Indy Racing League News and Notes 2008-06-18

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines 1. Indy Racing League to make donation to relief efforts in Iowa 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andrew Prendeville, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner Robbie Buhl teleconference 1. Indy Racing...

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
1. Indy Racing League to make donation to relief efforts in Iowa
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andrew Prendeville, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner Robbie Buhl teleconference

1. Indy Racing League to make donation to relief efforts in Iowa: The IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights visit the Iowa Speedway this weekend, becoming temporary residents and sharing in the challenges of the devastation that has occurred throughout the state as a result of the recent flooding.

As a small way of giving back to the local Iowa community, the Indy Racing League, IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams are combining efforts and will make a donation of $60,000 to the local Iowa chapter of the American Red Cross.

"It was only appropriate that we help anyway we can the people of Iowa who have been through so much in recent weeks," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the Indy Racing League. "We ask that you please keep the local fans and community in your thoughts and prayers through this very difficult time."

On Tuesday, a group of Iowa-based businesses announced a major effort to raise money for Iowans trying to recover from the recent flood and tornado disasters that have devastated more than 80 of the state's 99 counties. Race2Recovery is established under the Iowa Speedway Foundation, a non-profit tax-exempt entity.

"The recent weather has left many Iowans without food, water, or even a decent place to live," stated Jerry Jauron, President of Iowa Speedway. "The goal of all the businesses backing Race2Recovery is to jump-start the rebuilding efforts while letting the recent flood victims know they are not alone."

Joining the Iowa Speedway in spearheading the fundraising campaign are Iowa Telecom, Learfield Sports, WHO Radio and Vantus Bank, in conjunction with a number of other area businesses and radio stations, including DISH Network and Radio Iowa. With several well-known Iowa-based businesses coordinating the Race2Recovery efforts, the group ensures the funds raised will go directly to aid local communities as they begin to recover throughout the summer and fall.

With a goal of raising $1,000,000 before Sept. 20, Race2Recovery fundraising will thrust into high gear this weekend during the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. The Hawkeye Radio Network's Gary Dolphin and the Cyclone Radio Network's John Walters and others will broadcast live from the Speedway this Saturday morning between 9 am and 11 am. They will lead the call for donors to pitch in to help their friends, neighbors and fellow Iowans as they recover from the recent floods, tornados and storms.

In addition to donations being collected on-site at the Iowa Speedway, those wanting to donate online are directed to visit www.Race2Recovery.com.

With the IndyCar Series race this weekend, drivers are already in Iowa with media tours scheduled today in Des Moines (Bruno Junqueira) and Quad Cities (A.J. Foyt IV and Ed Carpenter). The speedway and league are working with the Red Cross in Des Moines and Quad Cities to have drivers go out and sign autographs for volunteer workers as well as those at shelters in addition to their previously scheduled media interviews. As of right now, most agencies in Des Moines & Quad Cities can only use trained volunteers to assist in the physical relief efforts.

On Thursday, the Ethanol Promotion & Information Council had previously scheduled to hold one of its pump tours in a suburb of Des Moines. Plans continue to move forward with the pump tour and EPIC is working with the Salvation Army to solicit donations on-site of non-perishable items to aid in disaster relief. Anyone stopping by to take advantage of the low fuel price is encouraged to donate canned food, clothing, etc.

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2. IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, Firestone Indy Lights driver Andrew Prendeville and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner Robbie Buhl were guests on today's Indy Racing League teleconference.

They said what...? Listed below are select quotes from today's teleconference.

Q. Tell us a little bit about the season so far and the progress you've made to be competitive week in and week out, especially since Rahal Letterman Racing is a one-car team

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: I couldn't be happier with the way we've been moving forward. Really, the whole Ethanol IndyCar team at Rahal Letterman Racing, we've blended really well with chemistry. Not only did we get Rookie of the Year last year, we won the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year this year, which with that group of rookies over a full month at that racetrack was a pretty big feather in our cap. But the biggest thing is we've been running in the top six. We've been there. We've shown that we're a threat at the front, and even more so at Texas.

Q. Talk about your expectations and your concerns for Iowa and Richmond, especially considering there's going to be heavy traffic in a hurry at both places.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: I know one thing; it will be a great race to watch. How it is in the car, I'm not sure yet. These tracks are definitely strong. These car count figures are unreal. The fact we show up to these racetracks with 26, 28 cars each weekend, it's an exciting time in the IndyCar Series. That's what I'm thrilled about. I said at the Indy 500 banquet, I'm proud to be an IndyCar driver right now. It's an exciting time for open-wheel racing in America. It's great to be a part of it, and be an American driver in that mix.

Q. We're running at back-to-back short tracks in Milwaukee and Iowa, but they're very different. Can you compare and contrast the two tracks for us.

ANDREW PRENDEVILLE: Milwaukee is definitely the toughest short oval that we do. You're not flat out all the way around, so you really have to drive the car and the car has to be set up right. Iowa is pretty unique. It's seven-eighths of a mile, but for us it's flat out all the way around because of the high banking. I think at Iowa things happen a last faster than you expect because it's such a short oval.

Q. You continue to run a very successful program called Racing Laps For Best Friends. Give us an overview of the program.

ANDREW PRENDEVILLE: The Racing Laps For Best Friends is a per-lap donation platform for Best Friends Animal Society. The program itself is you can donate a certain amount of dollars for every lap that I complete in any race. You can sign up for the entire season or you can sign up for individual races. All of that money goes to Best Friends Animal Society. … all the laps that I do, all the donations that come in for this race go directly to that help the people and animals in Iowa with all the floods going on.

Q. It really looks like things are coming together for the team. What's been the biggest reason behind the resurgence?

ROBBIE BUHL: You know, it's the old story: you have to walk before you can run. The walking in this case is good consistent race cars, solid finishes in the top 10, keep working on that format and, you know, then we'll be in the top five, top three, and the opportunities will present themselves. It's nothing that just kind of dropped out of thin air. It's been part of our plan through the wintertime to keep improving our engineering package, keep improving everything, all the components we have as a race team from just being prepared when you show up to a race weekend, having a plan in place, all those little things are happening.

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The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer on June 22 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Jeld-Wen 100 on June 21 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) June 26 on ESPN2 and live on www.indycar.com.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Robbie Buhl , A.J. Foyt IV , Bruno Junqueira , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Andrew Prendeville , Ed Carpenter
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing