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The TACH Report: Penske/ISC Buy Homestead Race Venue, CART Michigan 500 May be Fastest Oval Race Ever, New Crash Test Results

24 July 1997

International Speedway Corp (NASCAR) and Penske Motorsports have completed an agreement to purchase the Homestead-Miami Motorsports Complex from H. Wayne Huizenga and Ralph Sanchez for an undisclosed amount of stock. Sanchez and Huizenga retain 10% equity each. Between ISC and Penske the two entities own or operate Daytona International Speedway, California Speedway, North Carolina Motor Speedway, Phoenix, Watkins Glen, Michigan Speedway, Nazareth Speedway, Tucson and are looking for a site in the Chicago area.

This weekend's Michigan 500 is shaping up to be a high speed, action packed afternoon of CART open wheel racing. Say what you want about sophisticated F-1 open wheeler single seaters but a 235 mile per hour AVERAGE ain't chopped liver. That's what it's going to take to cop the pole and 28 hot shoes from a dozen countries are hot to trot. Stay tuned to The Auto Channel and the Callahan Report for results and highlights this coming weekend. This is CART race number 12 of 17 for 1997, and will go 250 laps on the Irish Hills, MI 2-mile banked oval.

Stars (that's gold stars for excellence) of recent Federal front and side impact crash tests--the cars that got the high mark of five stars are:

Nissan 200SX
Ford Contour
Ford Windstar
Honda Civic
Buick Skylark
Chrysler Sebring
Ford Probe
Mazda MX6
Oldsmobile Achieva
Audi A6

BMW has raised prices $220 for 1998 with the 750il now going over the curb at $91,890.

IRL qualifying for this Saturday night race at Charlotte Motor Speedway has been rained out, and more rain is predicted. This could get sticky if some of the less rich teams that have not had a chance to test on the tricky Charlotte track don't get much on-track time. This could cause problems on race day/night.

GM was hit with its sixth strike of the year, as an assembly plant in Warren, MI was shut down with more powerTrain units to follow suit. The strike last year at GM's Dayton, OH plant cost Generous Motors $900 million.

Who are the richest guys in motordom? Chung Ju-Young, Hyundai, $5.2 billion; Ferdinand Piech, VW/Porsche, $3.4 million; Gioannini Agnelli, Fiat, $3.3 billion.

J.D. Powers research firm says the happiest car owners are Lexus, Infiniti, Acura and Mercedes Benz people.

Kia Motors of South Korea is in deep doo-doo: in hock to the banks for $12 billion and being forced to reorganize.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel