Texas Race Postponed - 2001

4/30/2001 6:35:28 PM

Concerns over safety, resulting from speeds in excess of 230 mph in practice and qualifying, led CART FedEx Championship Series official to postpone today's scheduled running of the Firestone Firehawk 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

From the start of practice on Friday, speeds were approximately 10 mph higher than forecast for CART's first visit to this Ft. Worth facility. In addition, the tri-oval and high-banked 1.5-mile configuration led to drivers experiencing vertical gravitational loads of up to 4 'gs' and more than 5 'gs' of lateral load, for periods of up to 20 seconds each lap. As a result, the majority of the drivers experience periods of dizzyness and disorientation when attempting to run more than a handful of laps in succession.

CART officials, along with representatives of all engine and chassis manufacturers, investigated several options to attempt to slow the cars down, but on Sunday morning determined that a successful solution could not be achieved at this time.

The last time a CART event was postponed due to safety concerns was in 1985 at Michigan Speedway when the race, scheduled for July 21, was postponed after qualifying due to tire safety concerns. The race was run at a later date, and won by Emerson Fittipaldi.

Michael Andretti (#39 Team Motorola Honda): "I must say that in my 20 years of racing, I have never experienced the kind of forces I experienced here this weekend. At this point, I've got to really applaud CART for standing up for safety and trying to find a solution instead of going forward with the event at this time. This isn't something we could predict. I want to say that on behalf of all the drivers, we are truly sorry for the fans."

Driver's Championship (after 2 of 21 races) 	Manufacturer's Championship
  1.  Cristiano da Matta     37 points        1.  Honda           38 points
  2.  Gil de Ferran          30               2.  Toyota          37
  3.  Helio Castroneves      28               3.  Ford Cosworth   14
  4.  Paul Tracy             26               4.  Phoenix Ilmor    0
  5.  Jimmy Vasser           18
  6.  Michael Andretti       12
      Dario Franchitti       12			Rookie of the Year
      Tony Kanaan            12               1.  Nicholas Minassian  7 points
  9.  Kenny Brack            11               2.  Bruno Junqueira     4
 10.  Nicholas Minassian      7               3.  Tora Takagi         3