IRL: Notebook 2002-09-26

Hornish enjoying championship; Luyendyk Jr. testing father's car. INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2002 -- Sam Hornish Jr., the first two-time Indy Racing League champion, was honored Sept. 21 in his hometown of Defiance, Ohio. The town...

Hornish enjoying championship; Luyendyk Jr. testing father's car.

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2002 -- Sam Hornish Jr., the first two-time Indy Racing League champion, was honored Sept. 21 in his hometown of Defiance, Ohio.

The town saluted him with a parade, and Sept. 21, 2002, was declared "Sam Hornish Jr. Day." Fred Shultz, mayor of Defiance, also presented Hornish with the key to the city.

"It was a lot of people I knew, a lot of familiar faces," Hornish said. "It was very nice to have people come out, there were a lot of people from northwest Ohio."

It's the first time Hornish has been honored with a parade, but the second year in a row that he's celebrated an IRL championship.

"The first year was better overall, the second year the championship was sweeter because we had some down points, had some bad races," Hornish said. "All-in-all, to come back and be able to win the championship again and be the first repeat winner was an awesome experience."


Luyendyk Jr. to test IRL car: Arie Luyendyk Jr., who finished second in the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series standings, will test an Indy Racing League car Oct. 1 at Kentucky Speedway.

The car is the G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone owned by Treadway Racing that his father, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, drove in the 86th Indianapolis 500 in May and the Michigan Indy 400 in July at Michigan International Speedway.

"I'm very excited that Treadway Racing gave me this opportunity," Luyendyk Jr. said. "It will be good to get my IRL rookie test out of the way. I've been dreaming a lot about driving an Indy car, and I'm very psyched."

At this point, Luyendyk most likely will stay in the Infiniti Pro Series for one more year before moving to the Indy Racing League.

"We're sorting things out," Luyendyk Jr. said. "There are a lot of things in the works, but nothing definite yet. It's looking pretty good.

"I'll probably wait until 2004 to move up to the IRL. I learned a lot this year in the Infiniti Pro Series, and it won't hurt to do another year. Plus, it will be good to get experience on tracks we haven't been to yet, like Phoenix and Pikes Peak."


Langhorne to drive in Supercup races at USGP: Indy Racing League rookie Will Langhorne will drive in the Porsche Michelin Supercup races Sept. 28-29 during the SAP United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Langhorne will be behind the wheel of the No. 15 Kadach Tuning + Service Porsche GT3 Cup car on the 2.606-mile oval. He is the lone IRL representative in the field.

"There's quite a big difference between driving flat-out, taking left turns at 220 mph on the Indy circuit's oval track and the constant shifting and braking of road courses," Langhorne said. "Having spent most of my career on the twists and turns of road and street courses, with a team like Kadach, I'm hoping for a good result this weekend."


Mauricio to test for Cheever: Red Bull Cheever Racing will test Ricardo Mauricio, 23, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 30 at Kentucky Speedway.

Mauricio has driven in the FIA International Formula 3000 series for the Red Bull Junior Team since 1999. The test originally was scheduled for Sept. 26 but postponed due to rain.

"Red Bull is dedicated to developing young drivers around the world, and we are pleased to be a part of this effort," said team owner and driver Eddie Cheever Jr.

Mauricio will get his first oval-track driving experience in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Buddy Rice, who drove the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, also will drive at the test, focusing on development work for the 2003 Indy Racing League season.


Schmidt to test several drivers: Sam Schmidt Motorsports will test several drivers in Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series cars Oct. 1-2 at Kentucky Speedway. Stock-car driver Buddy Davis, NAMARS driver Aaron Pierce and Toyota Atlantic driver Dave Wieringa will all test for the team.


Hot laps: Highlights from the Chicagoland 100 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race Sept. 8 at Chicagoland Speedway will be televised from 6-6:30 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, Sept. 26 on ESPN2, while highlights from the season-ending BG Products 100 Sept. 14 at Texas Motor Speedway will be televised from 6-6:30 p.m. (EDT) Monday, Sept. 30, also on ESPN2 --The Indy Racing League Victory Celebration will take place Oct. 5 at the House of Blues in Chicago. The event is by invitation only, but will be broadcast 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday, Oct. 18 on ESPN2.


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Arie Luyendyk , Sam Schmidt , Buddy Rice , Will Langhorne , Sam Hornish Jr. , Arie Luyendyk Jr.