In the Pits and Paddock

In the Pits and Paddock

The California Speedway is a beautiful new facility recently constructed by the Penske organization. These are my shots in the well-equipped garage area and from the pit lane.

Andre Ribeiro's Tasman team engineers take a break to watch the ongoing Indy Lights race on the TV monitors.

Tasman TV
Tracy's Penske

Paul Tracy's Penske-Mercedes being prepared for what would be his final race for the team. Only a few weeks later he was fired from the team to be replaced for next season by Andre Ribeiro.

Also unknown at the time was that this would be Parker Johnstone's last race for Team Kool Green. Next year they will be running two Honda-Reynards, driven by Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti.

Parker's Last Stand
Mo Nunn

Alex Zanardi's chief engineer, Mo Nunn, was also moving on. After a long career in motor racing that even included running his own Formula One team (Ensign) from 1973 to 1982, he retired at the end of the season.

Next year's Budweiser boy Richie Hearn had a Swift lined up, on loan from Newman-Haas, but smashed it up during practice on Friday. That meant he had to go back to one of the few remaining Lola chassis.

Richie's Lola
Greg Moore

Greg Moore admires a police motorcycle after signing an autograph for one of the cops that had been trying to get a radar reading during Arie Luyendyk's test session.

The Budweiser Girls - not a match for the Tecate Girls!

Budweiser Girls
Jan Beekhuis

Jan Beekhuis, pit lane commentator for ESPN, checks his notes...

... while presenter Bob Varsha prepares to kick off the pre-race show on ESPN-2.

Bob Varsha
Speedway Tyres

Firestone tyres ready to go in the Brahma Sports Team pit.

Michael Andretti's team practice their refueling stops in the Newman Haas pits.

Pit Stop Practice
Christian Fittipaldi

Christian Fittipaldi arrives. Those are the motorbike keys in his hand, not the keys to his Swift-Ford!

Hiro Matsushita, Arciero Wells driver, heir to the Panasonic company and owner of the Swift chassis manufacturer, rides onto pit road.

King Hiro
Michael Andretti

And finally, Michael Andretti arrives.

On the Track | Arie Luyendyk

Paul Jasper's Web Site | Racing | Fontana 1997

1997-1998 Paul Jasper. Last updated Friday May 06, 2005.