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SBD/Issue 232/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Published August 26, 2003
|Hornish Jr. Joins Penske Amid
Disagreement Inside DEI
RACING: In Toronto, Dean McNulty writes speculation of NASCAR President Mike Helton moving to head Dale Earnhardt Inc. "makes absolute sense." The problem at DEI is that company Owner Teresa Earnhardt, Exec VP Ty Norris and Dir of Motorsports Steve Hmiel "vie for decision making power, and often it ends up that nothing gets done, or when it gets done it gets done badly." Norris had a "handshake deal" with IRL driver Sam Hornish — who yesterday signed with Team Penske — but "failed to pass the deal by Teresa Earnhardt," who "put the kibosh on it — not because she didn't think Hornish was a good driver, but because it was not her idea." Also, NASCAR sources say that Helton "may be the only one capable of patching things up between" Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the team. Earnhardt Jr. is still without a contract beyond this season (TORONTO SUN, 8/26). IRL President Tony George, on Hornish, a 24-year-old American, staying in his series: "I'm pleased by the whole thing. I feel relief right now that Sam is going to stay in the IRL." In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin writes the fact that Hornish is from the U.S. "is likely to help him connect with American fans as the number of foreign-born drivers in both the IRL and CART increases" (INDY STAR, 8/26).
MINORS: ABAlive.com, the Web site of the ABA, notes that the league "intends to launch a 36-game schedule sometime in late November." The league plans to have eight teams, including three in Mexico — Jalisco, Juarez and Tijuana. There will also be a team in Las Vegas run by Jerry Tarkanian, as well as teams in K.C., Long Beach, Trenton and Omaha, pending approval of an arena lease (K.C. STAR, 8/26)....ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers GM & coach Glen Gulutzan said that he does not think that the players strike will "affect the start of the regular season." Gulutzan: "From what I heard they announced the strike date and at some point go back to the bargaining table. ... I am going ahead as business as usual" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/23).