CHAMPCAR/CART: Roger Penske Grand Marshal for Nazareth race

NAZARETH, PA -- Roger Penske, who 15 years ago transformed Nazareth Speedway from a dormant, dirt track into a state-of-the-art racing facility, will act as Grand Marshal for the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota CART FedEx Championship...

NAZARETH, PA -- Roger Penske, who 15 years ago transformed Nazareth Speedway from a dormant, dirt track into a state-of-the-art racing facility, will act as Grand Marshal for the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota CART FedEx Championship Series race on May 6.

As Grand Marshal, Penske will give drivers the command to start their engines and participate in special pre-race ceremonies.

"We are honored to have Roger Penske serve as the Grand Marshal for our CART race," said Nazareth Speedway president Craig Rust. "It was Roger's vision that made Nazareth Speedway a reality and brought world class CART and NASCAR racing to the Lehigh Valley. In our minds there is no better person to act as Grand Marshal for our final CART race than Roger Penske."


Gil de Ferran, Roger Penske celebrate Penske's 100th win. Photo: Motorsport.com

Last year, Gil de Ferran of Team Penske won the CART race at Nazareth Speedway for the team's 100th Champ Car victory. de Ferran joined an elite group of drivers who won for Penske at Nazareth, including Danny Sullivan (1988), Emerson Fittipaldi (1989, 1990 and 1995) and Paul Tracy (1994 and 1997).

"That was a terrific day," Penske said of de Ferran's win last May. "We got the monkey off our backs. It was the igniter that got us the consistency we needed to take us to the title. It was a real morale builder."

Penske is hoping for another victory at Nazareth this season, especially since it is the last CART race at the historic one-mile oval. CART has decided not to renew its contract with Nazareth after 2001, but Penske is urging fans to support the event. "Nazareth is a great venue with a solid fan base. I hope fans will support the track with its other events well into the future and I hope they also support Nazareth Speedway for its last CART event," Penske said.

"We are appreciative of Roger's support and everything he has done for Nazareth Speedway," Rust said. "Despite this being our last CART race, we are looking forward to hosting NASCAR and other world-class racing events well into the future."

Tickets are still available for all three days of The Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota on

May 4-6. Race action on Friday, May 4 includes CART practice, Toyota Atlantic practice and USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series qualifying. Saturday will feature CART qualifying, Toyota Atlantic qualifying and the USAC race. The weekend is highlighted by Sunday's CART and Toyota Atlantic races.

Tickets are only $5 on Friday and $30 on Saturday, with kids 12 and under admitted free on both days. Tickets are also still available for Sunday from $45-80. Children's tickets are now available for Sunday for only $15 with the purchase of one $50 adult ticket. For more information, call the Nazareth Speedway ticket office at 888-629-7223 or 610-759-8800.

-NS

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Paul Tracy , Danny Sullivan , Emerson Fittipaldi , Roger Penske
Teams Team Penske