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IRL's George working on race in New York

Indy Racing League CEO Tony George is conducting informal discussions with New York City officials about the possibility of running a race within the five boroughs.

By BRANT JAMES
Published March 25, 2007


HOMESTEAD - Indy Racing League CEO Tony George is conducting informal discussions with New York City officials about the possibility of running a race within the five boroughs.

George said the probability of a New York street race is not great and would not divulge details of his talks. But one concept discussed would have IndyCars racing on Governors Island, a 172-acre parcel south of lower Manhattan in the East River, accessible only by ferry and run by the National Park Service and a preservation and educational program.

"Everybody's trying to crack the New York market, so that's kind of an ambition of ours, a project that we work on in our spare time," he said.

George said International Speedway Corp. officials expressed an interest in having the IRL race at a track it had hoped to build for NASCAR events on Staten Island. He continued when local opposition felled that project.

George said if his project comes to fruition - likely not for at least two years - it would have to be done "creatively."

"I've met with the administration there and the heads of the agencies there and whatnot and they're no so much opposed to an event," George said. "They're pretty adamant about how it's not going to happen, and that's where the creativity comes into play."

Team owner Michael Andretti said he has seen the plan, but would offer no details other than it did not involve the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Champ Car raced there from 1984-91.

NEAR MISSES: A year after IndyCar driver Paul Dana was killed in a warmup session at Homestead-Miami Speedway, two drivers were injured - one severely - in separate horrific crashes in Saturday's developmental Indy Pro Series race.

It appeared a strong headwind caused both Turn 2 crashes.

"You're going around those corners at 185 mph," said Alex Lloyd, who won the race under caution when the event was shortened by 10 laps. "Coming into Turn 1 and 2, the wind is hitting the front nose on the front wing which is increasing the downforce at the front and therefore making the back quite unstable."

On Lap 22, Wade Cunningham went sideways into the wall exiting the turn. Ryan Justice ran into the debris and was sent straight into the wall at high speed. Justice was briefly unconscious but was awake and alert before being transported. A CT scan revealed no brain injuries, an IRL spokesman said.

Less than 20 laps later, Pablo Perez's car elevated into the catch fence in Turn 2 after a three-car incident.

IRL officials said he was alert before going to the hospital, was in serious but stable condition, and had surgery below the knees for "orthopedic leg injuries."