classic at eagle Creek Golf Club in Indianapolis will benefit the Davey Hamilton Recovery Fund. Sponsorships for the Oct. 16 event range from $400 to $15,000. For more information, contact Impact Sports at (317) 955-2800. ... Indy Racing driver Robby McGehee visited 40 second-graders Sept. 27 at Amy Beverland School in Indianapolis as part of the "Gumballs and Watermelons" program. McGehee is a spokesman for the Think First Foundation, a national organization committed to the prevention of brain and spinal-cord injuries through education. ... Tony George, president and chief executive officer of the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and his wife, Laura, will serve as honorary co-chairs for the first annual Christel House "Evening of Angels" Sept. 27 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis. 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. will represent the Indy Racing League at the charitable event. He will be joined by some of the top names in Formula One, including Bernie Ecclestone of F1; Sauber team owner Peter Sauber, and drivers Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Räikkonen; Benetton drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button; and F1 enthusiast and actor Antonio Sabato, Jr.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jenson Button , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , David Starr , Buzz Calkins , Robby McGehee , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Robbie Buhl , Mark Dismore , A.J. Foyt IV , Donnie Beechler , Peter Sauber , Tony George , Bernie Ecclestone , A.J. Foyt , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis
Teams Sauber