IRL champ sets sights on future

first_imgFONTANA — Dan Wheldon needs to find a new dream. After accomplishing both of his immediate goals winning the IndyCar Series championship and taking the Indianapolis 500 crown Wheldon will have to re-evaluate his position in the racing world. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “You just have to wait and see,” he said. “I think it’s going to be announced shortly.” Car owner Michael Andretti said he envied Wheldon’s dominating season, in which he won six races and became the first driver to win both the Indy 500 and the series title. “Dan had a dream season for sure, one that I dreamt about when I was driving,” Andretti said. Foyt leaves IRL on bad note A.J. Foyt IV knew he would pack up his IRL gear for good after the race. But he didn’t know he’d be packing for a trip to the hospital, too. “You can be forgotten very quickly if you don’t continue to win,” Wheldon said after his championship celebration Sunday at California Speedway. “I’d just like to keep winning as much as I possibly can.” It’s unclear where exactly Wheldon might get his next victory. The driver is currently unsigned for next season, although he said he’d like to return to Andretti Green Racing, which has won the last two championships. center_img Foyt, who is leaving the IRL to try his hand in NASCAR’s Busch Series, was carried from the track on a stretcher after slamming into the Turn 2 wall and required an ambulance trip to Loma Linda University Medical Center. The driver initially complained of knee pain and was given a CAT scan at the hospital. But Foyt was released by the time the race ended. Wrecks were a familiar sight in Foyt’s IRL career. He failed to finish six events this season. A little shuteye? After an exhausting week of running around Hollywood, Danica Patrick didn’t mind hopping in her car a little early. Patrick had her helmet on a full 15 minutes before the drivers started their engines. “I figure it’s not the worst thing in the world to sit here and relax for a few minutes,” Patrick said on her team radio. “We’ll leave you alone; take a little nap,” one of her crew members said. “That’s a little too alone,” Patrick replied. I can’t see a thing Bryan Herta’s car was just starting to get good at lap 50, when the driver of the No. 7 car suddenly couldn’t see a thing. The visor on Herta’s helmet flipped up, blasting Herta’s face with the wind’s full force and moving the rest of the helmet up his head. Herta’s car slowed while the driver tried to regain his visor and sight, and other drivers barely dodged a possible wreck. “My visor blew so far up, I couldn’t feel it,” Herta said on his team radio. “I couldn’t see anything.” To make matters worse, Herta was left without any more tear-offs, the plastic sheets drivers can remove as a method of cleaning dirt and tire debris. Herta ended up finishing in 11th place as the final car on the lead lap. Walk of Fame Driver-turned-IRL car owner Adrian Fernandez was inducted into California Speedway’s Walk of Fame Sunday morning for the second time. Fernandez won last year’s IndyCar Series race at the track. A few yards away from his first plaque, Fernandez gingerly planted his feet in the wet cement and signed, “Adrian, No. 5,” then added a smiley face for good measure. But Fernandez nearly didn’t get a chance to put his shoe prints in the Walk. Minutes before Fernandez arrived, a security guard forgot to watch where he was going and oops! stepped right into the cement. Fortunately, quick-thinking officials smoothed the grey glob before Fernandez arrived. Tire tracks Due to a morning rain shower, track officials moved the running of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series California 100 until after the IndyCar race. Wade Cunningham won the race by 0.106 seconds over Jeff Simmons and third-place Travis Gregg. … Cunningham’s win also clinched the Infiniti Pro Series championship. … As usual, there was a various assortment of stars to see. Former quarterback John Elway waved the green flag and skateboarder Tony Hawk was the grand marshal. Also, Alfonso Ribeiro of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” fame watched the race from the pits, and race winner Dario Franchitti had movie star-wife Ashley Judd on hand. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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