INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- May 1, 2006 Today's IRL headlines 1. Roth intends to graduate to IndyCar Series 2. Carpenters, dogs strut stuff at IMS 3. Wilson joins Kenn Hardley Racing 1. Roth intends to graduate to IndyCar Series:...
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- May 1, 2006
Today's IRL headlines
1. Roth intends to graduate to IndyCar Series
2. Carpenters, dogs strut stuff at IMS
3. Wilson joins Kenn Hardley Racing
1. Roth intends to graduate to IndyCar Series: Marty Roth recently was married, recently upgraded his pilot's license and recently sold his Indy Pro Series equipment.
The latter has the most bearing on his auto racing future. The Toronto native said he will move up to the IndyCar Series full time, beginning with the 90th Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Roth has competed in the past two 500-Mile Races, and has entered the No. 25 Roth Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Practice begins May 9.
"It's been a very busy first quarter," Roth said. "Making the decision to move to the IndyCar Series will allow our team to focus only on one car and one series. This year, Honda, being the sole engine provider, has certainly re-shuffled the deck, thereby making it economically viable to run in races other than Indy 500.
"This is the first time in 90 years a spec engine will be competing in the Indy 500. I think this will be a fantastic opportunity for a lot of teams and drivers."
Roth became the first Indy Pro Series owner-driver to move up to the IndyCar Series when he qualified for the Indianapolis 500 in 2004. He started 32nd and finished 24th. Last year, he placed 31st after handling issues forced him to retire after 47 laps.
Roth formed Roth Racing before the 2004 Indy Pro Series season after purchasing the equipment of reigning series champion Panther Racing (Mark Taylor behind the wheel). Last year, he had a career-best second place at Chicagoland Speedway to complement 12 other top-10 finishes.
In three Indy Pro Series races this year, he started fifth and finished ninth on the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval and was 14th and 12th on the St. Petersburg (Fla.) temporary street course.
Early in his career, Roth competed in various classes of motorcycles.
Roth has used his racing status to assist Shoot For A Cure Moto-Sport, a program from the American and Canadian Spinal Research Organizations (ASRO/CSRO) that helps raise funding and awareness for the improvement in quality of life for those challenged with spinal cord injuries.
2. Carpenters, dogs strut stuff at IMS: Mini rain bonnets and umbrellas protected some dogs from the elements during the third annual Mutt Strut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 30. Bentley and Roscoe, however, braved the rain along with owners Ed and Heather Carpenter.
The IndyCar Series driver and his bride of five months participated in the fund-raiser that generated more than $110,000 for the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Bentley, an 85-pound Rottweiler, and Roscoe, an 8-pound Chihuahua, seemed to enjoy the 2.5-mile walk around the historic oval. On May 9, Carpenter will be driving the No. 20 Vision Racing Honda-powered Dallara on the track in preparation for WorldPoints Visa Pole Day Qualifying on May 13.
"My family is dog lovers, so it is always fun to do stuff with our dogs, but it is just a great event to help the Humane Society and raise some money for them, plus my dogs love to socialize," Ed Carpenter said. "I think it is fun to see all of the different types of dogs, and to let our dogs make some new friends."
Carpenter said his dogs must have absorbed some racing influence from their visits to various racetracks.
"My dogs are very competitive," he said. "Roscoe especially thinks that it is a race. I don't know if he knows it's a racetrack or not, but he definitely tries to pass as many dogs as possible in one lap."
3. Wilson joins Kenn Hardley Racing: Kenn Hardley's search for a driver for the No. 24 car is over. Hardley has tabbed Bobby Wilson to drive his Indy Pro Series machine, replacing series points leader Jeff Simmons, who earned a promotion to the IndyCar Series.
Wilson, 24, tested for Kenn Hardley Racing April 27 at the Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His first race will be the Freedom 100 May 26 on the 2.5-mile oval.
"Bobby has a great deal of talent and is the perfect choice to replace Jeff," Hardley said.
Wilson, an Oconomowoc, Wis., native who resides in Ocala, Fla., started the season with Michael Crawford Motorsports, recording three top-10 finishes in the season's first three races, including a fifth at Homestead.
He also made three starts in the series at the end of 2005 for Brian Stewart Racing.
"The Indy Pro Series is one of the most exciting series in racing, and I am happy to be selected by Kenn Hardley Racing to replace Jeff," Wilson said. "Kenn Hardley runs a very professional team, dedicated to winning, and I'm glad to be a part of it."
Wilson brings a long history of winning to the team, which has visited Victory Lane in five of the last 10 races. Wilson won the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Series in 2004, recording four victories. In 2003, he won the Stars of Tomorrow karting championship and was named Shifter Kart Illustrated's Driver of the Year. He was a Red Bull Driver Search candidate in 2002.
Wilson is a driving instructor at Ocala Gran Prix, a full-service karting center in Ocala that is sponsoring his effort in the Indy Pro Series.
The 2006 IRL IndyCar Series continues with the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 at 1 p.m. (EDT) on May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ABC will broadcast the race live beginning at noon (EDT). A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. Live coverage on the IMS Radio Network begins at noon (EDT). The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Freedom 100 at 12:30 p.m. on May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast as part of ESPN2's Carb Day coverage on May 26. Live coverage on the IMS Radio Network begins at 12:15 p.m. (EDT).