INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- April 17, 2007
Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. This week in Foyt history
2. Kentucky Speedway announces IndyCar Series weekend sponsors and events
3. IndyCar Series and ethanol featured on The Sundance Channel
4. Gilbert finishes Boston Marathon
5. Playa Del Racing extends relationship with National Car Rental
1. This week in Foyt history: April 15, 1965: Foyt and Marvin Panch are featured on the cover of National Speed Sport News for "teaming" to win the Atlanta 500. Foyt finished the race for Panch, who was credited with the win.
Foyt Fact: Foyt's original paint scheme for his cars was pearlescent white, blue, gold and red.
They Said it: "He's a legend. I was able to race for him in 2003 and got the biggest win of my career to date, the Freedom 100, with A.J. I've known him for a long time because he's a family friend, but when you think of the Indy 500 and Indy car racing, A.J. Foyt is one of the first drivers that comes to mind. He's passionate about it still and you've seen a renewed energy because of this anniversary season. It's fun to see his team running well again." -- IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter
2. Kentucky Speedway announces IndyCar Series weekend sponsors and events: Meijer, Coca-Cola and Edy's Grand Ice Cream will be the title and presenting sponsors of the Aug. 11 "Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's" 300-mile IndyCar Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Radio Disney AM 680 in Louisville, Ky., will bring unique family entertainment to the venue throughout its final race weekend of the 2007 season beginning Aug. 10 with "Radio Disney AM 680 Fanfest."
Radio Disney favorites The Jonas Brothers will perform a pre-race concert Aug. 11. The concert will be included with the price of a race ticket. Their most recent hit, Year 3000, will be part of their debut album, It's About Time, that is scheduled for release Aug. 7.
"We're extremely pleased that Meijer, Coca-Cola and Edy's will help stage a unique, family-oriented IndyCar Series weekend Aug. 10-11," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said.
Kentucky-born actor Josh Hutcherson, star of the recently-released Firehouse Dog film and critically-acclaimed Disney feature, The Bridge to Terabithia, will add to the festivities by serving as grand marshal for weekend's main event.
"I am so stoked about being the grand marshal of the Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's on August 11," Hutcherson said. "I love the Kentucky Speedway because it's only a little way from my home, and I love the fact that such great races come to Kentucky."
Edy's Grand Ice Cream and Radio Disney AM 680 are new members of the Kentucky Speedway event sponsorship family while Meijer and Coca-Cola continue long-running relationships with the 66,089-seat motorsports venue.
The green flag for the "Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's" will drop at 6:30 p.m. The race will be televised on ESPN2. The race will be followed by the Indy Pro Series "Kentucky Indy Pro 100" at 9:30 p.m. Both races will be each series first twilight and night events on the 1.5-mile tri-oval track.
The closing weekend of the 2007 Kentucky Speedway season opens one night earlier with "Radio Disney AM 680 Fanfest." The special night will feature family entertainment including live music from Radio Disney, along with a driver autograph session in the garage area following a full afternoon of IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series track activity. All visitors will receive free pit and garage area access throughout the day.
3. IndyCar Series and ethanol featured on The Sundance Channel: The IndyCar Series use of ethanol will be featured on The Sundance Channel's "Big Ideas for a Small Planet." A Sundance crew documented the IndyCar Series first Open Test on 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol with driver Jeff Simmons at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year. The episode, entitled "Fuel," airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET.
"Big Ideas for a Small Planet" is an original 13-part documentary series highlighting forward-thinking designers, products and processes that are on the leading edge of a new green world. Each episode revolves around a particular green issue, with titles such as Fuel, Build, Cities, Drive, Wear, and Eat, it spotlights a specific innovator or innovation that has the potential to transform our everyday lives on these topics. The individuals profiled range from scientists to fashion and product designers, entrepreneurs to first-time inventors. The original series also features a cast of recurring expert commentators, including activists, scientists, writers, and environmental personalities who provide the big-picture context to each week's stories.
4. Gilbert finishes Boston Marathon: Indy Pro Series driver Micky Gilbert completed the Boston Marathon in 3:37:39 on April 16.
It was Gilbert's first attempt at the Boston Marathon and his ninth marathon overall since 2000. He missed his goal of running the course in less than three hours, but considering the fact that there were periods of heavy rain and wind gusts as high as 50 mph throughout the race, Gilbert was not disappointed.
"I survived," Gilbert said. "It was really rough, pretty brutal. The weather was rough, the lack of training was rough, and I was sick, but I got my finisher's medal. That is what I was after, so it was good."
5. Playa Del Racing extends relationship with National Car Rental: Playa Del Racing has extended its relationship with National Car Rental and Arelco Inc. through the 2007 Indy Pro Series season and the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.
Arelco Inc. is an independent licensee of National Car Rental. The company currently owns and operates more than 35 locations across the nation. The company was founded in 1962 by William H. Smith in Indianapolis, where the company is still headquartered.
"We are very excited to extend our relationship with Playa Del Racing through the 2007 season," said Arelco Executive Vice President Kim Smith. "This team is a first-class operation that really knows how to have fun with the fans and the sponsors. I think National Car Rental is a perfect fit with the PDR organization."
The National logo has adorned every PDR car that has been entered by the squad.
"We have developed a long-lasting relationship with the great people at National Car Rental here in Indianapolis, and we hope to help them further develop their business through our operations." Playa Del Racing co-owner Susan Schafer said. "Arelco is a fabulous local company, and we want to help them grow."
Playa Del Racing has entered two cars in this year's Indianapolis 500.
The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the Indy Japan 300 at 11:30 p.m. (ET) on April 20. It will by broadcast live by the IMS Radio Network with live video streaming on www.indycar.com. The race will be telecast at noon (ET) on April 21 by ESPN. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Freedom 100 on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast as part of ESPN2's coverage of Carb Day at 4 p.m. on May 25.