IRL: Indy500: Carlson, Guthrie, Gidley to drive

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INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 5, 2001 - Three more drivers - Tyce Carlson, Jim Guthrie and Memo Gidley - have joined the chase for a starting spot in the 85th Indianapolis 500. Carlson, from Indianapolis, will drive the No. 60 Tri ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 5, 2001 - Three more drivers - Tyce Carlson, Jim Guthrie and Memo Gidley - have joined the chase for a starting spot in the 85th Indianapolis 500.

Carlson, from Indianapolis, will drive the No. 60 Tri Star Motorsports/Immke Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone entered by Tri Star Motorsports. He will attempt to make his third Indianapolis 500 start, as he also qualified in 1997 and 1999. Carlson's best finish was 14th in 1999.

Former USAC standout Carlson has made one Indy Racing Northern Light Series start this year, finishing 15th in a Tri Star entry in the season-opening Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 in March at Phoenix.

Tri Star also is fielding an entry at Indy for rookie Jon Herb.

Guthrie, from Albuquerque, N.M., will drive the No. 27 Blueprint Racing Special G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Guthrie and Blueprint teamed up to pull off the biggest upset in Indy Racing League history, holding off 1996-97 series champion Tony Stewart to win the 1997 Phoenix 200.

Guthrie will attempt to make his fourth Indianapolis 500 start. He raced at Indy for three straight years from 1996-98, with a best finish of 18th in 1996. Guthrie's last Indy Racing League start came in October 1998 at Las Vegas.

Gidley, from San Rafael, Calif., will drive the No. 61 Team Cure Autism Now/Brayton Engineering G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone fielded by Brayton Racing. Gidley, an Indianapolis 500 rookie, crashed during his first qualifying attempt last year on Pole Day at Indy in a Team Pelfrey car and didn't make another attempt.

The 85th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 27. Indianapolis Star Opening Day is May 6. MBNA Pole Day is May 12, with second-day qualifying May 13. Bump Day is May 20. Coors Carb Day is May 20.

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Ganassi to unveil plans: Target Chip Ganassi Racing will announce its driver plans for the 85th Indianapolis 500 at a press conference at 9:30 a.m. (EST) May 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Ganassi Racing won the race last year with driver Juan Montoya, who moved to Formula One this season. Jimmy Vasser was Montoya's teammate last year at Indy but parted company with Ganassi at the end of the 2000 CART season.

Rookies Nicolas Minassian and Bruno Junqueira, Ganassi's drivers in the CART series, are listed as the team's Indy drivers on its entries.

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Cagle to miss race: Clarence Cagle, who supervised rebuilding of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after Tony Hulman purchased the famed racetrack in 1945, this May will miss his first Indianapolis 500-Mile Race since the end of World War II.

Cagle, who will be 87 on July 29, suffered a stroke in his Ormond Beach, Fla., home on April 18. His doctor advised him not to make the trip to Indianapolis.

He and his wife, Gladys, have moved to an assisted living facility in Holly Hill, Fla.

Cagle, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., was working for Hulman when the Speedway was bought from Eddie Rickenbacker for $750,000. Cagle assisted in getting the decrepit track - neglected for four years during World War II -- ready for the 1946 race. Later as superintendent, he directed the constant construction that turned the Speedway into a modern racing palace over the next 25 years. His final task was erecting the infield Hall of Fame Museum, a pet Hulman project.

"He worked 'em, but I don't think he saw any of 'em," Gladys Cagle said about the races. "We're going to miss it."

Cagle retired in 1977. But he continued to work as a consultant for racetracks around the country into his 80's, always returning to his roots at Indy each May.

The Cagles' new address is: 6 Flagler Lane, Bishop's Glen, Holly Hill, Fla. 32117-2525. The phone is: (386) 226-9339.

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Homeier dies: Bill Homeier, who drove in three Indianapolis 500-Mile Races and holds one of the race's more unusual records, died May 2 in Houston. He was 82.

The cigar-smoking Homeier qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 start in 1954 driving the Jones & Maley Special. He pitted on Lap 75 with the entire field still running. During the stop his foot accidentally slipped off the clutch, and the car lunged into the pit wall. The damage was sufficient to put him out of the race.

No last-place finisher has driven more laps before dropping out in the history of the race. In fact, Greg Ray came closest last May when he crashed out of the race after completing 67 laps and was placed 33rd.

Born in Pasadena, Calif., Homeier began driving race cars in 1946 and achieved success at the wheel of a midget. He finished second in 1953 in the national midget point standings and passed his rookie test at Indy that year but did not make a qualifying attempt.

He returned to Indy in 1955 but spun on a practice run and did not make a qualification attempt. But he drove relief during the race for Walt Faulkner, who finished fifth.

Homeier was injured in a midget race at Gardena, Calif., and on the sidelines most of the 1956 season. He came to Indy in 1958, but mechanical problems kept him from qualifying.

In 1960, Homeier qualified for his second and last Indianapolis 500. He put the Ridgewood Builders Spl., a car that Troy Ruttman and Chuck Daigh had been unable to get up to speed the previous two years, in the 31st starting spot and finished 13th. Homeier is survived by sons Bill Jr. and Carl. Private services took place in Houston.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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