IRL: Richmond title sponsor announced

RICHMOND, Va., Monday, May 21, 2001 -- Officials at Richmond International Raceway and SunTrust announced today a partnership to sponsor the inaugural Indy Racing Northern Light Series event at Richmond International Raceway on June 30. The ...

RICHMOND, Va., Monday, May 21, 2001 -- Officials at Richmond International Raceway and SunTrust announced today a partnership to sponsor the inaugural Indy Racing Northern Light Series event at Richmond International Raceway on June 30. The SunTrust Indy Challenge will be the second night race of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season. It's also the first race in series history on a track shorter than 1 mile, as Richmond International Raceway is a ¾-mile oval.

"Richmond International Raceway is excited to begin a new partnership with a company as significant as SunTrust," said Doug Fritz, president of Richmond International Raceway. "We believe the Indy Racing Northern Light Series is a great series and that they will put on a tremendous show for all of the fans.

"The Extreme Speed, Extreme Excitement Weekend has been the talk of the town since we first announced it, and now with SunTrust joining as the Indy Racing League event sponsor, we will be able to make this weekend one of the premier open-wheel motorsport events in the country." SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) is the nation's ninth-largest commercial banking organization. The company operates through an extensive distribution network in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include traditional deposit and credit services, and trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries, the company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage and capital markets services.

"SunTrust is excited to have the opportunity to bring America's premier open-wheel racing series to this region and introduce the Indy Racing Northern Light Series to short-track racing," said Bill Thornton, SunTrust senior vice president of marketing. "SunTrust, through its partnership with Richmond International Raceway, looks forward to bringing the cars and stars of the Indy 500 to the Mid-Atlantic region so people in Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and surrounding states will have the opportunity to attend a race that, in the past, would have required a trip to Indianapolis." The SunTrust Indy Challenge is the Indy Racing League's first visit to "The Action Track" at Richmond. The event will consist of 250 laps under the lights. During a test session in April, 2000 Indy Racing champion Buddy Lazier lapped the ¾-mile oval faster than 160 mph.

"The SunTrust Indy Challenge will, in fact, be a challenge due to the nature of the .75-mile facility," said Indy Racing standout Robbie Buhl. "This will be the tightest track on which Indy Racing cars have ever raced. With the speeds that we'll be running, it should be incredibly exciting racing. If I wasn't there competing, I would be there watching."

-RIR

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Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier