IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2005-11-29

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Nov. 29, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Wheldon nominated for another award 2. Castroneves Earns Third Win As Car Owner, Opens New Restaurant 3. Festa part of hometown parade 1. Wheldon nominated for...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Nov. 29, 2005

Today's IRL headlines
1. Wheldon nominated for another award
2. Castroneves Earns Third Win As Car Owner, Opens New Restaurant
3. Festa part of hometown parade

1. Wheldon nominated for another award: 2005 IRL IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon is among 10 finalists for the Economaki Champion of Champions Award presented by Rockett Brand Racing Fuel and National Speed Sport News.

The winner will be announced Dec. 1 at the National Speed Sport News booth at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando, Fla.

"It was tough to narrow the field," said Jim Savas, Publisher of National Speed Sport News. "All our nominees are clearly worthy of the award, but in the end, only one can take the title. We're very excited about our finalists, in any event. They truly represent all that is so great about motorsports."

The other finalists include: Max Angelelli, Grand Am Road Racing Series; Sebastien Bourdais, Champ Car World Series; Damion Gardner, USAC-CRA Sprint Car Series; Steve Kinser, World of Outlaws Sprint Series; Billy Moyer, World of Outlaws Late Model Series; Fred Rahmer, Open Wheel; Tony Schumacher, NHRA Top Fuel; Dave Steele, USAC Silver Crown and Tony Stewart, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

2. Castroneves Earns Third Win As Car Owner, Opens New Restaurant: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves earned his third win as an owner of NasrCastroneves Racing when Hoover Orsi won the Brazilian Stock Car V8 Championship season finale at Interlagos in Sao Paulo on Nov. 27.

Orsi, who also won earlier this season at Londrina Parana and Interlagos, earned a third-place finish in the Championship point standings. Teammate Juliano Moro finished 26th in the Championship.

NasrCastroneves Racing is in its second year of competition in the Brazilian Stock Car V8 Championship. The cars are modified Chevrolet Astras, a popular model in Brazil.

Castroneves also has been busy with his Brazilian business interests. Two weeks ago, the 30 year-old Brazilian was in Rio de Janeiro to open his seventh Burger King restaurant at the Super Shopping Osasco mall.

Last year, Castroneves partnered with nine colleagues to bring the global Burger King franchise to Brazil.

They opened the nation's first Burger King at the Ibirapuera Mall in Sao Paulo. Castroneves and his partners are planning to open a total of 50 stores over the next four years.

3. Festa part of hometown parade: Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver Chris Festa will accompany an Indy Racing League show car on a float Dec. 3 in the annual Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade.

Festa, 20, will return to his hometown for the parade from Florida State University where he is studying marketing. He will be featured in a segment on WSB-TV's parade broadcast, which last year attained a 6.8 rating. Festa recorded six top-five finishes in 2005, including a second at Phoenix, on his way to sixth in the season championship.

***

The IRL IndyCar Series opens the 2006 season with the Toyota Indy 300 on March 26, 2006 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. The fifth season of Menards Infiniti Pro Series competition also opens on March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

-irl-

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