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uploaded 2/13/2000

Spring Training Buzz

Back to Spring Training Start Page

A certain amount of excitement buzzed around the paddock at Spring Training. One of the most important events received little notice. Kirk Russell took over the job of Chief Steward from Wally Dallenbach. Kirk moves up from V.P. of Competition. The Chief Steward position is the most important job in CART. Kirk is a good guy and competent but he's going to need all the luck he can get. If the drivers and/or owners challenge him and things get nasty the series will suffer. Wally stays on as a consultant. I hope these guys are still smiling at the end of the season.

Kirk Russell and Wally Dallenbach

Kirk and Wally

Sylvestor Stallone

Sylvester Stallone showed up announcing a new movie based on CART. He made a run at Formula 1 but they treated him crappy, as they treat everyone. His movies are mostly awful. Movie producers have the same sickness as TV producers, they have to spin and color and hype the subject. A simple documentary on racing would be wonderful. It's already exciting enough and full of interesting characters for sure. Sly will screw it up. I hope I'm wrong.

Mo Nunn

Mo Nunn was, reportedly, making a million dollars a year engineering for Alex Zanardi and then Juan Montoya at Ganassi Racing. Ganassi won four straight championships. Mo started MoNunn Racing and hired Tony Kanaan away from Steve Horne at Forsythe Championship Racing. Mo's first driver choice was Helio Castro-Neves but he went to Penske.

 Mo Car

The Ilmor/Mercedes-Benz engine had a disastrous '99 season. Players/Forsythe switched to Ford/Cosworth power and Penske changed to Honda. That left PacWest as the lone M-B entry. So M-B funded Mo's team. He's looking for sponsors with some clever logos on the car. The big one on the sidepod says "mo speed." Others are "mo grip," "mo power," and "mo wing."

Paul Page and Shawn Murphy

Paul Page and Parker Johnstone will be back as CART announcers on ABC and ESPN. That's Mr. Page in the middle talking to Shawn Murphy, the producer. Shawn grew up in Indy and started going to races when he was five. "We won't change much this year," he told me. "It's mainly the same people in the booth and in the pits (Gary Gerould and Jon Beekhuis). We'll try to make things more crisp. It's impossible for us to show a race on television that looks the same as a fan can see in the stands. Your eyes can switch back and forth from car to car and turn to turn much faster than we can switch cameras. But we try."



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