King Taco 500 cancelled due to California fires INDIANAPOLIS (October 29, 2003) -- The California wildfires that are currently burning in Southern California have led to the unfortunate cancellation of this weekend's King Taco 500 at ...
King Taco 500 cancelled due to California fires
INDIANAPOLIS (October 29, 2003) -- The California wildfires that are currently burning in Southern California have led to the unfortunate cancellation of this weekend's King Taco 500 at California Speedway, the race that would have been the final event of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
The race was cancelled Tuesday evening by California Speedway management due to the spread of the fires. The first cars were not scheduled to be on track for this weekend's King Taco 500 until Friday morning but the Speedway determined that the situation would not improve enough in that time to allow the event to continue.
"Our thoughts are with those families dealing with the disaster in Southern California and we hope for a speedy end to the situation," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "Our diligence in pursuing the continuation of the race was only to ensure that we had exhausted every option available to us. CART Champ Car regrets that the event has been cancelled and we offered to explore every possible avenue, including running the event on Monday or Tuesday at Phoenix International Raceway -- which is owned by California Speedway's parent company International Speedway Corporation -- or running at the California Speedway track sometime next week, allowing us to run this race in a safe manner and have a proper end to the 2003 season."
The cancellation will put an end to the 2003 Champ Car World Series season at 18 races, meaning that Bruno Junqueira will finish as the runner-up to champion Paul Tracy, who clinched the title last weekend in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Junqueira was the season runner-up last year to Cristiano da Matta. Michel Jourdain Jr. enjoys the best finish of his career as he is third in the standings followed by series Rookie of the Year Sebastien Bourdais and Patrick Carpentier. The champion will be crowned next Tuesday night at the CART Champ Car Awards Celebration at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, California.