Indy Racing League News and Notes -- Jan. 3, 2005

Today's IRL headlines
1. IRL Ads Featured Throughout Bowl Season
2. Rice, Herta Give Back To Team USA

1. IRL Ads Featured Throughout Bowl Season: The Indy Racing League is using the college football bowl season to showcase its new "Adrenaline. Amplified" advertising campaign.

Full-page ads ran on the back cover of game programs at the Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl on Dec. 23, Emerald Bowl in San Francisco on Dec. 31 and Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1.

Additional ads are planned at the Orange Bowl in Miami on Jan. 4 and Gridiron Classic all-star game in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 15. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will attend the Orange Bowl game between Oklahoma and Southern California on Jan. 4 in Miami.

The IRL ad featuring 2004 IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan also was used in a Capital One Bowl in-game promotion. A fan attending the game won an IRL prize package for having Kanaan's signature on the ad.

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2. Rice, Herta Give Back To Team USA: Buddy Rice says winning the 1997 Team USA Scholarship was an important step in his development as a race car driver. Now the 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner says it's important that he give back to the fund.

The Rahal Letterman Racing driver, who finished third in the 2004 IRL IndyCar® Series standings, is among the contributors to the Team USA Scholarship fund, which this year is sponsoring 18-year-old Oklahoma driver Slade Miller in six upcoming races of the Talley's New Zealand Formula Ford Championship. Andretti Green Racing's Bryan Herta, the 1991 winner of the award, also is a contributor.

"It seems like a long time ago now, but winning the Team USA Scholarship was a big help to my career," said Rice, 28, from Phoenix. "I met a lot of influential people, and racing overseas for the first time taught me a lot about what I needed to do for the future. It's taken awhile, but I'm really happy to be able to put something back into a program that has done so much for young drivers like me over the years."

IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers Jeff Simmons and Phil Giebler also are former winners of the Team USA Scholarship.

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The IRL IndyCar Series opens its 10th season of competition with the Toyota Indy 300 at 2 p.m. (EST) on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season also opens on March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 at 4 p.m. (EST) on March 17.

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