IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League notebook 2004-08-18

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- Aug. 18, 2004 Today's IRL headlines 1. Scheckter To Train With Lance Armstrong's Coach 2. Bock Adds Stability as IRL's "Family Doctor" 3. Sharp Helps Boys "Race Into Scouting" 4. Rimes Highlights Post-Race ...

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- Aug. 18, 2004

Today's IRL headlines
1. Scheckter To Train With Lance Armstrong's Coach
2. Bock Adds Stability as IRL's "Family Doctor"
3. Sharp Helps Boys "Race Into Scouting"
4. Rimes Highlights Post-Race Event
5. Watch Out For Drivers In Colorado

1. Scheckter To Train With Lance Armstrong's Coach: Tomas Scheckter may have one of the most rigorous training programs in the IRL IndyCar® Series.

The 23-year-old's regular regimen of training includes running, cycling, swimming and weight lifting. But on Aug. 19, Scheckter's fitness will get the ultimate test.

Scheckter, driver of the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, will spend the day at Carmichael Traning Systems in Colorado Springs, Colo., prior to racing in the Honda Indy 225 on Aug. 22 at Pikes Peak International Raceway in nearby Fountain, Colo.

Scheckter, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, will meet with Chris Carmichael, the personal coach of six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, for a day of fitness evaluation and cycling training.

"I'm very excited to be able to spend a day at Carmichael Training Systems working with Chris Carmichael and his staff in Colorado Springs," Scheckter said. "Getting the opportunity to work with a world-class Olympic cyclist and Lance Armstrong's coach is a dream come true. We'll be looking at my training routine, and they'll be doing an evaluation of my cycling style, diet, and mental approach to competition."

Carmichael will visit Scheckter at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Aug. 20 and ride with Scheckter in an Indy Racing Experience two-seater around the 1-mile oval.

"I hope I can give them a ride in the IRL's two-seater at Pikes Peak International Raceway so they have an understanding of the physical and mental demands involved in racing," Scheckter said.


2. Bocks Adds Stability as IRL's "Family Doctor": Note: This is part of a series of releases in advance of the IRL IndyCar® Series' 100th race, The Firestone Indy 225 on Aug. 29 at Nazareth Speedway.

With more than 35 years of experience in the practice of emergency medicine, Dr. Henry Bock, M.D. is not your typical family physician.

And yet, that's effectively what Bock has been for the past nine years as director of medical services for the Indy Racing League and its family of drivers.

Bock's involvement with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway medical team began in the late 1960s, and he became the director of medical services for the Speedway in 1982.

He has been the director of medical services for the IRL since its inception in 1996. The establishment of a mobile medical practice for the new league was a major undertaking for even the experienced Bock.

"The biggest thing was probably the maintenance of the drivers and the maintenance of all the things from race to race to race that you have to do, the maintenance of records," Bock said. "At the same time, we had to set up some kind of a care team, where we had other physicians and paramedics that would travel with us, as well as the IRL nurses. So, that all had to be established, and a certain amount of basic medical equipment.

"Our philosophy was that we were going to tracks that we know nothing about their medical care, and if nothing else, let's take enough of our own people and our own equipment along so--we can do it ourselves if we have to.

"We've kind of maintained that all the way along, as opposed to some other leagues that don't travel with really any medical help at all. We decided we would take our core people along and our core equipment along and supplies and drugs and things like that, so we could do it ourselves if we had to."

Bock, a long-time staff physician in the Emergency Medical & Trauma Unit at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, drew upon many of his Methodist colleagues when forming the IRL medical team.

"We've had a pretty stable group of folks that travel with us," Bock said. "I would say we have at least half, if not two-thirds, of the people we started with as we gained through the years. And that's good for us, because the more experience they have at races and at racetracks, the better a job they do."

In the early years of the Indy Racing League, Bock and his team of medical professionals were charged with building relationships not only with track medical staff, but also with local hospital personnel, many of whom had never seen an IRL event.

"When we went to new tracks, not only did we try to educate the medical staffs at the track, but we went to the local trauma centers, as well, and put on presentations at the trauma centers to familiarize them with some of the forces involved in our racing and our crashes," Bock said. "We went with video and with data analysis, showing just how intense some of our crash pulses were. And I think that paid off, too. Not only did we get to meet these folks at these hospitals, but I think they appreciated the fact that we took the time to come and teach them."

With speed and precision as important in the emergency room as it is on the track, Bock was responsible for devising the emergency-response protocol for all Indy Racing League events.

"We set it up so that we would be primarily responsible for on-track rescue of the driver, and then, at a certain point, that driver would be turned over to either the ambulance crews or, back at the track medical facility, turned over to the track staff, and it worked out very well," Bock said.

"We looked upon (it) as kind of everybody being on the same team and helping each other. That worked out well, and still does today."


3. Sharp Helps Boys "Race Into Scouting": As a father, Scott Sharp recognizes the importance of positive environments for his children. As a former Cub Scout, the veteran IRL IndyCar® Series driver knows that scouting meets those criteria.

Sharp quickly accepted the invitation of Delphi CEO and President J.T. Battenberg III, an Eagle Scout, to be the spokesman for the Crossroads of America Council of Boys Scouts of America "Race into Scouting" campaign.

The 1996 IndyCar Series co-champion subscribes to the Cub Scout motto of "Do Your Best" every time he takes the No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone onto a track. This weekend, the IndyCar Series drivers will compete in the Honda Indy 225 at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway.

"I think these days competition with the pressure and the distractions for young kids it's great to see what Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can do," Sharp said. "It's a great environment to meet friends, do different activities and learn a lot.

"I really enjoyed my time in scouting and anything I could do to help would be great, too."

Sharp has made commercials and done voice-overs for the campaign that began with the start of school. Posters and flyers feature Sharp with Cubs Scouts and Boy Scouts. The Crossroads of America Council also has a Web site (www.raceintoscouting.org) that contains race car games and additional information about scouting.

"I think all parents are concerned about the bad influences that are unfortunately prevalent in society today, and anything you can do that puts your children in a good environment is important," said Sharp, whose son Jackson will celebrate his sixth birthday on Aug. 21.

"Certainly, scouting is at the top of the list. Any way we can create more enthusiasm and excitement for scouting I think is great."


4. Rimes Highlights Post-Race Event: Two-time Grammy winner LeAnn Rimes will perform after the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Aug. 22. She also will sing the national anthem before the race.

Rimes, whose major label debut "Blue" went multi-platinum, also has won an American Music Award, three Academy of Country Music awards, a TNN Music City News award, Billboard's special "Hot 100" award, and the CMA "Horizon Award."

Opening for Rimes will be IRL fan favorite Kenny Brack and the Subwoofers.


5. Watch Out For Drivers In Colorado: IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers will canvas the Colorado Springs area on Aug. 19-20.

On Aug. 19, Scott Sharp becomes "Chef Sharp" for the day as he prepares food for Dacor Inc. On Aug. 20, Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers will sign autographs at Peak Infiniti on South Wadsworth Boulevard in Littleton, Colo. Felipe Giaffone and Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold co-owner Robbie Buhl will visit Children's Hospital in Denver as part of the Racing for Kids program.

IRL drivers and team owners will participate in a unique fundraiser for the Care & Share Food Bank at Colorado Springs-area Chipotle restaurants on Aug. 20.

As part of a joint effort between Chipotle Mexican Grill, Pikes Peak International Raceway, Care & Share Food Bank and the Indy Racing League, IRL drivers and owners will prepare and serve burritos, tacos and other Mexican fare to diners at seven Colorado Springs Chipotle locations.

IndyCar Series drivers scheduled to participate include 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Darren Manning; two-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr.; Rahal Letterman Racing driver Vitor Meira; and Red Bull Cheever Racing teammates Alex Barron and Ed Carpenter.

Menards Infiniti Pro Series team owner Brian Stewart and drivers Jesse Mason, Leonardo Maia, Jeff Simmons, P.J. Chesson, James Chesson, Al Unser and Phil Giebler will also participate.


The IndyCar Series continues with the Honda Indy 225 at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 22 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series Pikes Peak 100 will take place at 1:45 p.m. on Aug. 22 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 at 4 p.m. on Aug. 25.


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Darren Manning , Felipe Giaffone , Robbie Buhl , Scott Sharp , Scott Dixon , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Leonardo Maia , James Chesson , Jeff Simmons , Chip Ganassi , Jesse Mason , Phil Giebler , P.J. Chesson , Sam Hornish Jr. , Ed Carpenter , Al Unser , Vitor Meira
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing