FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 12, 2000) - The weather was definitely a factor this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Not only did rain force a delay of Saturday's Casino Magic 500 to Sunday, it also caused fans watching it on ESPN2 to initially miss the...
FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 12, 2000) - The weather was definitely a factor this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Not only did rain force a delay of Saturday's Casino Magic 500 to Sunday, it also caused fans watching it on ESPN2 to initially miss the last seven laps of the race.
A severe storm moved through the Bristol, Conn. area on Sunday causing the ESPN studios to lose all their Ku band satellite downlinks -- just as the Casino Magic 500 was nearing a nail-biting finish. ESPN2 did re-broadcast the end of the race once the downlink signal could be re-established, breaking into the "Outside the Lines" program to do so.
ESPN will re-broadcast the race in its entirety on Wednesday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
IRL RETURNS TO TEXAS TO DECIDE CHAMPIONSHIP - The Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway provided some of the most thrilling open wheel racing in history. From green flag to victory lane, drivers battled wheel-to-whee l on the high bank speedway before Scott Sharp narrowly took the checkered flag over Robbie McGehee. Sharp's margin of victory was the closest ever for an IRL race at just 0.059 seconds.
The race saw 31 lead changes between eight drivers. The tightly bunched pack during the race mirrors the current point standings in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. With four races to go, eight drivers are within 60-points of series leader Buddy Lazier (164). Sharp's Casino Magic 500 win gave him 50 points and boosted him to a tie for sixth with Mark Dismore (122) in points. Robbie McGehee earned 40 points in the Texas race for his second place finish to move to 9th place (103) in the driver point standings. After earning only one point at the Indianapolis 500, Al Unser, Jr., returned strong with a third place finish in Texas (37 points) and has moved into 8th place (115) in the season standings.
This year's champion of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series could very well be determined once again at Texas in the season finale Mall.com 500 on October 15.
HAPPY MOTORING - Drivers had high praise for Sunday's race, many saying it was the best racing they had seen. Even though rain delayed the race by one day, it was worth the wait for drivers and spectators alike.
"It was just unbelievable," Sharp said. "From a participant's point of view and a spectator's point of view, it's something you just dream about. It was just amazing. You have to take your hat off to them (Indy Racing League). Just to see where this series has come, and to give the fans here the best race ever, is great."
The race, which was accident free, was also the fastest in IRL history with an average speed of 169.182 mph.
"I love it," Unser beamed after his third place finish. "I've never had this much fun in a single-seat, open-wheel car in my life. Whoever watched this race saw a preview of racing in the years to come. I was sitting in the car, but I was standing up the whole race. I've never had this much fun in my life."