IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-04-24

INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- April 24, 2007 Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. Indy Pro Series drivers gear up for Indy Open Test 2. Team Leader car pays tribute to 'Silent Sam' 3. This week in Foyt history 1. Indy Pro...

INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- April 24, 2007

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Indy Pro Series drivers gear up for Indy Open Test
2. Team Leader car pays tribute to 'Silent Sam'
3. This week in Foyt history

1. Indy Pro Series drivers gear up for Indy Open Test: Race car drivers. around the world dream of driving on the famous 2.5-mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On April 27, at least 14 drivers will get their first opportunity on the track that has created numerous legends when the Indy Pro Series conducts an Open Test at the facility. Twenty-five cars, with 22 drivers named to date, will participate in the test, which will help the teams prepare for the 40-lap Freedom 100 on May 25, two days before the Indianapolis 500 Logan Gomez, an 18-year-old who grew up just hours away from the Speedway in Crown Point, Ind., is among the drivers who will be on the oval for the first time "I hear it's a hard track, so I'll be spending a good part of the day just working up the courage to go flat out throughout the track," said Gomez, who drives the No. 23 Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry.

"The team is always quick at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so I'm looking forward to experiencing a quick car there. My expectations are pretty much the same as when we tested in Homestead. We were really quick in Homestead with the Isilon Systems/FlaCondos.net car, and to have such a bad race like we did, I feel I really need to redeem myself. Once I get comfortable, I'll be helping my teammates fine tune on our setup.

"I feel like I'm a good representative of the state and the series. I'm really looking forward to racing on the home track, and hopefully there will be some fans in the stands rooting us on during the race."

Also among the 14 first-timers to drive at the Speedway will be Hideki Mutoh and Robbie Pecorari, the top two rookies in the Indy Pro Series point standings, ranking second and fifth, respectively. "I'm really looking forward to Indianapolis," Mutoh said. "I've spoken to my engineer, and we're really focused to win there. The test is really important so we can get a good result. It's such a big track with a long straight. I think it will be quite fun."

Among the veterans who will test are the past two winners of the Freedom 100, Wade Cunningham (2006) and Jaime Camara (2005), as well as series points leader Alex Lloyd, who has won the first three races of the season. "It's always a great thing coming to the speedway and driving there," Lloyd said. "We haven't raced on the oval since last year, so it's been a fair while. It's exciting, and it's especially exciting to be coming with a car that will be quick. Knowing that I will have a car that can go quick, it'll be exciting, especially to run a quick car on this type of track. You always get goose bumps when getting ready to run here. I've been looking forward to this test since we finished the Florida races."

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2. Team Leader car pays tribute to 'Silent Sam:' In 1967, Parnelli Jones nearly drove Andy Granatelli's No. 40 fluorescent orange STP Turbine car into history at the Indianapolis 500. This May, PJ Jones will drive an Indianapolis 500 entry that will pay homage to the 40th anniversary of his father's feat in 'Silent Sam."

Team Leader Motorsports owner Kent Baker announced his entry in the 91st Indianapolis 500, a Honda-powered Dallara driven by PJ Jones, will carry the same number and color scheme featured on the famed Pratt & Whitney Turbine driven by Parnelli Jones "The 1967 turbine car was a tremendous feat of engineering and an immediate fan favorite," Baker said. "We hope to recapture some of that excitement and recognition without the STP pajamas."

Direct Supply, a Milwaukee-based healthcare company owned by Robert Hillis, and Diversified Partners, a Phoenix-based company owned by Tim and Jackie Dollander, will sponsor Jones' car. Also backing the effort is Bidaroo.com, an Indianapolis-based Internet company owned by Rob Gough.

Team Leader Motorsports is structured around team manager Chris Paulsen of C & R Racing, engineer and renowned car designer Bruce Ashmore and chief mechanic Tony Van Dongen, whose career spans both Formula One and Indy Car racing.

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3. This week in Foyt history: April 24, 1983 -- In a one-off pairing, A.J. Foyt and longtime rival Mario Andretti shared a Porsche 935 for the 6-hour IMSA race at Riverside International Raceway in California. Foyt Fact: Foyt abandoned his original paint scheme after 1966 when he went winless for the first time since 1960. In 1967, Foyt switched to a simple distinctive orange color, which he calls "Coyote Red." Officially, the color is "warm poppy red." They Said it: "When I think of A.J. Foyt, I think of a guy who won the Indianapolis 500 a lot. He's a great character. Even now, I enjoy listening to him speak. I admire the way he drove, even though I never got to witness it. The way he was able to jump for car to car and battle every one until the checkered flag was impressive, but I like him because he is a character." -- Dan Wheldon.

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The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on April 29. The race will be telecast live by ESPN2 and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. 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.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Mario Andretti , Parnelli Jones , Bruce Ashmore , Alex Lloyd , Robbie Pecorari , Wade Cunningham , Logan Gomez , Hideki Mutoh , A.J. Foyt , Robert Hill