IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League Notebook 2003-04-09

Indy Racing League Notebook Foyt IV receives pointers on Gateway; Bud to back Franchitti at Indy. INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 9, 2003 -- IRL IndyCarÔ Series rookie A.J. Foyt IV recently went to an unlikely place for advice on Twin...

Indy Racing League Notebook
Foyt IV receives pointers on Gateway; Bud to back Franchitti at Indy.

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 9, 2003 -- IRL IndyCarÔ Series rookie A.J. Foyt IV recently went to an unlikely place for advice on Twin Ring Motegi, the site of the Indy Japan 300. It came from the other side of the world, at the NASCAR Winston Cup garage at Texas Motor Speedway.

Foyt, a resident of Hockley, Texas, visited the NASCAR garage at the Winston Cup race in late March at TMS, visiting with former CART drivers Robby Gordon and P.J. Jones. They offered Foyt advice about his first race in the No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone on April 13 at the 1.5-mile oval.

"I'm looking forward to racing over there in the Conseco 14," Foyt said. "They said that Turn 1-2 is a big sweeper, which you can take flat, but you have to downshift going into Turn 3-4 because it is so much tighter. They compared it to Gateway. It should be pretty challenging."

Foyt also is preparing for the cultural changes of his first trip to Japan. He ate dinner two weeks ago at a Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles with teammate Shigeaki Hattori, a Japanese native. Both were in the L.A. area for an appearance on behalf of Toyota.

"He used chopsticks and was very good with them," Hattori said of Foyt. "Me? I used a fork. It is much easier."

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Bud to back Franchitti at Indy: Budweiser will serve as an associate sponsor of the No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry driven by Dario Franchitti at the 2003 Indianapolis 500.

"Budweiser has a long, rich tradition in open-wheel racing, including two Indy 500 victories, and we're excited about the opportunity to team up with driver Dario Franchitti and continue our relationship with team owner Michael Andretti for this year's event," said Tony Ponturo, vice president, global media and sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "Dario is recognized as one of the top open-wheel racers in the world, and we look forward to supporting Andretti Green Racing as the team continues to be a force in the auto racing world."

Budweiser previously has sponsored winners at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in open-wheel motorsports. The "King of Beers" served as the primary sponsor on Bobby Rahal's Indianapolis 500-winning car in 1986 and as an associate sponsor during Juan Montoya's victory in 2000.

"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Budweiser as an associate sponsor for the Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola entry and our driver Dario Franchitti," team co-owner and driver Michael Andretti said. "Anheuser-Busch has a great history in motorsports, and I'm proud to have partnered with the brand previously as a driver and now as a team owner."

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Pro Series' Ave Wins USAC Midget Opener at Anderson: Tony Ave, driver for the Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports team in the Infiniti Pro Series, won the season opener for the United States Auto Club's Indiana Ford Focus Midget Car Series on April 6 at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway.

Ave, a Wisconsin native and Indianapolis resident, led all but the first four laps of the race in a Greg Steele-owned Beast.

Ave also captured a heat race victory and currently holds a five-point lead over Chad DeSelle in the series point standings.

Ave finished third in the Infiniti Pro Series' Phoenix 100 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 22.

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Hot laps: KECO Coatings will play host to the third annual "Racing for Corey Grand Prix" on May 5 at Fast Times Indoor Karting on at 96th Street and N. Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis. The event will begin at 6 p.m. (EST), and a special celebrity race will take place at 8 p.m. A silent auction featuring racing attire, race tickets and other race-related prizes will continue throughout the evening. This event is co-sponsored by Racing For Kids®. Proceeds will benefit The Indiana Children's Wish Fund, Racing For Kids®, Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and Racing for Corey. Individual driver entry fees are $100 (drivers must be 18 years or older with a valid drivers license). General admission for spectators is $15 for adults; children 12 & under are free. Donations are tax-deductible, and admission includes food and beverages -- The "Inside Racing" radio show, a popular weekly radio show based in Indianapolis, will return to the air every Tuesday at a new home starting June 3. The one-hour show will be broadcast on www.sportstalkcleveland.com, the Internet partner of WKNR-AM 850, a 50,000-watt all-sports talk station in Cleveland. Janie Vogel returns as host.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Robby Gordon , Shigeaki Hattori , Michael Andretti , A.J. Foyt IV , Bobby Rahal , Dario Franchitti , Tony Ave , Sam Schmidt , P.J. Jones , Chad DeSelle , A.J. Foyt