MIAMI (March 22, 2000) -- Dan Gurney didn't have to look very far to find a driver for his new CART Toyota Atlantic Championship team. The American racing legend chose his son Alex Gurney, who will compete in two races during this weekend's Grand...
MIAMI (March 22, 2000) -- Dan Gurney didn't have to look very far to find a driver for his new CART Toyota Atlantic Championship team. The American racing legend chose his son Alex Gurney, who will compete in two races during this weekend's Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota.
The 24-year-old Californian didn't have to look very far for a paint scheme for his new All American Racers Toyota Swift, which he will drive in a pair of 50-lap races, at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
"Basically, we copied my dad's colors from his 1967 Formula One car, his Eagle," Gurney explained. "It has the same dark blue paint scheme, with a white stripe down the middle. We used number 48, which he used on his Indy Car. Everyone tells me it brings back a lot of memories."
Dan Gurney was one of America's most successful and revered drivers of the Fifties and Sixties. He was the lone American of his era to run the entire Formula One Grand Prix schedule, and was successful racing Champ Cars, sports cars, and even NASCAR Winston Cup stock cars. He won 37 races in 10 countries in 25 different makes of cars, including the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans, seven Formula One races, seven Champ Car races, and six Winston Cup events. After his retirement, Gurney remained active as an Indy Car owner, with his drivers including Bobby Unser, Mike Mosley, Tom Sneva, Juan Fangio II and P.J. Jones.
"Last year was the last year for my dad's team in CART, while I drove for Kool in Atlantics," Alex Gurney explained. "We came up with the idea to field a car for me pretty late in the year, using some of the guys from my dad's CART team. We want to do everything in my best interest, and we definitely put our best foot forward.
"This will be my first time ever racing for my dad in the All American Racers car," Gurney continued. "It will be a pretty big step for me. They've gone all-out for me. I've got a great team, and I'm excited to get it going. We've had some good tests, so I think we're going to be up there.
"It might take us a race or two, but we've got all the right stuff to be contenders."
Gurney and the Toyota Atlantic competitors will be using the 1.4-mile modified oval this weekend, which uses turns one and two of the 1.5-mile oval plus the infield section of the road course between turns three and four.
"This track is hard to prepare for, because we will use half the oval and half the road course," Gurney said. "The different teams' setups are all over the map. That's going to be tough, but I think we can get it together."
Practice for the Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota begins on Friday, March 24, with qualifying set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The main event, a 150-lap, 225-mile CART FedEx Championship Series event, takes the green flag at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Reserved grandstand seats for the Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota are now on sale by calling (305) 230-RACE. For additional information, visit the official web site, www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com .