CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach preview notes

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH NOTEBOOK ESPN2 will broadcast qualifying and pre-race shows for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as a lead-in to ABC-TV's live airing of the event. ESPN2 will have its qualifying show Saturday, April 13, from...

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH NOTEBOOK

ESPN2 will broadcast qualifying and pre-race shows for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as a lead-in to ABC-TV's live airing of the event. ESPN2 will have its qualifying show Saturday, April 13, from 5-6 p.m. as well as a replay beginning at 11 p.m. later that same evening. The half-hour pre-race show will air Sunday, April 14, beginning at 3:30 p.m. and will be followed by ABC's live two-hour broadcast of the race at 4 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard. Tudor Sports will kick off the coverage with a special sneak preview of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 7. The half-hour special will be shown on ABC's Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV beginning at 1:30 p.m. PST.

KID'S PLAY

SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare will donate $10,000 to "Racing For Kids," a Detroit-based charity benefitting children's hospitals, to celebrate the planned debut of its new IndyCar program with driver Dennis Vitolo at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Vitolo's car will be the SmithKline Beecham Pacesetter Reynard Ford Cosworth that will be fielded by Andreas Leberle and Project Indy of Indianapolis.

JOINING THE BIG BOYS

Richie Heam, who has been running in the rival Indy Racing League, will make his IndyCar debut at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for Della Penna Motorsports in the No. 44 Ralphs/Food 4 Less Reynard Ford. It will be the first of five IndyCar events this season for Heam, who also will compete at Milwaukee, Toronto, Vancouver and Laguna Seca. "I've been running fast [in IRL races], but I can't say I was running faster than [Al] Unser [Jr.] or [Michael] Andretti because they aren't here. And if they're not here, we can't honestly claim we're faster," Heam told the San Diego Union-Tribune prior to the IRL race in Phoenix on March 24. "…I've raced my whole life. They guys I want to race against are the Andrettis, Unsers, Fittipaldis, Gordons."

DON'T FORGET THE HOUSEWARMING GIFT

IndyCar owner Roger Penske and NASCAR President Bill France Jr. will be hosts for an open house at Penske's new California Speedway on Thursday, April 11. The speedway is located off Cherry Ave., Ontario. A tour, construction update and luncheon will get underway at 10 a.m. …Robby Gordon (Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special Reynard Ford) also is having an open house and tour of his Buena Park off-road racing facility on April 11. Cocktails and the tour will run from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dinner will be served from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

BRACED FOR A SPEEDY RETURN

Scott Goodyear (Valvoline DuraBlend Special Reynard Ford), recovering from a fractured back vertebrae he incurred during a March 16 practice accident in Rio de Janeiro, remains in a back brace, but has been permitted to ride his bike and conduct light gym workouts. His workouts, however, are restricted to only his neck, shoulders and arms. "I'm really not in any pain," said Goodyear, who is recovering at his home in Indianapolis. "I just have a little ache here and there." Goodyear, who will have X-rays taken April 15 to review his progress, has targeted the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix on June 9 for his return to the series. He is planning to attend the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. "It's hard to stay away," Goodyear said. "At least I'll feel better being at the races with my team."

TAG TEAM

IndyCar owner Rick Galles has teamed up with his son, Jamie, to guide their entry in the SCORE Pro Truck Off-Road Series to runner-up finishes in the first two events of the season. "Team Galles" leads their division entering the Nevada 400 on April 20. Galles is the owner of the No. 10 Delco Electronics High Tech Team Galles Lola Mercedes driven by rookie Eddie Lawson. Jamie also will make an appearance at Long Beach, competing in the Trans-Am race in the ICI/Glidden Camaro.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Goodyear , Eddie Lawson , Roger Penske