IPS: IRL: Happenings on Friday morning at Homestead

With a light mist delaying practice for the Indy Racing League's IndyCar and Menards Infiniti Pro Series this morning, the focus is on partnership announcements. Practice for the season-starting Toyota Indy 300 has been rescheduled to begin at...

With a light mist delaying practice for the Indy Racing League's IndyCar and Menards Infiniti Pro Series this morning, the focus is on partnership announcements.

Practice for the season-starting Toyota Indy 300 has been rescheduled to begin at 12:15PM in two groups. Following Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice between 2-2:30PM the Indy cars will have a second opportunity to test their racers prior to Saturday qualifying.

Practice for the season-starting Toyota Indy 300 is set to begin at 12:15PM in two groups. Following Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice between 2- 2:30PM the Indy cars will have a second opportunity to test their racers prior to Saturday qualifying.

While waiting for the weather to clear Philip Morris USA's Marlboro brand confirmed it will take over as sponsor for the Marlboro Pole Award for all races except the 89th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 29th.

In addition to this new $160,000 program, Marlboro will continue with its Lap Leader Award at the seminal Brickyard race, giving $50,000 to the driver who leads the largest number of 200 laps around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Denise Ferry, director of Marlboro Racing conveyed athe company's pleasure at her product's new affiliation: "We're very pleased to announce Philip Morris USA's participation in the IRL pole award program for the 2005 season.

"As part of our sponsorship in the IndyCar Series we're glad the opportunity was available to take ownership of this season-long program," Ferry continued. "As part of our partnership with the League one of our goals is to goals is to participate in a program that recognizes outstanding achievement on a race-by-race basis. We feel this program meets with our objectives."

The pole award had been sponsored since 1997 by credit card marketing firm MBNA. Ken Ungar, senior vice president of business affairs for the Indy Racing League noted, "We are pleased that Philip Morris USA has decided to participate in the pole award this season. It's an award coveted by teams, as it recognizes and rewards those who push the competition to the highest level, both for each race as well as for the Championship."

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Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Philip Morris