IndyLights driver Prendevile Best Friends update

Homeless Animals Win Through Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends Program INDIANAPOLIS, May 18 - Last year the mayor of Indianapolis was so impressed with race car driver Andrew Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends program, he made...

Homeless Animals Win Through Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends Program

INDIANAPOLIS, May 18 - Last year the mayor of Indianapolis was so impressed with race car driver Andrew Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends program, he made him an honorary citizen of the city.

Now Prendeville is back in town to drive the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5 in Friday's Firestone Indy Lights race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Like last year, he's tied animal welfare in with his racing. This year those efforts include:

* the opportunity for fans to make tax-deductible per-lap donations to benefit Best Friends at racinglapsforbestfriends.com; * a raffle to benefit Best Friends at the same Web site, with prizes of sessions at the Bertil Roos Racing School; * a free "PetStop" appearance on Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Indianapolis Animal Care & Control, 2600 S. Harding St.; and * a "booth" at the track via the Racing Laps for Best Friends trailer in the parking lot near IMS's Hall of Fame Museum beginning Wednesday.

All of these efforts were designed to encourage animal adoptions and volunteerism at local shelters like Indianapolis Animal Care & Control; to help people become more aware of the work of their local shelters and the Best Friends Animal Society; to provide exposure to the Racing Laps for Best Friends program centered on the racinglapsforbestfriends.com Web site; and to promote the Firestone Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at IMS on Friday and the Indy 500 there on Sunday, May 25.

What is Best Friends?

The Best Friend Animal Society is a not-for-profit animal welfare organization that strives for a day when there will be no more homeless pets. Best Friends assists animal shelters around the world with their individual programs, as well as operates its own animal shelter in Kanab, Utah.

On any given day Best Friends cares for approximately 1,500 animals at its sanctuary. Many of the animals there have special needs and couldn't be placed by other groups. Best Friends assisted many animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina, including Ballsy, a dog that Prendeville sponsors. It is also caring for 22 of the pit bulls formerly owned by ex-NFL player Michael Vick.

Tuesday's PetStop

At the PetStop, fans can get Prendeville's autograph, see the Racing Laps for Best Friends show car, have their photos taken with the car and Prendeville, receive information about animal welfare topics, tour the shelter, purchase Best Friends merchandise and raffle tickets, and make per-lap donations to Best Friends for the Firestone Freedom 100 and subsequent Firestone Indy Lights races. Pet adoptions can also be made at the shelter during the PetStop; standard adoption requirements and fees apply.

The Firestone Freedom 100

If a fan would donate $1 per lap for Friday's Firestone Freedom 100 and Prendeville completes all 40 laps of the race, the fan would make a $40 donation to Best Friends. Per-lap donations can be made in any amount starting at 25 cents.

Fans can see how Prendeville does in Friday's race in person, on indycar.com/indylights, or on TV.

There are two 45-minute practice sessions for the Firestone Indy Lights series at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday. Qualifying will be held at 1:15 p.m. that day.

The 40-lap race will get the green flag at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Miller Lite Carb Day. It will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. later that day.

All times are Eastern.

-credit: restart communications

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Series Charity
Drivers Andrew Prendeville