IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: Karting Challenge week six

<pre> POINT STANDINGS AFTER 6 OF 10 RACES TEAM POINTS 1) Indianapolis Motor Speedway 24 2) United States Auto Club 20 3) Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing ...


TEAM POINTS 1) Indianapolis Motor Speedway 24 2) United States Auto Club 20 3) Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 19 4) Herdez Bettenhausen 12 5) Pennzoil Panther Racing 12 6) Mo Nunn Racing 11 7) Bettenhausen Motorsports 8 8) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - IRL 8 9) C & R Racing 7 9) IUPUI / NAMARS Formula Lightning 7 10) AmSpeed 6 11) Hemelgarn Racing 6 12) Herdez Bettenhausen 6 13) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Engineering 6 14) Team Cheever 6 15) Magnum Racing 4 16) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - CART 3 17) WCWO Pro Wrestling 3 18) Delphi 2

TEAM PARTICIPANTS - Feb. 12 AmSPEED - Jeff Leonard, Stephanie Incandela, Brad Kuhn BETTENHAUSEN MOTORSPORTS - Jimmy Drinan (TC), Robbie Ott, Rick Vaughn C & R RACING - David Bridges (TC), Chris Condre, Tom Gardner DELPHI - Mel Hosler (TC), Patrick Dotson, Chuck Lewis HEMELGARN RACING - Gary Pennison, Andy O'Gara, Brian Hornick HERDEZ BETTENHAUSEN - Jimmy Drinan, Robbie Ott, Rick Vaughn ILIKERACING - Janie Vogel (TC), Justin Marvel, Dave Dusick INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY - Josh Laycock (TC), Marty Hunt, Mel Harder INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ENGINEERING - Dave Dusick (TC), Nick Buschmann, Brad Kuhn IUPUI / NAMARS FORMULA LIGHTNING - Jason Burgess, Thomas Briggs, Bruce "Animal" Adkins MAGNUM RACING - AJ Codalata (TC), Andrew Prather, Gina Lewis, Nick Ricketts MO NUNN RACING - Terri Popielarz, Aaron Nelson, Nick Ricketts PENNZOIL PANTHER RACING - Kevin Blanch (TC), Joe Baird, Chris Hogue TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING, CART - Gerami Pennyman (TC), Dan Hammond, Craig Striegle TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING, IRL - Gerami Pennyman (TC), Dan Hammond, Craig Striegle TEAM CHEEVER - Josh Junge, Kevin Blanch, Joe Baird, Chris Hogue TEAM PUREX DREYER & REINBOLD RACING - Gary Pennison, Andy O'Gara, Brian Hornick UNITED STATES AUTO CLUB - Justin Marvel, Chris Coers, Jason Burgess WCWO WRESTLING - Rocky Flash (TC), "Tarantula," Ron Owens, Harold Newt, Angie Sandoe

RACE #1 RESULTS (team, laps completed, best lap time) - Feb. 12 1) United States Auto Club, 93, 22.60 2) Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 93, 22.99 3) Magnum Racing, 92, 22.92 4) Bettenhausen Motorsports, 92, 22.76 5) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Engineering, 92, 23.04 6) Hemelgarn Racing, 92, 22.56 7) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - CART, 92, 23.17 8) AmSpeed, 91, 23.20 9) Pennzoil Panther Racing, 90 10) WCWO Wrestling, 85, 23.37 FASTEST LAP: Hemelgarn, 22.56 (Brian Hornick) RACE DURATION: 40 minutes PIT STOPS: Mandatory 3 stops per team

Notes: Nice to see two IRL teams, once again, working with each other. The championship Hemelgarn Racing team could not make it to this week's Karting event, so the three stalwarts from Dreyer & Reinbold racing gladly filled in, allowing the Hemelgarn team to accumulate one more championship point for participation. It seems, no matter where I start them, the three teams that rise to the top of the scoring chart always include USAC and both teams from IMS, and this race was no different. The lineups for these races are inverted, which means the teams that did well the week before start at the back, and the teams that struggled are usually on the front row. That usually doesn't matter - both IMS teams and USAC have found some sort of formula that works. Adding into the interesting mix of teams for this race was, yet again, a newly-entered team this week, dubbed the "Magnum Racing" team (we are now up to 18 teams). This team blossomed out of some of the participants on the strong Mo Nunn Racing team - youngin's to boot - who liked the fact that they knew they were good, and didn't want to hide behind another team's name anymore. This team, the "Brat Pack" of the Karting Challenge, had to start 10th out of 10 karts, due to entering the game so late. But it didn't take them long to make their mark, as they went straight to the front, qualifying them for a "Shootout" spot. I had a feeling that this week was going to be a different type of week (see notes for Race #2 below). Things have been heating up a bit each week, and we're now into the second half of the "season," which means that the points title is looming nearer and nearer. This has translated into increased aggressiveness on - and off - the track. It was only a matter of time before the pleasantness and fun would cross the fine line it was walking. We all knew it. So much so that the race director had a bit of a talk with the participants before the first race about "playing nice" and just racing to have fun instead of racing to kill each other. Didn't work. Three-wide into turn one didn't work, either, which led to the first altercation. In the end, the "Brat Pack" worked hard, and stayed out of trouble for the most part to earn them a spot in the "Shootout," along with, of course, the IMS and USAC teams - quite an accomplishment the first week out. Congrats to all! But - please - be nice to each other next week?!

RACE #2 RESULTS (team, laps completed, best lap time) - Feb. 12 1) Herdez Bettenhausen Motorsports, 97, 22.57 2) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - IRL, 97, 22.59 3) Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, 97, 22.58 4) IUPUI / NAMARS Formula Lightning, 96, 22.43 5) Delphi, 96, 22.58 6) C & R Racing, 95, 22.68 7) ILikeRacing, 95, 22.44 8) Team Cheever, 92, 22.96 9) Mo Nunn Racing, 92, 22.89 FASTEST LAP: IUPUI / NAMARS Formula Lightning, 22.43 (Jason Burgess) RACE DURATION: 40 minutes PIT STOPS: Mandatory 3 stops per team

Notes: I [Janie vogel] decided, for the first week since the start of this league, to actually enter my own team and try to have a little fun. Because the first race starts pretty quickly and I was still organizing things at that time, and because this week's first race had 10 teams entered already, I elected to run in the second race after things "settled down." Because my team was entered purely for fun, and not necessarily to gain points, I wanted to be sure to not get in the way of the formally-entered teams who were wanting a win in this race or were chasing a title. I went out first, and because I had not driven these karts in probably 8-9 months, I was a little rusty and quickly got lapped by track record holder Jason Burgess, running for the IUPUI / NAMARS team - although, I have to say, he's a master of that track and I think most people who had not practiced in awhile would have been prey to his driving expertise, too. So I just took it easy and tried to stay out of everyone's way, all while trying to have a little fun. However, "staying out of the way" in a very competitive atmosphere is not all that much fun, as I was more worried about letting people by me that were running for points than I was in trying to pass the next person in front of me. Oh well. Although I entered a team for fun, that didn't mean I wanted to be last, so I picked a few karting connoisseurs for my teammates - ace USAC driver Justin Marvel, and modified midget driver and IMS engineer Dave Dusick. They let me run the show, and because I didn't have a lot of track time, I elected to go out twice to try to get caught up. Before the end of my first stint, there was a big red flag for an unfortunate injury on the track. A member of the Ganassi Racing (IRL) team got put him into the wall a little, then another overzealous karter crashed into him hard, injuring his back quite badly. He got help off of the track while the Ganassi team replaced their injured teammate on the track, and after a long stoppage, we went green again. Under the red, I was told to pit to allow another member of the team to run, which I did. In the mean time, tempers and attitudes were escalating on the track, as several people were getting very aggressive in trying to get to the front, which wasn't really appreciated by the others on the racetrack. These attitudes spilled over into off-track "discussions," and before I knew it, I was trying to break up a shoving match. Not the way I envisioned the night I picked to have a little fun. While I was attending to off-track activities, my teammates were erasing any of the debt I had to the lap counter, and getting our ILikeRacing team into the top 3 or 4. I was supposed to go out again, but I liked the way my team name was climbing the monitor, so I skipped what I thought was going to be my last turn. My teammates thought I should go out one more time, so I took the last slot. I'm pretty short, and always have to have a little help reaching the gas and brake pedals to be comfortable, so I usually put two cushions behind my back. Well, in this race, while hopping into the car during a pit stop, I didn't quite get them behind me all the way and they fell out during the race, leaving me to strrrrrreeeeeetttttcccchhhh to get on the gas and, more importantly, brake - neither of which I could do very well. This was not good at all, and we ended up 7th out of 9 cars. Not at all what I expected, but it was certainly my fault we ended up that far back. I'll be back next week to defend my 7th-place standing (?), hopefully a little less rusty. Oh, by the way, sorry there's not much more commentary on the rest of the race. I was a little busy during this one. Have to mention that the camaraderie in the IRL has also transferred to this Karting event - Team Cheever only had one true Cheever employee show up, so members of rival Panther Racing gladly filled in (the extra track time is always welcome, no matter who's name you slap on the finishing order). Congrats to the Herdez, Ganassi and Purex teams for making into the Shootout, and for the Jimmy Drinan-led Herdez team which won the overall race on this night!

SHOOTOUT RESULTS ** Top-three teams in each individual race got to enter one kart for a 10-lap shootout. Karts were lined up by best lap time, with the exception of the front row which was comprised of the individual race winners. The way the karts finished was the way the first-six positions in the combined results were determined, with 7 points being given for a 1st-place finish, 6 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 4 for 4th, 3 for 5th and 2 for 6th, allowing any team which made the "Shootout" at least a bonus point. Every other team which did not make it into the "Shootout" received one point.

Shootout Lineup (pole is on right because first turn is to the right): 2) United States Auto Club 1) Herdez Bettenhausen Motorsports 4) Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 3) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - IRL 6) Indianapolis Motor Speedway 5) Magnum Racing

Shootout Results (team, best laps time - 10 laps, race time =3D = 4:00.95): 1) Herdez Bettenhausen Motorsports, 22.97 2) Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, 23.05 3) Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 22.84 4) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - IRL, 23.26 5) Magnum Racing, 23.82 6) United States Auto Club, 23.73

COMBINED RESULTS (points, laps completed in individual race, how many laps down to leader, best lap time - individual race) - Monday, Feb. 5 (combined final results, after two separate 40-minute races - finishing order for positions 7-16 determined by number of laps finished in their particular race first - or more accurately how many laps down to the leader - then finishing positions, then lap times. The top-three teams (one kart each) of each individual race faced off in 6-car, 10-lap "Shootout" to determine finishing positions 1-6) **Top-six finishers are also the results from the "Shootout"

1) Herdez Bettenhausen Motorsports, 7, 97 (lead lap), 22.57 2) Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, 6, 97 (lead lap), 22.58 3) Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 5, 93 (lead lap), 22.99 4) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - IRL, 4, 97 (lead lap), 22.59 5) Magnum Racing, 3, 92 (-1), 22.92 6) United States Auto Club, 2, 93 (lead lap), 22.60 7) IUPUI / NAMARS Formula Lightning, 1, 96 (-1), 22.43 8) Bettenhausen Motorsports, 1, 92 (-1), 22.76 9) Delphi, 1, 96 (-1), 22.58 10) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Engineering, 1, 92 (-1), 23.04 11) Hemelgarn Racing, 1, 92 (-1), 22.56 12) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - CART, 1, 92 (-1), 23.17 13) C & R Racing, 1, 95 (-2), 22.68 14) ILikeRacing, 1, 95 (-2), 22.44 15) AmSpeed, 1, 91 (-2), 23.20 16) Pennzoil Panther Racing, 1, 90 (-3), 23.31 17) Team Cheever, 1, 92 (-4), 22.96 18) Mo Nunn Racing, 1, 92 (-4), 22.89 19) WCWO Wrestling, 1, 85 (-8), 23.37

LINEUPS FOR 2/19 RACES (based on inverted 2/12 finish order, if same = teams show up 2/19)

RACE #1 1) WCWO Wrestling 2) Team Cheever 3) AmSpeed 4) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - CART 5) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Engineering 6) Bettenhausen Motorsports 7) United States Auto Club 8) Target Chip Ganassi Racing - IRL 9) Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

RACE #2 1) Mo Nunn Racing 2) Pennzoil Panther Racing 3) C & R Racing 4) Hemelgarn Racing 5) Delphi 6) IUPUI / NAMARS Formula Lightning 7) Magnum Racing 8) Indianapolis Motor Speedway 9) Herdez Bettenhausen Motorsports 10) ILikeRacing

-Janie Vogel

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About this article
Series IndyCar , USAC
Drivers Brad Kuhn , Chip Ganassi , David Bridges , Tom Gardner , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , CIP