IRL: Indy Racing notebook 2002-01-31

Cheever continues driver search; PDM to provide short-track star with rookie test INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2002 - 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. has delayed the announcement of his teammate on the Red Bull Cheever Racing...

Cheever continues driver search; PDM to provide short-track star with rookie test

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2002 - 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. has delayed the announcement of his teammate on the Red Bull Cheever Racing team for the 2002 Indy Racing League season.

Owner-driver Cheever was scheduled to name the driver of the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti entry Feb. 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. No rescheduled date has been set for the announcement.

"If we could have a four-car team, our problems would be solved," said Richard Caron, team general manager. "Unfortunately we only have one seat to fill, and we want to make sure we hire someone that will be a perfect match for this team."

Four drivers have tested so far for the open seat: 1997 Indianapolis 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward, 2000 Toyota Atlantic champion Buddy Rice, former Indy Lights standout Daniel Wheldon and former British Formula 3 star Tomas Scheckter. The team will continue to evaluate drivers during the Indy Racing League Test in the West on Feb. 6 at California Speedway and Feb. 8-9 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Red Bull Cheever Racing will unveil the 2002 team colors and announce a new sponsor during a press conference at 6 p.m. (EST) Feb. 5 during the Indy Racing League preseason media day at California Speedway.

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PDM to test Kruseman: PDM Racing has scheduled an Indy Racing League rookie test for 2001 Sprint Car Racing Association champion Cory Kruseman on Feb. 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kruseman, from Ventura, Calif., has experience in karts, stock cars, midgets, sprint cars, Silver Crown cars and three-quarter midgets. He was the Chili Bowl champion in 2000 and the Non-Winged World Champion in 1999.

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IROC has Indy Racing flavor: The Indy Racing League has five drivers in the True Value International Race of Champions series in 2002, more than any other series.

True Value IROC puts 12 of the world's top drivers from a variety of series against each other in equally prepared stock cars. Helio Castroneves, Sam Hornish Jr., Buddy Lazier, Scott Sharp and Al Unser Jr. will represent Indy Racing in IROC, a four-race series that starts Feb. 15 at Daytona International Speedway and ends Aug. 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Sterling Marlin and Tony Stewart will represent the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, with Kevin Harvick from the NASCAR Busch Series. Jack Sprague of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Danny Lasoski of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series round out the field.

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Indy Racing drivers hitting the road: Indy Racing League drivers Scott Sharp, Jeret Schroeder and Anthony Lazzaro will drive in the Rolex 24 endurance sports-car race this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

The 24-hour race starts at 1 p.m. (EST) Saturday on the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona that incorporates part of the facility's high-banked, 2.5-mile oval.

1996 Indy Racing co-champion Sharp will co-drive a Ford Riley & Scott with team owner Jim Matthews, Indianapolis 500 veteran Robby Gordon and Le Mans veteran Guy Smith.

Schroeder will drive the No. 95 Supreme Exhaust System Products/Racer Parts Wholesale/Purity Products Riley & Scott Chevy with TRV Motorsports teammates Tom Volk, John Macaluso and John Schneider in the Sports Prototype class.

Indy Racing rookie Lazzaro will drive a Nissan Lola along with teammates Bill Rand, Terry Borcheller and Ralf Kelleners.

Speedvision will begin its live coverage of the race at 12:30 p.m. (EST) Saturday, continuing through 7 p.m. Coverage will resume at 9 a.m. Sunday, continuing past the checkered flag at 1 p.m. Hourly updates and other information will be available on the World Wide Web at www.grand-am.com <http://www.grand-am.com>.

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Calkins carries Olympic Torch: 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Buzz Calkins carried the Olympic Torch in his hometown of Denver on Jan. 30 as the torch headed west to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics next month.

Calkins ran with the torch on a snowy evening before a large crowd. Other torch runners in downtown Denver included former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.

"This exceeded all my expectations," Calkins said. "The amount of people out to cheer on the flame and everything surrounding the events, this was more than I could ever have expected. What a proud moment."

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Hot laps: Indy Racing standout Donnie Beechler spoke at the 35th annual Banquet of Champions on Jan. 26 in St. Louis. The banquet was presented by the St. Louis Auto Racing Fan Club ... 2001 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was named as one of the world's sexiest athletes in the Jan. 28 issue of Us Weekly magazine. Joining Castroneves on the list were track star Marion Jones, football player Jason Sehorn, tennis star Anna Kournikova, and baseball players Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Tomas Scheckter , Guy Smith , Ralf Kelleners , Kevin Harvick , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Jeret Schroeder , Donnie Beechler , Jack Sprague , Anthony Lazzaro , Terry Borcheller , Bill Rand , Danny Lasoski , John Macaluso , Buddy Rice , Jim Matthews , Cory Kruseman , John Schneider , John Elway , Sam Hornish Jr.