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CART, Texas Speedway Settle Suit

October 16, 2001

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Texas Motor Speedway’s suit against CART over cancellation of a race last Spring was settled Tuesday.

The inaugural Firestone Firehawk 600 was canceled two hours before it was to start April 29 because drivers complained of dizziness after practices earlier in the weekend.

The settlement was announced in a joint statement from Joseph F. Heitzler, chairman and CEO of Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc., and Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of track owner Speedway Motorsports Inc.

``We have reached a favorable agreement and are glad to have this behind us,″ Smith said. ``We’re very happy for this to be concluded.″

The parties have agreed to keep the terms of the deal confidential, according to the statement.

CART officials contended that 21 of 25 drivers experienced dizziness or disorientation during two days of practice at more than 230 mph on the 1 1/2-mile track. The track’s 24-degree banking was unprecedented for the Champ cars.

``We were disappointed to not be able to showcase our racing to all the fans who came out at Texas Motor Speedway,″ Heitzler said. ``We again apologize to our fans for any inconvenience caused by our decision not to race. However, under the circumstances, we believe it was absolutely the proper choice.″

In its lawsuit, filed in Denton County district court, the speedway had sought the return of the purse and sanction fee, along with compensation for expenses incurred, lost profits and other damages. No specific amount was given, but speedway general manager Eddie Gossage said it was ``millions of dollars.″

CART argued that the lawsuit was without merit.

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