INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- Feb. 11, 2008 Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1.LifeLine Foods tabbed as official supplier of ethanol 2.Patrick nominated for Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award 3.Michael Crawford Motorsports...
INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- Feb. 11, 2008
Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1.LifeLine Foods tabbed as official supplier of ethanol
2.Patrick nominated for Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award
3.Michael Crawford Motorsports inks Jake Slotten
1. LifeLine Foods tabbed as official supplier of ethanol: LifeLine Foods, a pioneer in the production of food and energy, will join forces with the IndyCar Series for the 2008 season as the official supplier of the 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol used in all IndyCar Series cars. The St. Joseph, Mo. facility was contracted by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) to supply approximately 120,000 gallons of the fuel to the IndyCar Series. With the transition to an ethanol-blend in 2006 and then fuel-grade ethanol in 2007, the IndyCar Series was the first motorsports league to require use of a renewable fuel.
"The IndyCar Series is the perfect showcase for the environmental and performance attributes of ethanol," said Bill Becker, CEO of LifeLine Foods. "We are proud to be on the cutting edge of renewable energy technologies and provide fuel for cutting edge race cars."
LifeLine Foods is a unique company that uses corn to produce food and fuel. One portion of the kernel is processed and marketed to the food industry while the remainder of the corn kernel is used for, among other things, cattle feed and energy needs. Utilizing a bran energy recovery system, total plant energy needs will be reduced by approximately 50 percent. This method insures that the company is getting the most value out of corn, benefiting the agriculture, food and ethanol industries.
"We're proud that the ethanol powering our cars is made through this innovative process, furthering our green racing message," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. "We couldn't be more pleased with our decision to embrace ethanol at the IndyCar Series. On the track, it has performed incredibly well. Off the track, it has played a huge role in our efforts to go green and lead the industry in technology and innovation. This partnership with LifeLine is another step in that direction."
The St. Joseph plant produces 50 million gallons of ethanol per year, providing an economic boost to the community, while minimizing its environmental footprint.
"The ethanol industry is constantly evolving," said Robert White, the interim executive director of EPIC. "We are dedicated to being good stewards of the environment while providing solutions to our nation's long term energy needs. LifeLine Foods is a shining example of these ideals."
The fuel from the facility will be shipped to Indianapolis and stored at Superior Solvents and Chemicals, which can store up to 30,000 gallons. Superior's highly trained staff of chemists and technicians will be responsible for loading all tanker trailers and distributing the fuel to each IndyCar Series Open Test and race event during the season.
2. Patrick nominated for Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award: Danica Patrick has been nominated for Favorite Female Athlete in Nickelodeon's 21st Annual Kids' Choice Awards. Kids will vote online for winners in 18 categories beginning March 3. Other nominees for Favorite Female Athlete are Cheryl Ford, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.
3. Michael Crawford Motorsports inks Jake Slotten: Short-track driver Jake Slotten will drive the eight oval races for Michael Crawford Motorsports during the 2008 Indy Pro Series season.
MCM signed the 21-year-old Kimberly, Wis., native after Slotten impressed the team with a very successful Indy Pro Series rookie test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Jan. 30.
"The Indy Racing League has shown an interest in re-establishing the career path of Midget and Sprint Car racers climbing the ladder to IndyCars," team owner Michael Crawford said. "With this in mind, we see a tremendous opportunity to work with Jake this season and prepare him for our mutual goal, a future run at the Indianapolis 500. In years past, many great stars of Indy car racing started their careers on the dirt tracks of America. I am very pleased that we have partnered with a modern-day Midwest dirt track driver as he fulfills a lifelong dream."
Slotten has raced midgets in the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association and USAC National Midget Series, winning the BMARA Rookie of the Year award at age 16.
In 2005, he became one of the youngest drivers to make the top 10 in points in the Badger Midget Racing Series despite missing three points races while on a church-sponsored mission trip to North Africa to help in refugee camps.
"I am very grateful to Michael Crawford Motorsports for this great blessing and opportunity," Slotten said. "I hope to develop into a successful and respected driver while promoting the sport of open wheel racing. I look forward to bringing home race wins and achieving the goal of qualifying for the Indy 500 with Michael Crawford Motorsports in the future."
The 2008 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights with the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, features races on 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ABC Sports/ ESPN. All races in 2008 will be telecast in High Definition. The 2008 Indy Pro Series season also begins on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, which features eight ovals and four road/street course doubleheader weekends, will be televised by ESPN2.