IRL: Pep Boys Indy Racing League: Notebook 1999-08-25

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 25, 1999 - Indy Racing standout Davey Hamilton recently created a partnership with fellow promoter Mark Burnett to sanction and promote motorcycle freestyle jump contests around the country. "Mark and I started the ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 25, 1999 - Indy Racing standout Davey Hamilton recently created a partnership with fellow promoter Mark Burnett to sanction and promote motorcycle freestyle jump contests around the country. "Mark and I started the company after we met at a jump contest he was promoting at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last year," Hamilton said. "I saw the tremendous opportunities that were available to this growing sport and wanted to take advantage of it." The jumps at the contest range anywhere from 75 to 125 feet, with the competitors displaying a wide range of tricks during any given jump. "It is a great sport, because the judges that we bring in quite often feed off of the reaction from the crowd," Hamilton said. "It is always fun as a racer to see fans interact with a sport, and with this one they can. The jumpers want to get the fans attention and will do some outrageous things in the air to accomplish that." Motorcycle freestyle jumping was one of the most popular sports in the annual X Games competition this year at San Francisco. Hamilton hopes to promote 20-30 events per year, in between his duties as driver for the Galles Racing Spinal Conquest Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. The next contest that he and Burnett will put on will be Sept. 19 at Pikes Peak International Raceway during an AMA event. Hamilton will compete in the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche this weekend at PPIR. "We have events scheduled for Las Vegas, Hanford (Calif.) and Colorado, and we are in the process of booking several more," Hamilton said. "Between my relationship with the racetracks and Mark's knowledge of putting on the shows and working with the riders, we seem to have a strong foundation." Unveiling: 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. unveiled the new 2000 Infiniti I30 luxury car to an audience of nearly 15,000 invited guests last week in a live satellite feed to all 147 Infiniti dealerships. "I was honored to be part of the introduction of the new Infiniti I30," Cheever said. "I am always amazed at how much of the information we learn from the racetrack translates directly to the enhancement of the passenger vehicles. It makes me very proud to be one component in the complete process of what it takes to make a cutting edge, technologically advanced, well-built car for today's consumer." *** New setup: Car owner Dick Simon, one of the longtime innovators in Indy Racing, hopes that a new suspension setup will help his driver, Stephan Gregoire, drive to victory in the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche this Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway. "We will run a normal setup on the front, but on the left-side suspension we will shorten the wheelbase by 2 inches," Simon said. "This will make the car want to turn left on the track, and then we can dial in the handling from there. Using this mechanical solution, we don't have to increase downforce to solve our handling problems. This will give Stephan more straight-line speed for the race." Gregoire, recently married in his native France, drives the Mexmil-Tokheim-Viking Air Tools G Force/Aurora/Firestone for Dick Simon Racing. Simon used the same setup on the car that Eliseo Salazar drove to victory in 1997 at Las Vegas. Simon was team manager for Team Scandia at the time. Big show: 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack is aiming for his second consecutive Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship, and he knows that a strong finish in the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche on Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway could go a long way toward making that a reality. Brack is third with 179 points in the point standings in the A.J. Foyt Power Team Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear, 14 points behind leader Scott Goodyear. He won the Radisson 200 in August 1998 en route to the Pep Boys Million as season champion. "Colorado is an important race for us," Brack said. "In terms of the championship, a win here should put us in the lead. We've won here before, so we know what it takes. "We tested here a few weeks back, and we learned a lot. I think it really boosted the team's confidence, and they are really working hard so that we can come out on top in Colorado." The clincher: Englishman Dan Wheldon should clinch the U.S. F2000 "Road to Indy" Oval Crown championship Saturday in a 22-lap preliminary race to Sunday's Pep Boys Indy Racing League Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Wheldon holds a 108-80 lead over Steve Rikert of Rhinebeck, N.Y., in the series within a series. Rikert must win this race for even a chance to overtake Wheldon. Canadian Marc-Antoine Camirand is the overall F2000 leader when counting road-course races. He has a 233-221 edge over Wheldon. Rookie Mark Dismore, son of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League driver of the same name, holds sixth in both divisions. The Road To Indy Oval Crown is a separate championship within the U.S. F2000 series, which has a 14-event schedule in 1999. Five of the events take place on oval tracks as support races to Pep Boys Indy Racing League events, and those five events determine the Road To Indy Oval Crown champion. Logjam: Three of the top drivers in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League are tied for 10th place in the standings heading into the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Davey Hamilton, Mark Dismore and Sam Schmidt all have 140 points, 53 behind leader Scott Goodyear. Ironically, each still is seeking his first Indy Racing victory despite some fine performances over the years. Hamilton, who drives the Galles Racing Spinal Conquest Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear machine, seeks to continue his perfect starting record in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. He is the only driver who has not missed a race since the first one on Jan. 27, 1996, at Walt Disney World Speedway. This one should push his mark to 32 in a row. His best finish was second at Atlanta a year ago and, also, he has finished second in the final league standings the past two seasons. Dismore has appeared in 27 Indy Racing events and won two poles this year. A pair of fifths has been his best finishes as he constantly encounters misfortune such as an accident earlier this month at Dover, Del., as he tried to make a pass for second late in the race. This season, Dismore has led 105 laps and is second to Buzz Calkins' 1,320 in completed laps with 1,298. He drives the MCI WorldCom Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear for Kelley Racing. Sam Schmidt now is the only driver in the Treadway Racing stable following Arie Luyendyk's retirement. He, like Dismore, is one of the fastest drivers on the circuit in his Sprint PCS G Force/Aurora/Firestone but has been p lagued by inconsistency. He is fourth in laps led with 135, but a second behind Greg Ray in the June race at PPIR has been his top finish this year. This will be his 25th Indy Racing start. Party time: Treadway Racing will be affiliated with The Orleans Hotel when the team heads to Las Vegas next month for the Vegas.com 500 Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The team will play host to a pool party from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 23 that will be open to the public. Popular local band Tommy Rockers will entertain, and one complimentary drink, and food and hors d'oeuvres will be provided. Treadway driver Sam Schmidt, a Las Vegas resident, and two-time Indy 500 champion Arie Luyendyk will meet and greet the fans. Admission is $5 for men and $3 for women payable to the hotel at the door. No one under 21 will be admitted. *** All in the family: Pep Boys Indy Racing League veteran Davey Hamilton will be busy this weekend in the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche, but his father and brother were racing last weekend at Carson City, Nev. Hamilton's father, Ken Hamilton, finished third and brother Jimmy 12th in the USAC Western States Sprint Car Series at Silver State Raceway. All three Hamiltons raced in the USAC Copper World Classic in February at Phoenix International Raceway. Hot laps: Indy Racing standout driver Jeff Ward will participate in a chat session at 3:30 6:30 p.m. (EDT) this Friday at Yahoo! Chat. Ward is fourth in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League point standings in the Yahoo!-MerchantOnline.com Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. To participate in the chat session, register at http://chat.yahoo.com or visit http://chat.yahoo.com/chat/events/calendar.html

The Racing for Corey organization will play host to a "meet and greet" autograph session with Indy Racing drivers at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at Bob's Paint & Body Shop in Pueblo, Colo. Sam Schmidt and Tyce Carlson will join fellow Pep Boys Indy Racing League drivers at the function, which benefits the Racing for Corey organization that helps children with life-threatening illnesses. Wish children and their families from the area will be the guests at the autograph party.

Stephan Gregoire and car owner Dick Simon made an appearance Wednesday on behalf of their primary sponsor, Mexmil, at Management Solutions, Inc., in Greenwood Village, Colo.

Source: IRL/IMS

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Eliseo Salazar , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Arie Luyendyk , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , Marc-Antoine Camirand , Dan Wheldon , Sam Schmidt , Tyce Carlson , Dick Simon