CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal inks 2003 new partnership

Team Rahal and Norwalk Furniture announce partnership for 2003 season. HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal, a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams ("CART"), and Norwalk Furniture Corporation, announced today a partnership for Norwalk ...

Team Rahal and Norwalk Furniture announce partnership for 2003 season.

HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal, a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams ("CART"), and Norwalk Furniture Corporation, announced today a partnership for Norwalk Furniture to be a major associate sponsor for the Team Rahal racing programs in 2003. Norwalk Furniture will participate in the Team Rahal Formula Atlantic program, the Team Rahal Indianapolis 500 program and the team's Champ Car efforts.

The cornerstone of the partnership will see the logo of Norwalk Furniture placed on the Formula Atlantic car of Team Rahal's newest driver, Danica Patrick. Patrick, the 20-year-old native of Roscoe, Illinois, ran five Barber Dodge Pro Series events in 2002. She is slated to run Team Rahal's inaugural entry in the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003.

"The opportunity to partner with a world-class racing team, like Team Rahal, and a talented young driver like Danica is a one of a kind opportunity for Norwalk Furniture," said Jim Gerken, Chairman and CEO of Norwalk Furniture Corporation. "Norwalk customers are people who express their distinctive lifestyles through finer home furnishings. Danica certainly is a unique individual in the world of motorsports and we are looking forward to having her represent Norwalk Furniture both on and off the track."

"We are pleased to join in this partnership with Norwalk Furniture for the upcoming season," said three-time CART champion and Team Rahal co-owner Bobby Rahal. "In my conversations with Bill Gerken and Jim Gerken, I have found them to be dedicated and driven individuals that have formulated aggressive plans for the continued growth of their company. These are the kind of like-minded partners that we seek here at Team Rahal."

"The chance to drive for Team Rahal has allowed me to advance my career as a driver," said Patrick. "Certainly being able to work with a great champion like Bobby and to be part of a championship caliber team is a dream come true for me. Now I have a chance to work with another world-class company in Norwalk Furniture. Being able to represent both Team Rahal and Norwalk Furniture Corporation on track and as a corporate spokesman is a wonderful opportunity for me both professionally and personally."

Norwalk Furniture Corporation was founded in 1902. It is a family owned business involved in the manufacturing and retailing of upholstered furniture.

Norwalk Furniture Corporation manufactures furniture under the Norwalk, Hickory Hill, J. Raymond and Joe Ruggiero brands, as well as providing private label furniture to its customers. Norwalk owns or franchises 86 customer upholstered furniture specialty stores under the Norwalk - The Furniture Idea trade name throughout the United States and Canada.

Team Rahal is a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). Headquartered in Hilliard, Ohio, the team owned by three-time CART Champion Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, currently fields a pair of Championship Cars for 1996 CART champion Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr. in the CART FedEx Championship Series as well as an entry for Vasser in the Indianapolis 500. The team recently signed rising open wheel star Danica Patrick to a multi-year driving contract. Patrick drove five races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2002 and will graduate to the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003 where she will pilot the Team Rahal entry. The 65-member team enjoys primary sponsorship from the Shell Oil Company and the Gigante Group in CART and the Miller Brewing Company for the Indy 500.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Danica Patrick , Michel Jourdain