Thursday, September 18, 2008

Disabled Activist Suing Infineon

A disabled rights activist has filed a lawsuit against Infineon Raceway, alleging that the track is in violation of the the Americans with Disability Act, due to non-compliant seats, parking, infrastructure, ticketing procedures, restrooms and other issues.

Richard Skaff --who is paraplegic -- filed the suit September 8th in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, after attending a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon in June, and an NHRA drag race in July.

In the suit, he claims the track failed to provide the required number of handicapped seating, that the seating was in the most expensive areas of the speedway, and placed where fences, handrails and other fans resulted in obstructed views. He said disabled parking areas were inadequate, that the track did not provide accessible paths to and from shuttles, and that he was unable to access ticket windows, displays, concessions and vendor areas, since many of those amenities were too high for him to reach. He also said restrooms were not compliant with state and local laws.

Skaff is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, and for the court to order track into compliance. Infineon Raceway President Steve Page said he believes the facility complies with all applicable laws, and promised a vigorous defense against what he called, “meritless claims."

Loomis Backs Hendrick: Former Hendrick Motorsports crewchief Robbie Loomis says Rick Hendrick is correct in his belief that Dale Earnhardt Jr. needs to focus more and vent less in his raceday communication with crewchief Tony Eury, Jr. Loomis, now the Executive Vice President of Racing Operations for Petty Enterprises, said it’s difficult for a crewchief to fix a mishandling racecar after its driver loses his cool.

"It's extremely tough for a crew chief,” he said. “Watch the lap times of a driver in a race, and it's almost like watching a heart monitor. When their heart rate gets up and they start…cussing and ranting and raving, their lap times are slower and slower. As soon as they settle down a little bit, the car will come back.”

Loomis said he was not surprised that Hendrick got involved last weekend at NHMS, saying the multi-team owner has always done whatever it takes to get the most out of his employees. “The success of your organization starts at the top, with the team owner,” Loomis said. ”The world got to see this past weekend what I got to live for six years; having Rick Hendrick as a car owner, (and) what touch he has.”

And Finally: Las Vegas Motor Speedway has invited the Germain Racing and Red Horse Racing Craftsman Truck Series teams to settle the grudge match that resulted in fisticuffs last weekend in New Hamphshire Motor Speedway.

The track has offered to host a tug of war as part of Saturday night’s prerace ceremonies for the Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350. General Manager Chris Powell issued the invitation, saying, "I'm sure both of those teams left New Hampshire feeling that nothing was settled…and we want to afford (them) the opportunity to get their aggression out before the race. We're happy to supply the rope."

No word on whether the teams will accept the invitation.

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