IRL: Texas Weekend Notes

David Reininger - Motorsport News International Lone Star 500 Texas Motor Speedway Weekend Notes Buzz Calkins was back in the Dallara chassis that suffered heavy damage in testing here on September 10. Buzz was unhurt in the turn one accident...

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

Lone Star 500 Texas Motor Speedway Weekend Notes

Buzz Calkins was back in the Dallara chassis that suffered heavy damage in testing here on September 10. Buzz was unhurt in the turn one accident but the car was nearly destroyed. "We had to replace everything but the tub," said engineer Jeff Braun.

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Andy Michner, Steve Knapp, Dave Steele and Brian Tyler were racing at Texas Motor Speedway for their first time. Tyler finished 13th, the best of the first-timers

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Officials from Riley & Scott Inc., and its racing division, R & S Cars, Inc. announced plans for its Team Owner Alliance Program, which will start in 1999.

Alliance members will receive reduced pricing on two R&S MK V Indy Racing League cars and enter into an agreement with R&S cars. Under the racing services agreement, R&S will provide engines, engineering, data systems, spares, crew members, pit equipment and transporters. Each Alliance owner will provide a driver, primary sponsorship and direct the team's race day strategy.

Primary sponsors on each car also will receive associate sponsorship programs on all other alliance cars.

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Pennzoil will continue as the official motor oil of the Indy Racing League. In an announcement made on Friday, Pennzoil will also become the official Motor Oil of USAC. Panther Racing co-owner, John Barnes announced that the Pennzoil Panther Racing team will award an IRL test to the champions in the USAC Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget divisions at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in December.

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Bob Nienhouse recently announced that his team will expand to two cars in 1999. Davey Hamilton drives Nienhouse's Reebok Dallara this season. No drivers have been announced fore 1999.

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Treadway Racing pulled their primary car from the field after making three engine changes to the car. Luyendyk started from the rear of the field in the backup, G Force 001, the 1997 Indy 500 winner, but not before one more engine change. Luyendyk started the race with an engine borrowed from Panther Racing but only managed to complete five laps before being sidelined by fuel pump problems.

Arie prematurely announced his retirement after struglling all day Friday. He later retracted the statement. "I was having such a bad day yesterday, and I was angry about it I was asked what my plans were for next year after my qualifying run, and based on my performance, I said I wasn't having any fun," Luyendyk said. "I still have a lot of plans for next year and don't have any immediate plans to retire. If I decide to, I will let everyone know after the Las Vegas race."

Look for Arie to run a limited schedule next season.

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Jimmy Kite was ride hunting at Texas Motor Speedway, walking the garage area with Cary Agajanian. "I'm no longer under contract with Team Scandia," Kite reported.

On race day, Kite served as the team spotter for Greg Ray. Johnny Unser and Jim Crawford did spotter duty at TMS too. Not a bad job since the IRL spotters were in a luxury suite for the second race in a row.

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Eliseo Salazar continues to recover from a fractured right leg, right arm and pelvis suffered during practice at Dover. Salazar plans on returning to the series in 1999. He plans to attend the Las Vegas 500 next month as a spectator.

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Eric Bachelart and Indy lights team owner Mike Lanigan visited the garage area over the weekend. Bachelart manages Lanigan's team for drivers Felipe Giaffone, Andy Boss and Chris Menninga. When asked about the possibility of running in the IRL next season, Lanigan replied, "We're looking at it real hard."

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IRL Team owner Allan Pagan visited the garage area on Saturday, spending time visiting with team owners and IRL officials. Pagan's team withdrew from the event last week when sponsorship problems continued to keep the team at their Indianapolis base. Pagan briefly visited the garage area on Sunday before heading to higher ground to watch the race.

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Team Pelfrey ran the famous "Italian Stallion" logo on the nose of their Dallara this weekend to honor their distinguished guest, Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was scheduled to attend the Lone Star 500 as a guest of the team but had cancel due to filming schedules and contractual obligations. "Sly" hopes to be able to visit with the team at the track as soon as possible.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Eliseo Salazar , Davey Hamilton , Jimmy Kite , Chris Menninga , Steve Knapp , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Johnny Unser , Jim Crawford , John Barnes
Teams Panther Racing