IRL: March 29th notebook

Blueprint enters Miami race, Hollansworth to drive INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 29, 2001 - Blueprint Racing Enterprises will make its 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series debut April 8 at the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com ...

Blueprint enters Miami race, Hollansworth to drive
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 29, 2001 - Blueprint Racing Enterprises will make its 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series debut April 8 at the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel, with veteran John Hollansworth Jr. behind the wheel.

Blueprint is one of the Indy Racing League's original teams. The team's high point came in March 1997 when Jim Guthrie pulled off an upset victory at Phoenix International Raceway.

The team competed in all nine Northern Light Series events in 2000, with a best finish of 12th by Niclas Jonsson at Walt Disney World Speedway and Jimmy Kite at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Hollansworth, from Dallas, will drive the No. 27 Blueprint Racing Special G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone for Blueprint at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Russ Glashan is the chief mechanic, and Brad McCanless is the team manager.

Hollansworth will attempt to make his first Northern Light Series start since January 2000, when he finished 21st at Walt Disney World Speedway. Hollansworth will be required to pass a refresher test during pre-qualifying practice at Miami, said Brian Barnhart, Indy Racing League vice president of operations.

Calkins fast at Richmond:
Buzz Calkins recorded a top lap of 17.4 seconds, 154.99 mph in the No. 12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone during testing March 26 at Richmond International Raceway. Calkins' best lap easily topped the official track record of 20.552, 131.374 set by Randy Tolsma in a USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series car in 1996. The fastest NASCAR Winston Cup Series lap at the track is 21.344, 126.499 by Jeff Gordon in 1999. The Indy Racing Northern Light Series will compete on the .75-mile oval June 30, the first race in Indy Racing history on a track shorter than 1 mile. "I estimate we'll get down to the 16-second range," 1996 Indy Racing co-champion Calkins said about the debut of Indy Racing at Richmond in June. "We had a pretty conservative setup on the car in the test. As we trim the car out to where it is more neutral, the speeds will fall. That is where the time will come from. "We had a really good test down there. We got up to speed right away and found a good balance with the car. I was a little apprehensive about going to Richmond because of the length of the track, but now that I have been there and seen how wide it is and how much grip it has, I feel a lot better about it."

Dare staying busy before Miami:
Miami resident Airton Dare is staying busy leading up the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel in his adopted hometown, as he will appear at the "Race Day at the Shops" on March 31. "Race Day at the Shops" is presented by Homestead-Miami Speedway and the Shops at Sunset Place, located in South Miami at U.S. 1 and Sunset. 2000 Indy Racing Rookie of the Year Dar=E9 will sign autographs from 7-9 p.m. (EDT) at the Grotto Stage. Eddie Cheever Jr.'s No. 51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone will be on display from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at the Shops. Also participating in the activities are musical performers Stryke 5 and Giovanni Nibes.

Tickets for the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel will be available at the Homestead-Miami Speedway booth. Family-friendly priced tickets for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami begin at $10 for Friday and $20 for Saturday, with reserved Sunday grandstand seats ranging from $25 to $45. Youth 12 and under are free Friday and Saturday when accompanied by a paying adult, while grandstand seats for youth 18 and under are $15 on Sunday if purchased in advance. For additional information or to order tickets, call (305) 230-RACE, visit any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, or order online at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

Hot laps:
McCormack Motorsports has moved from Avon, Ind., into a bigger facility in Pittsboro, Ind. The new facility is approximately 7,000 square feet. McCormack fields the No. 30 WorldBestBuy.com G-Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone for Brandon Erwin in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series ...

Indy Racing veteran Stan Wattles now has a site on the World Wide Web, www.stanwattles.net. Complete information about Wattles, including a biography, statistics, race reports and a look at the Hemelgarn Racing crew, are included on the site ...

The Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel is sort of a home race for Indy Racing veteran Jeret Schroeder, as his parents reside in nearby North Palm Beach, Fla. ...

Indy Racing standout Robbie Buhl, national spokesperson for Racing For Kids, will visit sick children at Miami Children's Hospital at 10 a.m. (EST) April 5 before competing in the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel on April 6-8. This will be Buhl's third visit to Miami Children's Hospital. He will meet with hospitalized youngsters in playrooms and in bed-to-bed visits, handing out autographed photos, Racing For Kids caps and answering questions about auto racing.

On the road:

Upcoming appearances by Indy Racing drivers and cars:

*March 29-April 1: A Purex Indy Racing car will be on display in the Midway at Texas Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event.

*March 31: Kelley Racing teammates Mark Dismore and Scott Sharp will sign posters from 9-10 a.m. (EST) at the Country Music Expo in Indianapolis in support of the Rub Out Aggressive Driving (R.O.A.D.) program. The Expo takes place in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

*March 31: A Johns Manville Indy Racing car and an Indy Racing Gamepod Simulator will be on display at Six Flags over Georgia in Atlanta. Indy Racing drivers Jimmy Kite and Buzz Calkins will sign autographs. The Indy Racing Gamepod Simulator will remain on display there from April 1-7.

*March 31: 2000 Indy Racing Rookie of the Year Dar=E9 will sign autographs from 7-9 p.m. (EDT) during the "Race Day at the Shops" at the Shops at Sunset Place in Miami. An Excite@Home Indy Racing car will be on display from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at the Shops.

*April 1: A Pennzoil Indy Racing car will be on display at the Pepsi Coliseum in Indianapolis during the Indianapolis Ice-Huntsville Tornado Central Hockey League game, which begins at 3:35 p.m. It will be "Indy Racing/Indy 500 Day," and several Indy Racing giveaways are planned. Phoenix race winner Sam Hornish Jr. and Sarah Fisher will sign autographs from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

*April 1: A Coors Light Indy Racing car will be on display at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., during an Open House for representatives of the Coors Brewing Company.

-IRNLS/IMS-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Buzz Calkins , Sarah Fisher , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Scott Sharp , Airton Daré , Mark Dismore , Jim Guthrie , Jeret Schroeder , Brandon Erwin , Jimmy Kite , Randy Tolsma , Stan Wattles , Brian Barnhart , Sam Hornish Jr.