Goodyear Gets Bad News
May 29, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Goodyear was hospitalized Sunday after suffering a fracture in a bone in his lower back in a Lap 8 accident with Sarah Fisher during the Indianapolis 500. He was expected to be released Monday but will stay at Methodist Hospital a few more days while he is fitted for a back brace.
"I'm a little sore but other than that I don't feel bad,” said the 41-year-old Goodyear. “I'm pretty stiff right now, which is to be expected, but it looks like the fracture can be treated with a brace.”
Goodyear was injured when his car was pinned up against the backstretch wall when Fisher lost control of her No. 15 car on the exit of Turn 2. Fisher got airborne briefly before striking Goodyear’s No. 52 car.
“With the cold temperatures, I was watching everyone slipping and sliding and squirming,” Goodyear explained. “I was just going to let everybody settle into a good pace.
“Unfortunately, I didn't really have a chance to do that before I got caught up with Sarah. When she spun in front of me, I had nowhere to go except into the wall.”
Goodyear needed help from the safety crew to climb out of his crumpled machine. He said he will wear a back brace for eight to 12 weeks, which would keep him out of the International Race of Champions event June 9 at Michigan International Speedway.
Indy TV Ratings Up: Perhaps it was the lack of a rain delay. Maybe it was the return of CART drivers.
Whatever the case may be, ratings for the Indianapolis 500 increased 18 percent this year, garnering a 5.3 rating and 14 share, meaning about 5.4 million households watched the event.
Last year’s rain-delayed race drew a 4.5 rating and 11 share. In 1999, the race received a 5.0 rating and 15 share.
This year, ABC was on the air from 12 to 5 p.m. EDT covering the race won by Helio Castroneves. Last year, with the rain delay, coverage was from 12 to 7:15 p.m. ET.
The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use. One rating point represents about 1.02 million households. The share is the percentage of homes with TVs in use.
Jaques, Boat Carrying On: When they entered the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jaques Lazier and Billy Boat weren’t sure if they’d compete after the Indianapolis 500.
Now they know they will.
Lazier, younger brother of defending Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Buddy Lazier, will take part in the next two IRNLS races at Texas Motor Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway thanks to a solid month at IMS and sponsor Classmates.
“We'll get 'em at Texas," Lazier said after his 22nd-place finish in the Indy 500 on Sunday. “I am excited to run with Airton (Dare) and TeamXtreme for the next two races.
“We have already learned so much from each other as drivers and we both did very well in last season’s TMS race. I have a feeling we will dominate in Texas.”
Lazier will drive the No. 77 G Force-Aurora for TeamXtreme. He will be teammates with Dare, who finished eighth on Sunday.
Boat faced a different situation. His low-budget Beck Motorsports team was secure only through Indy, but with his ninth-place finish resulting in a check for $336,325, he expects to be around for a few more races, at least.
“I'm very happy because this finish is going to enable us to keep this team going over the next races and hopefully finish out the entire rest of the season," said Boat, who drives the No. 98 Dallara-Aurora.
The next IRNLS event is the Casino Magic 500 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway.