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TACH Report: Saab, Scott Goodyear, U.S. Grand Prix

10 February 1999


Saab Has Big Sales Increase, IRL Racer Goodyear on the Tube, Ford Like

Swedish car maker Saab, who is probably the next takeover target by one
of the Big three has announced a dramatic sales increase for 1998 over
1997 with 30,757 units sold in the U.S. and 118,581 retailed worldwide.
IRL hot shoe Scott Goodyear is slated to appear on Good Morning America,
ABC-TV Sunday, Feb. 7 and his subject will be toys. This ties-in with
the New York Toy Fair and Scott, an ďalmost winner of the Indy 500 a dew
years ago is the father of  three. Goodyear finished second to Eddie
Cheever in the IRL season opener at Orlando two weeks ago and that is a
neat feat when you consider that his son Michael broke his arm the night
before the race while rough-housing with his sister..Pro football
quarterback Jim Harbaugh is one of his car owners.

Speaking of IRL didja know that Arie Luyendyck is the only driver to win
both a CART and an IRL race at Phoenix International Raceway?

The guys at For Motor Company racing are happy that there will be a
Formula One race on their home turf...Indianapolis, Ind. in the good old
U.S. of A. Martin Whittaker is Fords European racing boss said that he
told Bernie Eccleston, Czar and Grand Pubah of F-1 that he and Jac
Nasser, Prexy of Ford wanted a GP in the states and now it has happened
where we build most of our cars.

The Belgium Grand Prix at Spa is in jeopardy due to all the cigarette
advertising bans. Team owner Frank Williams who was recently Knighted,
was asked why he hired Alex Zanardi for his GP Equippe and he said that
besides his obvious ability Alex tells more jokes than anyone. Said
Williams: ďEveryone here is fond of him and we know he will deliver for
Look for some interesting speeds from the Winston Cup cars at Daytona.
Dave Marcis (Dave Marcis?) ran 190.488 mph topping Ken Schraderís
189.950 last week.
The Sebring, Fla 12 hours takes place in a few weeks and both Mercedes
and BMW are thinking about entering cars.
Youíve probably read it already but IRL stalwart team owner John Menard
is backing Robbie Gordonís CART and the car will have Toyota power, BUT,
Robbie will drive a Menard car in the Indy 500. Pre-season handicapping
says Gregg Moore, Jimmy Vasser and Gil de Ferren are the guys to beat in
CART while Robbie is 25-1 and Dennis Vitolo is 100-1...fourth was Dario
The big NHRA Nationals are running in Pomona this weekend sans Denny
Darnell, longtime PR director who recently turned in his resignation..
Boss man Dallas Gardner is seeking a replacement for the popular
In the Craftsman truck racing series Mike Bliss takes over Joe Ruttmans
ride in the  Jack Roush Exide Fords. Age wins.

The United States Road Racing Championship series announces five races
for 1999 and with all the screwing around going on in pro sports car
racing we wonder if anyone cares. No body attends these races and we
donít know where the purse comes from. Whoever wins at Lime Rock or
Mid-Ohio or the Glen will spend more money on ream expenses than they
will take home from the purse and thatís a fact.

The Labor Day Los Angeles Street race which takes place around the famed
Memorial Coliseum will feature NASCAR Southwest Tour stock cars once
again PLUS a bunch of old Indy cars of the American Indy Car series.
Whoo boy will that be fun as the stock block cars will never get out of
second gear on the tight course.
TV rating results for motorsports shows NASCAR Winston Cup is the most
popular form of car racing with an average of 3.5 million homes tuning
into see Dale and company. Half as many viewers see IRL races and even
less opt for CART events.

Went out to the spanking new Irwindale Raceway with the grand old man of
Trans Am/Can Am, George Follmer last week and this place is going to a
fun venue to visit for Stocks, Sprints, Midgets, et al this season.
Everything is new-new and thereís plenty of parking. If you remember
Ascot way back...well DONíT remember Ascot as IS is the place to go for
your Saturday night speed fix...and it is handy to all sides of L.A. and
Orange County. George liked it but questioned the position of  a safety
barrier between the infield and turn one. If there happened to be a lot
of crowding going into one ..and of course there will be, someone could
ram this guar rail. Doug Stokes took notes.

K-Mart is going to sponsor Darrel Waltrip in WC this year.

Keep the TACH in the black.

Bill Maloney   The Auto Channel