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Cars n' Stars: Honda U.S.A. on Sales Roll; Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation Launches Cobra Book; Paul Tracy To Sit Out 1999 CART Opener

11 November 1998

October, 1998 sales of Honda/Acura cars and trucks were up 9.5 % over
the same period for 1997, with a record breaking retail peek of 91,196
units going over the curb. Year to date sales zoomed to 852,260 units.

To raise money for the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundatin, Ol' Shel has
announced the release of a new 300 page hardcover book, '“Remembering The
Shelby Years',” written by Dave Freidman. It will pay hmmage to the people
who did the work. Shelby said, “This time I want our people to tell
their own stories...instead of people who have no idea what we did, but
thought they knew.”

CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach announced that after reviewing the
incident between Paul Tracy and Michael Andretti at Surfers Paradise,
Oct 18 he has set Paul down for the opening race at Homestead, Fla next
year. Dallenbach said he looked at videotape and that CART's position on
blocking/danger is that you are allowed one move on the other car but
any such moves after that...especially at 180 mph is considered

John Smith, Cadillac div of General Motors, addressed the automotive
media corps in L.A. recently to give everyone a look at the new Escalade
(ES-Ka-Lade) luxury sport ute and to outline Cadillac's long range plans
which include building a couple of copies of the oddball looking Evoke
roadster for consumer interest gauging. The big SUV comes with an On
Star navigation system as standard equipment.  He also observed that:
Cadillac has been asleep styling-wise for 20 years; Women are purchasing
Cateras; In 2007 luxury cars will account for 4.6 million sales;
Buyers of these vehicles will be getting younger--35-55 years of ager;
The Escalade will promote NFL tail gate parties with QB Boomer Esiason
as spokesperson; The Escalade will sticker at $46,500 . . . no options.

Penske Motorsports has scheduled 31 major racing events at its race 
facilities in Michigan; Fontana, CA; Miami-Homestead; Charlotte; and
Nazareth, PA.

Once a big time race car builder Lola Cars, GB is struggling to sign up
some new CART teams for 1999 and says it will have at least three teams
including Payton-Coyne with driver Michel Jourdain. Jr.

Also in CART Indy Lights 1998 champ Cristiano da Matta will join Arciero
Wells Toyota/Reynard Equipe as a team mate to Scott Pruett who we think
must have received Michael Schumacker kind of dough to switch from
Cosworth to Toyota.

Darrell Waltrip is looking for a ride in Winston Cup for next season.
Tabasco pulled out of its sponsorship contract with Darell's Tyler Jet
team so it’s look around time.

African Americans On Wheels magazine has opened an office in downtown
Detroit with the purpose of being closer to the BIG car makers' ad

Tony Stewart is through with IRL and is concentrating on NASCAR Busch
racing and has gotten off to a good start with a pole for last weeks AC
Delco 200 event at Rockingham.

Luxury car sales leader so far for 1998 is Lincoln and this is the first
time in its 78 year history that this division has dominated Cadillac.
Lincoln has sold 14,321 vehicles to 130,753 for the GM division. The
Navigator is one reason for Lincoln’s domination.

CART recently held an institutional investor teleconference and some of
the topics were: Tony George--discussions are ongoing; Alex Zanardi
leaving--CART is a training ground for pre-eminent road road racing
seriesr; F-1 at The Brickyard should have no impact on CART and future Indy
possibilities; New races--Atlanta and Germany are possibilities.

A new CART based TV series is in the works for syndication to debut
possibly in 2YK. It will be ER-like and take viewers behind the scenes
at Newman Haas Racing and will be a fictionalized format.

The Indianapolis Police dept and Team Menard of IRL fame are
investigating a claim that a former team member has stolen race engines
form Greg Rays Scuderia. The value of the filched equipment is $162,000.

One of the great training grounds for aspiring open wheel racers...the
millions who have but one focus..Indy 500 and F-1, is the Formula 3
series in England, France, Germany, Italy and now Mexico. Plans are
afoot to start up a North American F-3 series and the cars will be
powered by 2-liter VW motors. Gary Capparelli in Chicago, Il is the U.S.

For some drivers the off-season has finally arrived. After the CART
Fontana race Max Papis, Jimmy Vasser and Alex Zanardi were spotted in
Las Vegas doing a bit of gambling.  For some other drivers they, just
like a great many stick and ball sports players, will head for the sick
bay. Dale Jarrett will have gall bladder surgery, Mike Skinner will have
knee surgery, Mark Martin will have his cranky back looked at.  Ferrari's 
Eddie Irvine may have his back tended to.

Former F-1 world champion Jacques Villenueve was in Hollywood, Ca
recently visiting Sylvester stallone and chatting  about Sly’s
upcoming F-1 flick. Stallone ? Racing movie? Yuch !

Doug Stokes, PR honcho for Irwindale, Ca Speedway that is due to open
next spring says several drivers including Winston West NASCAR ace Butch
Gilliland tried out the new  1/2 mile Superspeedway and said it is going
to fast, driver friendly and a gas to drive. Look for some thrilling
stock, midget, Sprint and modified races in the years to come.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel