IRL: Indy Racing League news and notes 2004-11-15

Indy Racing League News and Notes Nov. 15, 2004 Today's IRL headlines 1. IndyCar Series Stars Team With Barrichello To Win Karting Event 2. Kanaan Nominated For Fourth Quarter Award 3. Barron Earns Win In California Kart Event 4. Champions...

Indy Racing League News and Notes
Nov. 15, 2004

Today's IRL headlines
1. IndyCar Series Stars Team With Barrichello To Win Karting Event
2. Kanaan Nominated For Fourth Quarter Award
3. Barron Earns Win In California Kart Event
4. Champions Crowned At Stars Of Karting Finals

1. IndyCar Series Stars Team With Barrichello To Win Karting Event: IRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan and Formula One star Rubens Barrichello led their team to victory in the Granja Viana 500 go-kart race on Nov. 14 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Kanaan and Barrichello's team, which also included IndyCar Series stars Dan Wheldon and Felipe Giaffone, beat an all-star field that included the winners of four of the last five Indianapolis 500s: 2000 winner and current formula One standout Juan Pablo Montoya, 2001 and 2002 winner Helio Castroneves and 2003 winner Gil de Ferran. More than 70 teams competed in the event, which began at midnight on Nov. 14.

The winning team needed 644 laps and nearly 11 hours to complete the 500-mile event at the Granja Viana track owned by Giaffone's family.

De Ferran, who retired after running the 2003 IndyCar Series season, and Castroneves co-drove the runner-up kart with IndyCar Series veteran Vitor Meira.

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2. Kanaan Nominated For Fourth Quarter Award: IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan is among the nominees for the fourth-quarter voting for the Speed Channel Driver of the Year Award.

Kanaan, who recorded 15 consecutive top-five finishes and became the first IRL driver to complete every possible lap, capped his first championship season with four top-three finishes in the season's final four races.

Kanaan is nominated on the fan's online ballot with NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman, NASCAR Busch Series driver Martin Truex Jr., NHRA Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher, World of Outlaws standout Steve Kinser and Champ Car driver Sebastien Bourdais.

An 18-member panel will select the winner of the award. Fans can participate in voting via an online ballot, located at Speed Channel's Web site, www.speedtv.com, through Nov. 24. In December, a special separate vote will be held for the Speed Channel 2004 Driver Of The Year.

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3. Barron Earns Win In California Kart Event: Red Bull Cheever Racing's Alex Barron led his team to victory in a four-hour karting endurance race at El Cajon (Calif.) Speedway on Nov. 13.

Barron's team, which included his brother Eric, Clint Gallo and Mike Mihld, finished 265 laps on the half-mile road course to win the race over nine other teams racing in identically prepared karts.

"Karting is one of the purist forms of racing," Barron told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "The driver is in total control. Usually, he's the mechanic, the engine builder and the tire changer as well as the driver. It's the perfect way to start . . . the best way to get kids to climb the racing ladder the right way."

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4. Champions Crowned At Stars Of Karting Finals: Six young racers raced their ways to national titles at the Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League National Championship finale on Nov. 14 at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Four of the national champions won their races while the two other champion drivers finished in second place.

In the ICC 125 Shifter Class, Eastern champion Alex Speed took the lead on Lap 9 and never looked back as he won his first Stars of Karting National Championship over Western Champion Alan Sciuto.

"The championship is wonderful for everyone on the team, especially my dad (Mike) who works so hard," said Speed, an 18-year old from Manteca, Calif. "We got a really good and clean start and slowly worked our way up to the front. Once there, the kart just settled in and we had no issues. This feels great and I am proud of everyone who helped."

In ICA, Western Champion Jordy Vorrath led from Lap 2 to take the win and the ICA National Championship. Steadily increasing his lead on every lap, the Surrey, British Columbia resident led the race by as much as nine seconds before crossing the line in front of second place Helmut Sanden by 7.872 seconds.

"The first corner was hectic but we kept our noses clean, moved to the front and brought it home," said Vorrath, who also won the $25,000 Jim Trueman Career Enhancement Award Winner. "The team did a great job for me and actually made it quite easy for me to take the win and the championship."

The EasyKart championship race provided great drama after the checkered flag when race and championship winner, Johnny Johnson was disqualified for a technical violation. The penalty gave the race and championship to Carlos Duenas.

In the 80 Junior Class, Keith Spicer took the lead on lap 14 and led Cole Whitt across the finish line by 0.888 seconds to win the race, but Whitt captured the National Championship.

In the Junior ICA Class, Whitt led from the start as he scored an easy win over Nicholas Johnston by 6.131 seconds. Johnston, though, claimed the National Championship by just five points over Whitt

In the Cadet Final, championship contender Sergio Pena held off a charging Will Tenney at the finish to win the race and the championship by just 0.291 seconds.

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The IRL IndyCar Series opens its 10th season of competition with the Toyota Indy 300 on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network The 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season also opens on March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Kart
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya