IRL/Formula Ford 2000 Open Test New Hampshire International Speedway August 15, 1996
Mike Lanigan, president of Mi-Jack Products, announced sponsorship of Treadway Racing and driver Arie Luyendyk for the True Value 200 and Las Vegas events on the Indy Racing League's schedule. "This is an excellent opportunity for Mi-Jack to become associated with a legendary driver and a top team," Lanigan said. The Hazel Crest, Ill.-based Mi-Jack has been involved in Indy car racing since 1992 and with its parent company, the Lanco Group, sponsored Alessandro Zampedri's run to fourth place in the 1996 Indianapolis 500.
FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL GROUP announced today the signing of a multiyear agreement with Eddie Cheever. The Dallas-based consumer finance company will be the name and title sponsor of FirstPlus Team Cheever through the year 2000. "Our association with a great driver like Eddie Cheever will put FIRSTPLUS in the fans' minds and in the winner's circle," said Dan Phillips, CEO and President of FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL. "Among auto racing fans, there are many homeowners who have a need for our second mortgage products."
IRL owners Dennis and Felicia McCormack, who grew up in Scituate, Mass., are returning "home" to New England for True Value 200 weekend to field an entry for Stan Wattles. McCormack spent his childhood in Scituate and graduated from Scituate High School in 1968. Felicia Catale McCormack moved to Scituate as a teenager and will attend her 25th high school reunion in Scituate on Aug. 2. Felicia was graduated from Salem State and taught at Scituate High School, Mansfield High School and the Hickok School in Boston.
TRUE VALUE 200 ENTRY LIST CHANGES: #75 Johnny O'Connell is a scratch. #24 Randy Tolsma is a scratch. The car was acquired by Tempero-Giuffre Racing from McCormack Motorsports and is now #15. #4T Richie Hearn is an addition. Brad Murphey has been assigned to the #9 Hemelgarn Racing entry. Dave Kudrave has been assigned to the #15 Tempero-Giuffre entry. As of 3:30 p.m., the #25 Tempero-Giuffre entry and the #96 ABF Motorsports entry did not have assigned drivers eligible to compete. According to Art Bouilliane, car owner for ABF Motorsports, the #96 should be repaired and ready to take the track in the morning.
Robbie Buhl, driver of the #54 Original Coors entry for Beck Motorsports, spent this morning visiting 75 young patients at The Children's Hospital in Boston. Buhl is national spokesperson for Racing for Kids, an international charity designed to use the popularity of motorsports to bring attention and funding to the health care needs of children. Buhl visits sick youngsters in children's hospitals wherever he races and in the off-season. He has spent time with 6,000 children in more than 75 hospitals and helped raise more than $650,000 for the hospitals that he visits. This was his fifth visit to The Children's Hospital in Boston. "These kids are amazing in how they handle a serious dose of life at such an early age," Buhl said. "They are an inspiration to me every race weekend." Kelly Services sponsors Buhl's Racing for Kids activities.
Tony Stewart arrived in Loudon this morning after winning the Mel Kenyon Classic 40-lap USAC midget feature last night at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Stewart earned $10,000 for the night, including $4,000 for the Jack's Tool Rental Race of Champions, $4,000 for the feature win and a $2,000 bonus for the Wynn's Challenge.
A brief shower in the early afternoon delayed Formula Ford 2000 testing and pushed back the one-hour IRL practice to 4:30-5:30 p.m.
At 4:32 p.m., John Paul Jr. in the #18 V-Line Earl's Performance Products/Crowne Plaza entry was the first IRL driver on the track.
ARIE LUYENDYK: "The car felt great, actually, although I wasn't that comfortable with the rear end (of the car). The track's a little slippery (pointing to Turns 1 and 2), so I was driving a high line, but it didn't take me long to get back into the rhythm."
MICHELE ALBORETO: "Everything I know I owe to Dick Simon. He's given me a lot of advice. This was my first time here. The run was okay. We ran with our race setup and the car's comfortable. We have another two days to go and I'll need at least another day to prepare myself. It's a very different track from other tracks I've been on. This track is very challenging. It has two hard braking points and with the new surface, the car has a strange line. In traffic, it will be a tough race."
ROBERTO GUERRERO: "I was a little surprised to hear we had the fastest time. I felt we weren't into the groove yet but we obviously have a good setup. When we came here in practice, I was a little worried because the tires weren't perfect but Goodyear did their homework. The tire is very good. We had a little problem with the brakes at the end of the session. That's why we quit early. It will be interesting to see how fast the cars run when we get some rubber laid down on the track but the pole is definitely what we're shooting for. We'll just have to wait and see."
Alessandro Zampedri, who suffered serious leg injuries in a May 26 crash on the last lap of the Indianapolis 500, hopes to be on crutches soon. Zampedri underwent bone graft surgery Aug. 1 that moved bone from his left hip to his left foot. All of the hardware has now been removed from his right foot and it is hoped that no further surgeries will be necessary on either foot. That's a relief to Zampedri, who endured six surgeries, treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, suspense over whether his left foot would survive and continuous pain medication during the first two weeks of his three-week stay at Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital. The 26-year-old driver is now shaking off the pain of the bone graft, recovering in his Indianapolis apartment and is almost ready to stand again with the aid of crutches. "I start Monday and I'll be going to rehab three times a week," Zampedri said. "I'll start putting some weight on and rehabilitating all my right leg and part of the left leg. I can get on crutches very soon -- that's the next goal and hopefully we can make it happen near the end of the month, or the beginning of September."
IRL Unoffical Lap Summary
R Car Driver YR/C/E/T Laps Time Speed 1 21 Guerrero, Roberto 95/R/F/G 23 22.441 169.725 2 33 Alboreto, Michele 95/R/F/G 38 22.750 167.420 3 5 Luyendyk, Arie 95/R/F/F 30 22.759 167.354 4 91 Lazier, Buddy 95/R/F/F 30 23.051 165.234 5 4T Hearn, Richie 95/R/F/G 29 23.052 165.226 6 22 Gregoire, Stephan 95/L/F/G 31 23.566 161.623 7 7 Salazar, Eliseo 95/L/F/G 33 23.571 161.588 8 10 Groff, Mike 95/R/F/F 24 23.651 161.042 9 18 Paul, John 93/L/M/G 34 23.803 160.013 10 3 Dismore, Mark 95/L/M/F 25 23.882 159.484 11 12 Calkins, Buzz 95/R/F/F 30 23.936 159.124 12 30 Wattles, Stan 94/L/F/G 26 24.161 157.642 13 28 Carlson, Tyce 93/L/M/G 32 24.291 156.799 14 51 Cheever, Eddie 95/L/M/G 29 24.486 155.550 15 2T Stewart, Tony 95/L/M/F 19 24.487 155.544 16 40 Greco, Marco 95/L/F/G 26 24.551 155.138 17 64 Unser, Johnny 95/R/F/G 26 24.595 154.861 18 2 Stewart, Tony 95/L/M/F 13 24.756 153.854 19 27 Guthrie, Jim 93/L/M/F 25 25.233 150.945 20 1T Sharp, Scott 95/L/F/G 7 25.267 150.742 21 9 Murphey, Brad 94/R/F/F 27 25.317 150.444 22 1 Sharp, Scott 95/L/F/G 7 26.517 143.636 23 54T Buhl, Robbie 94/L/F/F 4 31.399 121.303 24 15 Kudrave, David 93/L/B/G 4 41.361 92.087 25 3T Dismore, Mark 95/L/M/F 2 53.024 71.832 26 14 Hamilton, Davey 95/L/F/G 1 57.763 65.938 Total Laps: 575