Champ Car owners file Chapter 11; IRL deal likely OK

The Baltimore Sun

The owners of the Champ Car World Series have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just two weeks after agreeing to an open-wheel unification plan with the Indy Racing League.

The filing in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, dated Wednesday, states that Champ Car has spent tens of millions of dollars in the past four years to maintain the series and that its takeover by the IRL is in the best interest of the sport. The bankruptcy filing will not affect the IRL deal, said Jeff Hokanson, a lawyer representing Champ Car.

The filing indicates debts of up to $10 million.

Orioles -- Orioles Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Brooks Robinson have teamed up to launch their own wine labels for charity. Eddie Murray 504 Cabernet and Brooks Robinson Chardonnay should hit shelves in May. Each bottle will cost $17, and all of the proceeds will benefit the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Horse racing -- Lou Raffetto, former Maryland Jockey Club president, was named chief executive of the Fair Hill-based National Steeplechase Association on Thursday. "I'm excited about it, to be able to work with individuals who have a true passion in racing," Raffetto said. ... Heros Reward was named 2007 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year in the annual poll conducted by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

Track -- Sprinter Marion Jones has begun her six-month sentence in a Texas federal prison for lying to investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs and her role in a check-fraud scam.

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