Anyone interested in buying a used race car?
LOUDON, N.H. (AP)
The IndyCar Series will have plenty of used cars to dispose of once it switches to a new model being designed by the Italian firm Dallara.
Officials aren't sure what to do with the current cars, whose technology is nearly a decade old.
''We've thought a lot about what we can do, how to provide an outlet for the current cars and the car team owners,'' Tony Cotman, project manager for the new-car development project, said Sunday before the 225-mile race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. ''We have a couple of things still in mind.''
One drawback may be the age of the car and the fact that ''technology has moved so far down the road that we just need to be smart about what direction we decide,'' Cotman said.
There has been talk of using it in the developmental Indy Lights Series, or whether it should be retired or updated into show cars.
''So there are two or three things on the table,'' Cotman said, ''but I think we need to understand that, look, it's eight or nine years old now and technology has passed us by. So whatever we do we just need to take that into account.''
ONE AND DONE?: The first IndyCar race in 13 years at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway could be the last for a while.
IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard said that after Sunday's race he planned to discuss with track officials ''whether to go forward next year.''
IndyCar racing returned to the track for the first time since 1998 under a one-year contract.
''I wouldn't call it an audition. I think that's a little rough,'' Bernard said before Sunday's race. ''When we decided to have an event here we knew we were going to have to build on it. The last time they had a race here, I believe there were 7,500 (paying fans) and the race before that there was 8,000.''
Once the series decided to return to NHMS, he knew it wouldn't be an immediate success.
But, Bernard said, ''it's a track that we really like and I think that sometimes you have to invest in your future. ... This is what we're trying to do.''
Track general manager Jerry Gappens said, ''we're reintroducing a new product here in New England and I think the fan response has been pretty good.''
Bernard said he hopes the 2012 race schedule will be issued by mid-September.
LOUDON THE LOBSTER: Ryan Hunter-Reay received a bonus for winning the first IndyCar race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 13 years.
During the trophy presentation, he received ''Loudon,'' a giant New England lobster that required both of the surprised driver's hands to hold.
''It caught me off guard. The thing is looking at me as I'm holding it,'' Hunter-Reay said. ''Hopefully, they put him back in the water or something. I don't know. But he was huge. I didn't know they got that big.''
RICO'S RIDE: Former Boston Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli thought he had gone fast when he took his Corvette up to 130 mph on the way to training camp one spring.
That, he said, was as fast as he ever went until getting strapped into the back of a two-seat IndyCar and doing a few laps around the track at NHMS.
''I thought I was going to come out of the car even though I was strapped in pretty tight. I thought 'Uh oh. Here I go. That's it. Goodbye Dear,''' said Petrocelli, whose two home runs in Game 6 of the 1967 World Series helped the Red Sox force a Game 7. ''It was a thrill.''
Now a motivational speaker, Petrocelli spoke during chapel services before the race Sunday. He said his only exposure to auto racing while growing up in Brooklyn was the Indy 500, so when he was offered the ride Sunday by Indy Racing Experience, he quickly accepted.
''The speed, man alive, almost as fast as a Nolan Ryan fastball,'' he said.
NO GO FOR AERO: Plans to allow teams to use different aero kits to add to cars and make them more aerodynamic have been put off until 2013 because of their cost.
Each team will use the same default aero kit for oval tracks and another default kit for road courses next year on the new car being built by Dallara, an Italian company. Each driver will use that same chassis, replacing the one that has been used since 2003.
''The most important thing we can do as a series is look at what is in the best interest of both our long and short term,'' IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said before Sunday's 225-mile race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. ''It is important that we maintain a high car count next year by ensuring we have cost containment for our teams.''
Bernard, eager to increase the speed of the cars, said, ''No one's more disappointed than I am that we're not going to do it,'' but it's important to listen to team owners who ''told us it was very expensive.''
Even without the aero kit, the Dallara ''car is going to be fast,'' he said, ''and that aero kit is going to be a great addition, but we don't want to do it 'til it's right. It will happen 2013, I promise you.''