IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Racing Rookies Days End in Different Ways

Pikes Peak, Colo. - June 18, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie drivers Sarah Fisher, in the ...

Pikes Peak, Colo. - June 18, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie drivers Sarah Fisher, in the #15 Cummins Special/Oldsmobile/Dallara/Firestone, and Shinji Nakano in the #5 Avex/Honda/Firestone ended their respective race days in two different ways today.

Nakano finished his race on the street course at Detroit in 15th place, while Fisher's day at Pikes Peak International Raceway ended early. She finished in 25th position.

Nakano, competing in the CART FedEx Championship series, is still recovering from nagging neck pain that still persists from his testing accident at Milwaukee on March 31.

He had moved up to 19th position at the Detroit street course before taking a corner too sharply and hitting the rear wing of the car on the corner. He did a 180-degree spin, recovered control of the car and continued on to the pits where the team replaced the wing. Nakano returned to the racetrack and finished the race in 15th position. The Japanese rookie driver continues the learning curve of a new series and new equipment.

Fisher's day ended early, when she was passing another car on the inside line for position on the racetrack on Lap 6. The car came down and clipped her right rear. Fisher's car spun 180 degrees and hit the outside wall. The accident damaged the left rear of her car. The 19-year-old, too, is learning her series for the first time, having come from a background of sprint and midget racecars.

This race weekend marks the first time that both the CART and IRL Walker Racing teams have competed at the same time. Walker Racing is the only team that competes full-time in both open wheel series. Walker Racing team owner Derrick Walker spent the weekend at Detroit, while team manager Rob Edwards ran the Pikes Peak effort.

"Right now we have no luck with either program but we know the potential is there and in the long run it will turn around," said Walker. "We did make a great deal of progress at Detroit in learning what we need to focus on for Shinji as he goes into a number of road tracks on the CART circuit."

Walker Racing's corporate sponsor partners are avex, Alpine, Mitsuba, Cummins, Mead, Emlrockfort, Dell Computer Corporation,, NGK, St. Elmo Steakhouse, Honda, Reynard and Firestone.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Shinji Nakano