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The TACH Report: Hendricks Pleads Guilty, Damon Hill Looks at Sauber, Vintage Champ Cars to Fontana

22 August 1997

Auto mega-dealer and race team owner Rick Hendricks, who is suffering from Luekemia, went to court in Charlotte, NC last week to face a Honda bribery/racketeering charge. He pleaded guilty. P art of this plea has Hendricks assisting in the ongoing Honda scandal investigation that already has sent several particpants to jail. Hendricks is expected to be sentenced in the next 30-90 days. Ex Chevrolet Division manager Jim Perkins was appointed CEO of the Hendricks 60 dealership empire.

In F-1 activity, Damon Hill is rumored to be looking closely at joining the Sauber/Mercedes team for 1998. Sauber was recently fined $25,000 for irregular fuel samples taken after the Hungary race. Jan Magnussen, Jackie Stewart's driver may be out of a ride for 1998. Gerhard Berger is consider a career move and will make an announcement after the Belgium GP this coming weekend. Same for Jean Alesi at Benneton.

On September 28 the CART season ends at Roger Penske's California Speedway. A companion race of vintage Indy cars will perform with Wally Dallenbach leading the pack in an Eagle Offy. Other cars will be Offenhauser powered upright roadsters and Kurtis Krafts of the 1950s-70s.

International Speedway Corporation will build a new race track in Kansas City to open in two years. It will cost $200 million. Dale Coynes' group also announces a new race facility in the Chicago marketing area. It will be open in 1998 with an NHRA drag race program as its kickoff. Also in new race track news Bruton Smith is suing Penske over Penske's take over of the Rockingham, North Carolina Speedway that Charlotte owner Smith thought he had all locked up.

The U.S. FF2000 series heads for Watkins Glen this weekend where a 40 car field of F Fords will square off for the season champinship. There have been nine winners in nine races it looks like Zak Moriac of Brazil is the hot driver going for the title.

Ex-Chrysler boss Lee Iacocca is now in the elctric bicycle business.

In a recent Sprint Car driver popularity poll Mark Kinser took 16 of 25 top spot votes to lead the balloting.

Rumor has Eddie Cheever being out of a ride in NOW. He may be replaced with Jeff Ward.

Stephan Gregoire in CART came on the scene like a landslide, with his parents renting a French Concorde jet to come to the U.S. to watch him race. Now they are out of bread and he may have to hang up his helmet.

As stated here last week in our Lincoln Navigator revue, younger people are opting for this big sport ute. In fact Lincoln is stepping up production to 26,000 units and the average buyer is 15 years younger than the average Lincoln sedan buyer.

Daewoo is coming to the U.S., or so they say. The Korean auto maker has appointed four ad/PR agencies in the states, but we can't get any one of them to talk, give us information. Daewoo says they have bought land for their first company owned store in Fairfield, Conn. Or have they?

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel