IRL: Qualifying at Texas Rained Out

By David Reininger – motorsport.com FORT WORTH, Texas (October 5, 2001) -- Qualifying for the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was canceled as persistent rain showers kept the race surface damp for most of the day. An abbreviated practice ...

By David Reininger – motorsport.com

FORT WORTH, Texas (October 5, 2001) -- Qualifying for the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was canceled as persistent rain showers kept the race surface damp for most of the day. An abbreviated practice session started at 3:55 p.m. with the cars running under yellow conditions. Less than ten minutes later, the cars were summoned to the pits while Indy Racing officials inspected the track surface.

The decision was made to continue the session under yellow with the drivers instructed to maintain speeds under 175 mph. Despite the best efforts of the flagman, frantically waving the yellow flag, and IRL officials relaying instructions to the teams, six drivers exceeded the 175 mph limit with Anthony Lazzaro topping the speed charts with a lap at 195.416 mph.

The starting line up for tomorrow’s race will be determined by championship points with newly crowned champion Sam Hornish starting on the pole.

Eddie Cheever, who will start eighth, said, “It was a cold, windy waste of a day. The only information I gathered today was that I wished I had worn two pairs of long underwear instead of one.”

A revised schedule for Saturday will provide a two-hour practice session for the Indy cars starting at 8:30 a.m. The race is still scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. local time with live television coverage provided by ESPN2 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Notes from the Chevy 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway

The Indy Racing League announced on Thursday a new addition to the 2002 Northern Light Series schedule, increasing the number of events next year to 15. A 400-mile race will be held at the California Speedway on Sunday, March 24. The long-awaited debut of Indy Racing in Southern California will be televised live on ESPN2.

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Chevrolet unveiled today their purpose built 3.5 liter Indy racing engine. The General Motors marque replaces Oldsmobile, which has won every pole position in Indy Racing competition since joining the series in 1997. The Oldsmobile Aurora engine, originally built a 4-liter engine was adapted to 3.5 liters in 2000, while the new Chevrolet engine, which will make its debut in 2002, has been designed from the ground up as a3.5 liter engine.

The 2002 Chevrolet engine, which has been on the dyno for two weeks, is expected to be installed in a race car for on track testing by mid-November.

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Officials from the Indy Racing League and Firestone announced today that Firestone will remain the official tire supplier to the Indy Racing Northern Light Series and become the official tire of the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series. Firestone’s commitment, which runs through 2005, establishes the Firehawk Cup in the Infiniti Pro Series and provides Firestone with an event sponsorship in 2002.

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Indy racing driver Buzz Calkins has been selected by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to carry the Olympic Torch in pre-Olympic festivities for the 2002 Winter Games. Calkins, a Colorado native, will carry the torch through a portion of his home state. Jill Pochik, president of the Buzz Calkins Fan Club, made the nomination the by submitting an essay describing how Buzz has encourages others to greater achievement.

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The No. 92 driven by Chris Menninga is sporting Planet Hollywood sponsorship this weekend. Hemelgarn/Metro Racing prepares Menninga’s car.

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Jeff Ward, driver of the Heritage Motorsports entry, will compete in a G Force powered by an Infiniti engine this weekend. Before this weekend, Ward’s team had been running Oldsmobile Aurora engines prepared by Team Menard.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Jeff Ward , Anthony Lazzaro , Chris Menninga , Sam Hornis