Date: 15 Sep 96 20:39:39 EDT From: JPM Dillon <102044.3322@CompuServe.COM> IRL at Vegas, day 3
copyright 1996 John Dillon
Day 3, morning. IRL weekend. FF2000 practice is done, fairly quietly. Maybe a dozen spins, shortcuts, off-and-ons.
A new wall has sprouted at the second apex of turn 1, driver's left. It's a concrete block, positioned where several cars spun yesterday. My job may be more difficult today.
The ground consecration ceremony just completed, and a bunch of Harleys and Corvettes are parading the course now. It looks like street rods are coming out as well.
As you may know, Rod Mathis died last night of his injuries sustained in the Shelby Pro race. Paul Broadway spoke to the workers this morning and thanked everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support. Paul was crewing for Rod this weekend. Naturally, the front page of the news mentioned the crash but not the other races. On the front sports page, a picture of the ambulance was shown, but nowhere is there a photo of any race driver or race car. It sells newspapers, I guess.
The Las Vegas Region SCCA workers are all wearing black ribbons today.
Later: The FF2000 race was VERY busy, but nothing major, and our wall remained untouched. For the IRL race, Flag Chief Martin Lotz and I started off on the roof of Race Control, then walked down to Turn 1 after the 3rd (4th?) caution. We got there just in time to hear Arie Luyendyk snap something on his suspension, then whap into the Turn 2 wall. After the next restart, we headed back to his house and caught most of the tape-delayed broadcast. Arie's crash wasn't shown, and a red flag for Johnny O'Connell's tumble wasn't mentioned. TV time constraints, I guess.
Prior to the start, a bunch of Elvis impersonator sky divers fell out of the sky, one of them trailing "the world's largest" U.S. flag. Then a wedding took place: Kevin and Sarah, I think. Kevin (?) is the owner of Donnington Raceway in England. Where else but Vegas? The pace car of choice should have been a limo, quoth one Vegas resident.
Time to catch dinner and a plane. Big thanks to Martin for the invitation, transportation, and accomodations. Even with pro races, I still enjoy racing up here. Race results may come up later.