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CART Cancels Fontana Race

October 30, 2003|Shav Glick | Times Staff Writer

After failing to find an available alternate, CART officials announced Wednesday that the postponed King Taco 500 scheduled for Sunday at California Speedway had been canceled.

The race, last of the CART season and probably the last under the CART administration, was postponed Tuesday by the Speedway because of the wildfires burning in and around San Bernardino County.

"CART Champ Car regrets that the event has been canceled and we offered to explore every possible avenue, including running the event on Monday or Tuesday at Phoenix International Raceway -- which is owned by California Speedway's parent company International Speedway Corp. -- or running at the California Speedway sometime next week," Chris Pook, CART president, said in a statement.

CART, a publicly owned corporation, is expected to be purchased by Open Wheel Racing Series LLC next month and taken private.

Paul Tracy, a Canadian who lives in Las Vegas, will be crowned champion at an awards banquet Tuesday night in Palm Springs. He clinched the title over Bruno Junqueira of Brazil on Sunday in Australia.

Ticket-holders for weekend races were given four options -- apply money toward 2004 tickets, donate money to the American Red Cross Southern California Fire Disaster Relief fund, trade for a ticket to this weekend's NASCAR race in Phoenix, or get a refund.

NASCAR also announced the cancellation of Saturday's King Taco 200 Winston West race. Scott Lynch, 23, of Burley, Idaho, was declared champion, as the Fontana race was the last on the schedule. He became only the second rookie to win the championship. His margin over runner-up Mike Duncan of Lamont, Calif., was only 14 points, with Steve Portenga of Bakersfield another 19 back in one of the closest finishes in series history.

The top 15 Winston West drivers in points will compete Nov. 6-8 in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale against the top 15 from the Busch North series.

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