IRL: Homestead open test notebook 2003-02-18

Homestead-Miami Open Test Notebook: Fisher enjoys radio gig; Castroneves featured as eligible bachelor HOMESTEAD, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2003 -- Popular IndyCar Series standout Sarah Fisher joined Indiana Pacers play-by-play broadcaster Mark ...

Homestead-Miami Open Test Notebook:
Fisher enjoys radio gig; Castroneves featured as eligible bachelor

HOMESTEAD, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2003 -- Popular IndyCar Series standout Sarah Fisher joined Indiana Pacers play-by-play broadcaster Mark Boyle during the radio broadcast of the Indiana Pacers-Atlanta Hawks game, which was the centerpiece of "Indy Racing League Night with the Pacers" on Feb. 14 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Fisher is one of a host of celebrity substitutes for former Pacers coach Bobby "Slick" Leonard, the Pacers' regular color commentator, who is recovering from hip surgery.

"It was kind of stressful at first because basketball is a very fast-paced sport, and I normally don't follow it as closely as I do with NHL hockey -- which would have been easier for me to call," Fisher said. "By the second half, I got into the rhythm of the game.

"One thing that really stood out about that night was how you really get to see the intensity and the focus of the players when you're sitting down on the court. I could really feel the passion of the players and could relate that to how race car drivers feel when they're racing.

"Doing the radio broadcast for the Pacers was a really cool experience, and I'd love a chance to do it again."

***

Castroneves one of Miami's most eligible bachelors: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was selected as one of Miami's most eligible bachelors by Miami television station WSVN-Channel 7.

The segment aired Feb. 17 on the 10 p.m. news, and Castroneves was listed along with a doctor, an attorney and a wireless company executive. Each had to answer questions such about clothing, cooking, housework, handiwork and etiquette.

Castroneves scored four out of five, admitting that he could not cook.

"Watching yesterday was fun," Castroneves said. "It's good to show something a little bit out of racing and show a little bit of my image.

"It's fun, and I enjoy every second of it. They had fair questions for all the contestants, and I guess I did pretty well."

So did Castroneves think he won the title of "Miami's most eligible bachelor?"

"Hey, I don't know about that, but it was fun," Castroneves said. "I really did have a good time."

***

Hornish ready to head home: Two-time IRL IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. is ready for the 2003 season to begin, but he is also ready to go home before the season starts with the Toyota Indy 300 on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Between the IRL's Test in the West, appearances, the True Value IROC event at Daytona International Speedway and the Homestead-Miami Open Test, Hornish has been on the road since Feb. 1.

"You can only pack so many clothes for the trip," Hornish said. "I've done some laundry, but I've bought some clothes since I've been gone, so I'm not sure if everything will fit in my suitcase for the ride home."

One thing Hornish, 23, has not missed about being home in Defiance, Ohio, is the cold weather and the snow that has blanketed the area lately.

"It's been warm enough here that I haven't worried too much about that," Hornish said. "I'd like to go home, but I don't want to go home to the cold weather."

***

Dixon hooked on 'Millionaire:' Millions of people around the United States tuned in for the finale of the reality TV series "Joe Millionaire" on Feb. 17, including Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

Last night, Evan Marriott, who had been posing as a fabulously wealthy heir while choosing from among 20 lovely rivals for his affection, picked Zora Andrich, 29, from New Jersey. In real life, he had been a $19,000-per-year construction worker. The happy couple got $1 million to split from the show -- the "shocking twist" viewers had been promised.

"I sort of picked her the whole time," Dixon said. "I should have bet on it. I could have won some money."

Dixon was impressed with the "shocking twist" of giving the winners $1 million.

"I thought that was pretty cool, actually," Dixon said. "I think for the girls, though, it's kind of harsh with the guy lying to them the whole time."

Besides "Millionaire," Dixon is also a fan of MTV's "Real World," another reality TV show that has seven strangers living together in a big city for about five months.

"I just like the complaining that goes on, really," Dixon said. "The girls are the best because they're always fighting."

***

Chat it up: Two-time IRL IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr., two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and Sarah Fisher, the IndyCar Series' only female driver, will participate in an online chat at 1 p.m. (EST) Thursday, Feb. 20 at www.espn.com.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing