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CART, speedway still hope to reschedule race

By KEVIN KELLY

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 2, 2001


CART and Texas Motor Speedway officials have not decided whether to reschedule the inaugural Firestone Firehawk 600, which was postponed indefinitely Sunday after 21 of 25 drivers experienced vertigo and other problems from excessive G forces on the high-banked track.

CART chief operating officer Joe Heitzler said the sanctioning body's goal remains to get the race back on the schedule.

"If the Texas Motor Speedway will work with us and give us some dates," he said, "we believe that we can respond in a very safe and diligent manner. We look to do this."

In NASCAR news, Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes the seat belt in his father's car was broken during the fatal accident Feb. 18 at the Daytona 500, brushing aside claims by a rescue worker that the belt was intact when emergency crews arrived and supporting a NASCAR report. Patti Dobler, a member of the rescue crew who climbed into the car after the crash, said she was too busy trying to save Dale Earnhardt to tell whether the seat belt was broken. She said the man with the best view was Orange County firefighter Tommy Propst, who continues to insist the five-point safety harness was intact after Earnhardt's Chevrolet hit the wall.

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