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The TACH Report: A.J. Turns 63, Force is a Force in NHRA, CART's Record Attendance, Hyundai Minivan Coming Up

20 January 1998

Irascible four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt--a guy who, though he
hasn't sat in an Indy car in several years, still gets a ton more
Christmas wishes in National Speed Sport News than a great many active
drivers--turns 63 years of age today. You still may see him in a Ford
pickup in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Speak of irascible, outspoken, and hyperkinetic and you've described
seven time NHRA Funny Car National Champion John Force, who welcomed
the racing media to tour his multi-million buck racing facility in
Yorba Linda yesterday. To the uninitiated it may be difficult to
understand how a guy who races in a series where his "race/pass" is
over in six seconds gets a zillion dollars to build a racing palace
complete with a dozen full time uniformed employees, a dozen race
cars, kitchen, museum, and a separate building to house his
"Untouchables" gift shop.  NHRA founder Wally Parks was on hand for
the tour, as was the association's VP of communications, Denny
Darnell.  Three TV crews recorded the junket, which visited the NHRA
museum at the Pomona, CA Fairplex/race strip, saw a new MADD
comics/Warner Bros Funny Car unveiled at the Warner Bros. lot in
Burbank, and ended having dinner with NHRA Top Fuel champ Gary Scelzi.
Two bus loads of drag race media types made the all day tour.

CART, now FedEx CART, realized a 5.3% spectator increase for 1997.
2,491,058 race fans bought tickets to 17 races.

Hyundai Motors U.S. says they are working on new products and that
they expect to have a minivan in their lineup by the year 2000.  It
will be the size of the Dodge Caravan.

Roger Penske's California Speedway has eight primo attractions set for
the 1998 racing season, ending with the FedEx CART Marlboro 500 on
November 1.  The organization's road course is now complete, but will
not see action in 1998.

Hollywood has discovered the Fontana, CA track: the NBC show
Pretender was filmed there, as was a Pepsi commercial with Jeff Gordon.

Like your road racing Mexican style? If so, the Tecate Beer races are
set for July 16-19 in Tecate, Mexico.  Want info call 818 509 0257.

Raytheon Aircraft builds corporate jets and has a new one that is all
dressed up in Jaguar's British Racing Green trim. It's called the
Jaguar Special and can be yours for $2.6 million.

Indy Lights standout Helio Castro Nueves has joined
Bettenhausen/Alumax racing in the CART series. There are lots of new
faces in CART this year: they must have rich papas.

Two more new drivers in the Dayton Indy Lights series have signed up
with Brian Stewart racing: Mattias Anderson (from Sweden) and Sergio
Paese. They have no doubt brought sponsorship money from their Daddy's

Isuzu has announced they will cut the price of the '98 Trooper by 8%
to show a sticker of $34,000.

Keep The Tach In The Black.

Bill Maloney --  The Auto Channel