Fisher Freed From Walker Racing

Sarah Fisher, one of the Indy Racing League’s most marketable drivers, is now free from her contract with team owner Derrick Walker after sitting out the first three races of the 2002 season with sponsorship woes.

The terms of the agreement to separate were not disclosed, though it was described as amicable.

“Derrick Walker and I have agreed to go our separate ways,” Fisher said. “During the time I was there, Walker Racing almost became a second family for me. But we haven’t been racing in the IRL this season and that is what I need to do. I learned an enormous amount during my time at Walker Racing and I will always be grateful to Derrick for that.”

Fisher, 21, drove for Walker Racing during the 2000 and 2001 IRL seasons and scored her best finish in 2001 with a second place run at Miami-Homestead Speedway. She also qualified on the front row of the IRLs’ inaugural race at Richmond International Raceway. The Columbus, Ohio native scored her first podium finish with a third-place run at Kentucky Speedway in 2000. Fisher finished 18th in the IRL points standings in both 2000 and 2001.

Fisher was voted the IRL’s most popular driver during the 2001 season, but has been sidelined so far in 2002 since the Walker Racing team has been unable to obtain sponsorship for her to race in the IRL.

The release from her contract comes in time for Fisher to find a ride for the Indianapolis 500, the pinnacle event of the IRL and open wheel racing in America. Though the entry deadline for the Indy 500 was last week many teams have filed entries with drivers listed as “to be announced.” Among those teams are Kelley Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Blair Racing, Hemelgarn Racing, PDM Racing, and A.J. Foyt Enterprises. Derrick Walker Racing also filed an entry for the May 26 race.

Fisher’s next race will be the 26th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at Long Beach, Calif. on April 13. Sarah will be competing against 16 other pros and celebrity drivers in identically-prepared Toyota Celica cars.

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