Indy Racing League News and Notes -- April 21, 2004 Today's IRL headlines Rahal To Be Inducted Into Hall of Fame Luyendyk Rides In Fighter Jet Foyt To Attend Little 500 Rahal To Be Inducted Into Hall of Fame: As a child, Bobby Rahal dreamed...
Indy Racing League News and Notes -- April 21, 2004
Today's IRL headlines
Rahal To Be Inducted Into Hall of Fame
Luyendyk Rides In Fighter Jet
Foyt To Attend Little 500
Rahal To Be Inducted Into Hall of Fame:
As a child, Bobby Rahal dreamed of racing cars on the same tracks as his heroes Dan Gurney and Graham Hill.
He never thought he would become a racing hero.
On April 22, Rahal, the 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner, will reach another racing dream when he becomes the newest member of the prestigious International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
In a special presentation in Talladega, Ala., Rahal will be inducted along with "Red" Farmer, Bill France Jr., Shirley Muldowney and Bill Muncey. Rahal retired from competitive driving in 1998 but still owns three racing teams.
"I think about when I entered racing back in 1971 and I just wanted to win some races," said Rahal, who along with David Letterman fields three cars in the IRL IndyCar Series. "I never thought I'd win a championship, let alone three Indy car titles, or win the Indianapolis 500. It was quite a ride. The Hall of Fame induction is the icing on the cake for me."
In addition to his three open-wheel titles (1986, 1987, 1992), Rahal was the first open-wheel driver to win $1 million in a season (1986). He won 24 Indy-style races and 18 pole positions in his 17-year run. He was voted "Driver of the Year" twice (1986, 1992) by the media.
"I had no regrets about leaving the cockpit," Rahal said. "I feel that my influence and participation in motor racing is going beyond that of just being a driver. I love the sport and I want to help in any way I can. I don't know what my legacy is. All I can say is I tried to be a gentleman. I tried to race cleanly and participate in a first class manner. The legacy is for others to determine."
Luyendyk Rides In Fighter Jet:
IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. enjoyed an experience of a lifetime on April 16. The 22-year-old traveled to Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix and took to the skies for an hour flight in an F-16 fighter jet with the United States Air Force 62nd Flight Squadron.
"The flight was amazing," Luyendyk said. "We did barrel rolls, loops and straight vertical climbs pulling up to 8 Gs. We even went supersonic at a speed of Mach 1. Words cannot describe the agility of the jet. I was amazed at how close the fighters could get to each other and how smooth the plane handled in the air. It was a privilege to visit Luke Air Force base and fly with the 62nd Flight Squadron."
Luyendyk, son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, is preparing for the Futaba Freedom 100, which will be held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 22. Menards Infiniti Pro Series cars travel over 190 mph with drivers sustaining up to 3 lateral Gs in turns.
Foyt To Attend "Little 500": IndyCar Series driver A.J. Foyt IV will attend the Little 500 at St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., on April 24.
Foyt, the grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, will be the grand marshal for the annual go-kart racing event, which will be held for the 42nd year on campus.
The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Noon (EDT) on May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series Futaba Freedom 100 will take place at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live by ESPN2.