Hornish, Foyt IV take center stage at Championship Celebration.

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2002 -- Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. and Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series champion A.J. Foyt IV will take center stage Saturday, Oct. 5 during the 2002 Indy Racing League Championship Celebration at the House of Blues in Chicago.

Hornish and Foyt will headline a long list of drivers, teams and manufacturers who will earn awards at the annual IRL end-of-season celebration. Actor Orlando Jones will serve as host of the gala, which starts at 7 p.m. (CDT) with a reception at the House of Blues, located in downtown Chicago.

The theme of the evening is "The Art of Racing," and no drivers showed more high-speed artistry in Indy Racing this season than Hornish and Foyt.

Two-time reigning champion Hornish and Pennzoil Panther Racing will receive the Indy Racing League Cup and a $1-million bonus for earning the IRL title by just 20 points over Helio Castroneves.

Foyt and the A.J. Foyt Racing team will receive the Firestone Firehawk Cup for winning the inaugural title in the Infiniti Pro Series, the new IRL development series.

A variety of other awards will be presented, including the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award, the IRL Chief Mechanic of the Year Award, IRL Promoter of the Year Award, IRL Achievement Award, IRL Special Recognition Award and a host of major manufacturer and sponsor awards.

Presentations also will be made to the second- and third-place drivers in the final IRL standings, Marlboro Team Penske teammates Castroneves and Gil de Ferran, and the second- and third-place drivers in the Infiniti Pro Series, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Ed Carpenter.

Host Jones has appeared in more than 20 motion pictures since 1997, including "Evolution," "Bedazzled" and "The Replacements." He also earned acclaim for his television work on "Mad TV" and in the "Make 7-Up Yours" advertising campaign for 7-Up soft drink.

House of Blues, Chicago is a 55,000 square-foot multifaceted entertainment venue located on the Chicago River in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is just two blocks from the famed Magnificent Mile shopping district and walking distance from beautiful Lake Michigan.

The event will use the entire venue starting with a reception in the eclectic Mississippi Delta-inspired restaurant and bar area. Following the reception, the festivities will move into the Music Hall for the main event, featuring a social atmosphere during the awards presentation and entertainment. The Music Hall is modeled after the elaborate Estavovski Opera House in Prague.

The event is by invitation only. Highlights from the Championship Celebration will be televised at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday, Oct. 18 on ESPN2.