IRL Driver Paul Dana Killed at
IRL IndyCar Series rookie Paul Dana, 30, was fatally injured in a two-car crash during the morning warm-up prior to Sunday's season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
At 10:03 am, just three minutes into the 30-minute session, Ed Carpenter spun his No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda in Turn 2 on the 1.5-mile circuit and rolled down the banking toward the apron and came to a stop. The caution lights went on immediately and a number of cars drove past at reduced speed before Dana's No. 17 Rahal-Letterman Racing Panoz/Honda arrived on the scene, striking Carpenter's car in the left-rear wheel at what was estimated to be approximately 180mph. The impact split Carpenter's car in two and catapulted Dana's car over Carpenter's.
The medical crew arrived on scene
immediately, and it took about 15 minutes to extract both drivers from the
wreckage. Both drivers were flown by helicopter to
Dana was pronounced dead just before noon. An official cause of death was not released, but IRL president and COO Brian Barnhart said, "I believe he was pronounced dead from the multiple trauma."
Bobby Rahal, who co-owns Dana's team with television personality David Letterman, announced that the team would withdraw its other two entries, driven by Danica Patrick and Buddy Rice, from the race.
"It is a very black day for us, and on behalf of our entire team our prayers and sympathy go out to the entire Dana family," Rahal said.
Barnhart said that the trackside and dashboard-mounted caution lights were working properly, the caution flag had been displayed and spotters had relayed information about Carpenter's crash immediately. Rahal said that there had been no communications problems with Dana's radio, and that his spotter had alerted him to the crash ahead of him.
Dana had competed in three IRL
races previously, all occurring last year with Hemelgarn Racing. He broke his
back in a crash while practicing for the
Dana was the third IRL driver
killed in the series' history. Tony Renna died in a crash during testing at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October 2003, and Scott Brayton was killed while
practicing for the
Dana's was third racing death at
A native of
Dana would have turned 31 on April 15. He is survived by his wife Tonya.-John F. Gardner
GM: Turnaround Is Working
Final sales figures for March aren't due until next week, but General Motors is launching a pre-emptive strike this week in an effort to put a forward spin on a story - the success of its new products - that it believes has been overlooked in the seeming endless waves of grim news about finances and downsizing.
GM has scheduled a full-scale
briefing this week to tell its side of the story ahead of the sales
numbers. Those numbers are, according to an interim report on March sales
activity put together by J.D. Power and Associates, rather humdrum. GM's PR
offensive will argue that the new pricing strategy is working.
Steve Harris, GM vice president of communications, said GM believes some of the very positive aspects of the GM turnaround story have been overlooked in recent weeks as news organizations focused on the negative reports that swirled around the company.
GM: Turnaround Is Working
Company says new pricing plan, cuts are righting the ship despite looming engineering cuts.
Delphi Deadline Draws
The bankrupt Delphi Corp. faces some critical choices this week as the deadline for revising its labor agreement with the United Auto Workers fast approaches.
Even though the UAW has agreed to
a buyout deal,
Meanwhile, UAW officials from
president Ron Gettelfinger on down have been signaling for past couple of weeks
there was no way they could meet the deadline imposed by Miller. The UAW, with
help from GM, did succeed in negotiating a buyout agreement that will allow some
13,000 UAW members employed by
Delphi Deadline Draws Near (3/26/2006)
Will March 30 bring strikes or settlements?
Gas Prices Up as Refiners Brew Summer Gas
Gasoline prices continue their upward movement despite reports to rising inventories of crude oil. The national average for regular self-serve gasoline was $2.511 a gallon last week - nearly 12 cents higher than the previous week as refiners began producing summer blends.
"Prices in most parts of the region increased more than a penny per day during the past week, and we expect that prices will continue to rise for the next few weeks," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "More regions in the country are using ethanol in summer blend gasoline to meet federal clean-air standards, and prices are going up as supplies of this additive are being stretched."
It was also the same story across
Ford Reviving Hurricane Engine?
News reports that Ford's efforts
to develop a rival to Chrysler Group's HEMI engine could be revived. The
so-called "Hurricane" engine has been put back into development by Ford Americas
president Mark Fields as a means of keeping the company's F-Series truck atop
its class. The Hurricane project had been cut in Ford's massive budget slashing
last year; the News says the plan now
recognizes the need to stay competitive with power offerings not only from
Chrysler, but now from
Prospects for a new
Cobo Hall, home to the
DaimlerChrysler Kills Four-Door Smart Forfour
In the latest chapter of DaimlerChrysler's expensive foray into microcars, the company will spend another $1.2 billion on its smart division to cancel production of the forfour four-door it developed with Mitsubishi Motors. If approved by Mitsubishi, the end of the forfour will turn smart into a one-car brand - and will end the division's autonomy entirely, as operations will be folded into the Mercedes brand. The brand could be profitable at that point, DC officials say, even with the launch of the updated smart fortwo in 2007. Smart stopped building its Roadster model last year.
All Ford Dealers to Get SVTs When
When Ford rolls out its high-powered Shelby GT500 this summer, it will, for the first time, let all of its 3777 U.S, Ford Division dealers sell all vehicles badged as Special Vehicle Team (SVT) cars. In disclosing the change in a dealer-wide e-mail last week, Ford scrapped a process of limiting SVT vehicle sales to selected dealers. Only about 600 Ford dealers were franchised to sell all three SVT vehicles - Focus, Mustang, and the F-150 Lightning. Another 700 were certified for the Focus SVT alone.
The Mustang is the only survivor of the first SVT group. The Focus was discontinued in 2004, and plans to replace the Lightning with the Sport Trac Adrenalin were canceled as part of Ford's new "Way Forward" turnaround plan. A total of 144,994 SVT vehicles have been sold since the SVT program began in 1992.
Ford has not identified what
additional products could be added to the SVT portfolio, beyond the Mustang and
the Shelby GT500. Approximately 7200 SVT Mustangs have been sold each model
year. "This will further strengthen the Ford brand by enabling us to drive more
showroom traffic," said Darryl Hazel, president of Ford's customer service
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
The Dodge barrage continues. This Sunday, Dodge, the Chrysler Group's best-selling brand, will begin marketing efforts to communicate the global launch of its all-new 2007 Caliber. The Dodge Caliber is one of nine new vehicles launched by the brand in 2005 and 2006. "With bold styling, five-door functionality, space-efficient packaging, and clever innovations, the all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber is designed to appeal to global consumers looking for value in a vehicle that stands out from the crowd," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President - Global Marketing, Chrysler Group. "Starting at $13,985, Dodge Caliber is not your typical small car, and our target market is not your typical consumer."
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