Tough day for series champ

Updated: July 25, 2004, 5:01 PM ET
Associated Press

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Scott Dixon started and ended his day at The Milwaukee Mile with crashes.

Dixon hit the wall off the second turn during his third lap of morning practice. He switched to his backup car and again hit the wall between turns three and four during his second lap of qualifying for Sunday's Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225.

After the second crash, Dixon was taken to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee for precautionary X-rays on his right knee and left ankle.

"My knee and ankle are a bit sore from being bumped around,'' he said, but added he thought he would be ready for the next day's race.

With both cars damaged, Dixon's Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew planned to prepare another backup car. According to IndyCar rules, if he uses a car he didn't qualify in, Dixon will forfeit his 14th position and start at the back of the pack.

"It'll be tough to start from the back but the team gave us a really good car that was fairly quick on Friday,'' he said. "I'm sure we'll be able to do something with it.''

It's his race, folks
A.J. Foyt says fans aren't giving him any special treatment because Sunday's IndyCar Series race at The Milwaukee Mile is named after him.

A group of racing enthusiasts bought him breakfast Friday, but that's nothing new for the racing legend.

"I get swamped every day,'' he said before qualifying Saturday.

Track officials decided earlier this year to name the series' first race after Foyt to connect its centurylong past with its future, said Mark Perrone, The Milwaukee Mile's vice president and general manager.

Foyt, who won four Indianapolis 500s and was selected one of The Associated Press drivers of the century, was particularly good at the one-mile, oval track on the grounds of the Milwaukee State Fair.

He won four races in Indy cars and six in stock cars. His 46 Indy starts in Milwaukee are the most he made at any track.

"It's a very tricky little race track,'' he said. "It's a fun race track.''

And while he appreciates having the race named for him, his attention this weekend is on helping his grandson A.J. Foyt IV, who starts in 20th place Sunday.

"I'm just focused mainly on my race car more than I am on the race, because the race is just another race,'' he said. "(But) to have both of them, it's a big honor to have the race named after you and to also be racing in it.''

Teeing off
Darren Manning did a different type of driving to start his racing week in Milwaukee.

Manning participated in a pro-am tournament on Monday at the Brown Deer Park Golf Course. The event was part of the PGA's U.S. Bank Championship, which ends Sunday.

Manning's foursome, including PGA Tour pro Dennis Paulson, placed third. Manning, who finished 10th in Saturday's qualifying round at the Mile, has a nine handicap.

Miscellaneous
The Milwaukee Mile is the only track to hold an IndyCar Series Race and a Champ Car World Series race in 2004. Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Road Runner 250 on June 5. ... Vitor Meira last earned an IndyCar Series pole at Texas Motor Speedway in September 2002.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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