Behind the Barriers: Indy 500 Media Day

The sidepods on Oriol Servia's KV Technology ride are now sporting sponsorship from Angie's List. The No 5 is now officially known as the "Angie's List Special." The Indianapolis-based Angie's List rates local service providers, including auto ...

The sidepods on Oriol Servia's KV Technology ride are now sporting sponsorship from Angie's List. The No 5 is now officially known as the "Angie's List Special." The Indianapolis-based Angie's List rates local service providers, including auto repair and home improvement contractors. Established 13 years ago, Angie's List now employs more than 350 people and provides service to more than 650,000 members across the country.

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The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (GPALB) and the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series, have agreed to a five-year contract that will have the cars and stars of the IndyCar Series racing on the streets of Long Beach beginning next year through 2013. "In 2009 the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will celebrate our 35th year with a new era," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the GPALB. "Needless to say, we're extremely happy that the IndyCar Series will continue our tradition of being America's greatest street race. The contract follows the recently announced extension of an agreement between the GPALB and the City of Long Beach to conduct an annual open-wheel race through the downtown city streets through 2015, with an additional five-year option.

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Firestone has provided 5,100 tires for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500, 35 sets (140 tires) for the entire month for each car. Teams starting after the first week receive a prorated number of tires. Two tire staggers are available; 0.35 and 0.44 of an inch. The tire being used at this event is the same specification as used last year. It's also the same as used at Motegi in 2007 and '08.

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Firestone unveiled today the new design for the Firestone Firehawk Cup at the Speedway. The cup will be awarded annually to the Firestone Indy Lights champion.

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J.R. Hildebrand employed his high school baseball skills while throwing out the first pitch for the May 20 Pittsburgh Pirates -- Indianapolis Indians game. Hildebrand played left and center field for Redwood (Calif.) High School during his freshman and sophomore years. "I hit the ball pretty well in batting practice," said Hildebrand. "They didn't let me warm up, so I didn't throw (the pitch) as hard as I thought I would, but it made it to the plate." Andersen Racing public relations specialist Linda Mansfield didn't fare as well. She was sporting a taped ankle on pit road today after tripping down several stairs during Hildebrand's visit to Victory Field.

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Julianne Hough danced her way into the hearts of IndyCar Series fans when she partnered with Helio Castroneves to win the ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" last November. Now Hough will lead the opening production of the 2008 IPL 500 Festival Parade when she joins 400 members of the of the Indianapolis Children's Choir as they perform the song "I Won't Dance/ Shall We Dance."

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Discovery Communications is launching June 4th Planet Green, a 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network. After the race, Planet Green will be taping the enormous clean up effort at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the "Green Team" gathers and sorts for recycling the trash left behind by race-goers.

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The winner of the 92nd Indianapolis 500 has been offered a ride in the fourth annual Old Spice Prelude to the Dream late model stock car race at Eldora Speedway. In the same department, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage has offered Dale Earnhart Jr. $100,000 to compete in the Bombardier Learjet 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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Marty Roth announced a new primary sponsor. LIDS, a brand of Indianapolis-based Hat World, Inc has signed as primary sponsor on Roth's car and an associate sponsor on John Andretti's Roth Racing entry.

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The preview was held today for the auction of the remaining assets of the Champ Car World Series. The auction, by order of the U.S. Bankruptcy court, will be held June 3rd. Auction details can be found at www.njgallivan.com.

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HVM Racing has launched a new website at www.hvm-racing.com. HVM's driver E.J. Viso was showing off his new helmet designed especially for the Indy 500. The helmet incorporates the Chinese symbol of power, strength and energy as well as a small cross under the visor. The helmet's base sports a field of blue bricks to represent the water that shortened last year's race.

IndyCar Series Sponsor and Manufacturer news

Honda announced earlier this week additional details regarding its new small hybrid scheduled for introduction in early 2009. An official name and full product details will be announced later this year. In addition to weight reduction, a significant cost reduction in Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) components will result in the most affordable hybrid vehicle to date. This dedicated hybrid vehicle will be offered as a 5-door hatchback with seating for five passengers and will employ an exterior design concept that evokes the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle. Along with the Civic Hybrid, the new vehicle will be produced at an expanded IMA production line at Honda's Suzuka factory in Japan. The new small gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle will have expected annual global sales of 200,000 units per year -- approximately 100,000 of which are bound for the North American m

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers John Andretti , Helio Castroneves , Oriol Servia , Marty Roth , Jim Michaelian , J.R. Hildebrand
Teams HVM Racing