Jane Miller: 'Champion, hero, friend' Kalitta remembered
Fans, friends and fellow racers will gather Thursday night at the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center in Norwalk, Ohio, to celebrate the life of drag racer Scott Kalitta, who was killed Saturday during a qualifying run at Englishtown, N.J.
The three Kalitta Top Fuel teams, who pulled out of Sunday's eliminations after the accident, will race this weekend at Norwalk.
The team released a statement from the family on Wednesday, calling Scott a champion, a hero and friend.
"Kalitta Motorsports will carry on and continue to race, because that's what we do," the statement continued, "and we feel certain Scott would want us to, but we obviously will never be the same, nor should we be."
Scott's cousin Doug drives one of the Kalitta Top Fuel cars.
"We grew up together," he said, "and I really can't imagine my life without him in it, but we will come together as a family and as a team and carry on in his honor."
Messages of condolence may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cards may be sent to Kalitta Air, 818 Willow Run Airport, Ypsilanti, MI 48198.
A private service for family will be held at a later date.
Not next year
Though there have been rumors that Formula One would return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year, the series' provisional 2009 schedule was released Wednesday minus a U.S. Grand Prix.
The situation is not hopeless - F1 schedules tend to be a bit flexible in their early stages and races have been known to be added later.
The week after the Canadian Grand Prix, which is June 7, is open and that was when the circuit visited Indianapolis the last several years.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is June 21.
Speedway spokesman Ron Green told The Associated Press the track would like to include an F1 race as part of its centennial celebration during 2009-2011 seasons.
The track opened in 1909, and the first Indianapolis 500 took place in 1911.
That’s more like it
Racing at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Sunday was 100 percent improved over last year's inaugural IndyCar event.
In fact, second-place finisher Marco Andretti called it the best race of the year so far.
The short track that thinks it's a superspeedway is a really nice venue and well supported by Iowans, in spite of all the troubles they've had recently.
It was a nice touch for Ganassi drivers Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon to donate their winnings, a gesture which received more notoriety when Wheldon won the race.
What a difference
John Andretti has been racing in the IndyCar Series since Indianapolis and finished 11th on Sunday.
The former NASCAR driver will race at Richmond on Saturday, a track which also appears on the Sprint Cup circuit.
In a teleconference this week, Andretti talked about some of the differences between the circuits.
"When NASCAR guys talk about aero push, they have no idea what aero push is," said Andretti. "Going 180 miles an hour around Iowa and getting behind somebody and you pick up a push and you're heading for that wall at 180, that's an aero push that will take your breath.
"And it just doesn't cost you the position sometimes, but it scares the heck out of you, too. So there's different challenges, but in a way it's all the same kind of racing."
Tiger Woods was scheduled to play in a golf tournament in the St. Louis area the first week of September. Because of his recent knee surgery, he won't be there.
But never fear - Gateway International Raceway is offering an alternative to all those who have been disappointed by Woods' no-show.
Fans who have tickets to the Saturday round of the BMW Championship at Bellerive Country Club and bring them to the Gateway ticket office will receive a free ticket to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Gateway 200 on Sept. 6.
Jane Miller is the Peoria Journal Star motorsports columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com.