The Tach Report: Tijuana G.P. Set, Ken Schrader Going Both Ways at Vegas, McDonald's and Gibbs Stay Together in NHRA
29 October 1997
The Tijuana Grand Prix--scheduled for March 19-22, 1998 in the streets of Tijuana, Mexico--is shaping up right well, with 12 race cars of varying flavors making up the grids. When you attend this three-day event, you'll be treated to Stock Cars, Baby Grand stockers, vintage sports cars, Touring Class sedans and I.T. (improved) SCCA race cars. Sounds like it will be a fun race weekend with no one making like it was the THE F-1 Grand Prix of the world.
Veteran NASCAR driver Ken Shrader is going to have a busy race weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Nov. 7-9. He plans to race in the Craftsman Truck event, the Carquest 420K, where he'll be driving for A.J. Foyt; and then he will race his Skoal Bandit Chevrolet in the Winston West race, Nov 8. Bill Elliott is also entered in the truck race, where he'll drive a Ford.
In NHRA news, Joe Gibbs' Top Fuel team with Cory McClenathan re-upped with primary sponsor McDonald's. The Hamburger purveyors have also re-signed with Funny Car driver Jim Yates.
The oldest race track in the country, Winchester Speedway, goes on the auction block Nov 4. It opened in 1914.
If your'e into historic racecars (and who isn't?), then head for Watkins Glen next July 10-12. The head guys at that track have scheduled a big historic car race weekend which will see: Mario Andretti's Lotus 79, Emmo's 1974 McLaren, as well as Camel Lights, GTP, Trans Am, F-5000, Indy, and NASCAR racers.
Andy Evans is having his share of bad luck. Now Toyo Tires has pulled out its PSR sponsorship for 1998. Andy is talking about merging with the entertainment arm of Time-Warner, but this apparently is news to Time- Warner.
As reported here last week, the Torrey Pines, CA Concours was a home run. We wondred where all the great old Mercedes Benzes came from. There were so may rare cars, that we figured the organizers must have cleaned out a museum, but all the vehicles were all privately owned. You know you have a first class affair when you get cars from the Blackhawk collection, the Indy museum, the Imperial Palace Collection, and the Richard Wall estate. All in all, 130 cars were displayed and $100,000 was raised for charity.
The CART race season opener for 1998 has been reset for Miami, March 15. As reported here, Andre Ribeiro exited the Tasman team in CART and signed on with Penske. Tasman is now looking at Indy Lights drivers Tony Kanaan and Helio Castro Neves as replacements divers.
Trouble in River City . . . make that Las Vegas: IRL drivers Billy Boat and Roberto Guerrero exchanged words over the out-of-a-ride-driver Guerrero bumping Boat. Then Boat's car owner Anthony Joseph Foyt got into the act and said: "what do you expect from a driver who can't see? Hell, he's a moving caution flag. That's why his car is painted yellow (Pennzoil). They should paint his car black like a black flag, and then park him."
Sundays F-1 race in Spain was the 96th for Mika Haakinen, but his first win.
You think creativity is confined to authors of TV sit Coms and song writers? Think again, but think NASCAR. Here's the newest speed secret scheme: some teams use a chemical in the trans that boils when the box gets hot. The vapor is then vented to the carburetor to create additional horsepower.
Keep the TACH in the red, and stay ahead!
Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel