Auto Racing Notebook: Truesports to close down after season

By BRUCE MARTIN United Press International

The Truesports IndyCar team will close its doors following the 1992 PPG IndyCar World Series, but team owner Barbara Trueman will remain in the sport as a sponsor. Truesports won the 1986 Indianapolis 500 and two CART PPG Indy Car World Series titles when Bobby Rahal was its driver.

Trueman's company, Red Roof Inns, Inc., will become an associate sponsor for the Rahal/Hogan IndyCar team for the 1993 season. The current Truesports team of driver Scott Pruett will not field a car beginning next season.


'Even though I will no longer be a team owner, I am still committed to IndyCar racing through Bobby Rahal and Rahal/Hogan Racing,' Trueman said. 'Being on the sponsor side is definitely more comfortable, making engineering decisions is not my expertise.'

Trueman has agreed to lease the Truesports Company race shop to Rahal and his partner, St. Louis business Carl Hogan. Rahal and Hogan will move their IndyCar team from Indianapolis to the Hilliard, Ohio, facility following the 1992 season.


'My relationship with the Trueman family has gone back many years, and leaving Truesports (in 1988) was the hardest decision I've had to make, but coming back has been the easiest,' Rahal said. 'For me, everything has come full circle.'

SCHEDULE: After a one-week break, the IndyCar circuit returns to the track in the Texaco/Havoline 200 at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisc. The NASCAR Winston Cup series will take a one-week break before the Aug. 29 Bud 500 at Bristol, Tenn. It will be the first of seven-straight races for the NASCAR Winston Cup series.NEWLN: ------

RAHAL LEADS POINTS: Bobby Rahal continues to hold a large advantage in the current PPG Indy Car World Series following the Cleveland Grand Prix. Rahal placed fourth in the 85-lap contest on the Burke Lakefront Airport circuit after qualifying third.

Rahal has 148 points, 31 ahead of Al Unser Jr. and 32 more than Michael Andretti.NEWLN: ------

MICHAEL ANDRETTI HOPES TO THREE-PEAT: Defending IndyCar PPG Cup champion Michael Andretti is going for his third straight win at Elkhart Lake. The Kmart/Havoline Lola driver will have his chance to win his fifth consecutive IndyCar event in Wosconsin. Andretti has won on'th% scenic four-mile road course the last two years, and backed that up with first-place finishes on the Milwaukee Mile in 1991 and '92.


'Elkhart Lake has always been one of my favorite tracks,' said Andretti, also the winner at Portland and Toronto this season. 'In fact, it's where I first drove an Indy Car, Dad's (Mario Andretti) when he tested there in 1983.

'It's hard to know why a driver has success at certain tracks and not at others. Dad and I have both done well at Elkhart Lake (Mario won in 1983, '84 and '87) and some other places. Why we don't have the luck at Indianapolis, on the other hand, I don't have the answer to that question.'NEWLN: ------

SULLIVAN CONFIDENT ABOUT ROAD AMERICA: In Danny Sullivan's eight IndyCar races at Road America since 1984, his average starting position is third with a record four poles (1985, 1988, 1989, 1990), including one win (1989). Sullivan has also led the Road America event in six of the last eight years.

'Last year, we ended our streak of consecutive poles here at three,' said Sullivan, the 1989 Road America winner. 'You need lots of horsepower and no downforce to get around fast and we just didn't have the power last year.

'This (Road America) is always a balancing act between speed and fuel mileage. If you find the right combination, you get both. If not, you're in trouble because there are so many good teams, someone will get the right combination.'NEWLN: ------


LOOSE LUG NUTS: By winning the IROC XVI championship, NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd becamse the first driver to win the series without winning a race since A.J. Foyt in IROC II and IV. Rudd finished second behind Al Unser, Jr. in last Saturday's race at Michigan International Speedway, and won $175,000 as the series champion...Bill Elliott now holds a 37- point lead over Davey Allison in the Winston Cup points standings. Elliott entered last Sunday's Champion Spark Plug 400 at Michigan with a 17-point lead.

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