IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League Notebook 2004-01-06

Indy Racing League Notebook Purex continues with Dreyer & Reinbold; Six drivers in Autosport top 50 INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004 - Purex Detergents will return as the co-primary sponsor of the No. 24 entry fielded by Dreyer & Reinbold ...

Indy Racing League Notebook
Purex continues with Dreyer & Reinbold; Six drivers in Autosport top 50

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004 - Purex Detergents will return as the co-primary sponsor of the No. 24 entry fielded by Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the 2004 IRL IndyCar( Series season, team officials announced.

It's the sixth consecutive season that Purex will back the team and co- owner/driver Robbie Buhl in the IndyCar Series, one of the longest and most prosperous sponsor-team relationships in the history of the series. Buhl will drive a Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone package for the team.

The continuation of the productive business relationship with Purex is a key to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's growth plans, team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said.

"As a business, it is important for us to continue to grow our sponsor relationships each year," Reinbold said. "Since the end of last season, the primary objective of our team has been to focus on improving the funding level and competitiveness of the No. 24 car. Our renewed support from Purex has allowed us to attain our corporate goals and places us in a better position than ever before to compete for wins in the IndyCar Series.

"We made a commitment to Chevy, our sponsors, and team members to solidify the position of the 24 car before considering the possibility of running a second car at DRR. We are now in a position to explore running two cars in 2004 if the circumstances provide a good fit for us."

Purex has been recognized by many business and motorsports experts as one of the leaders in sponsorship activation. For Purex, the relationship with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and the Indy Racing League has helped support the brand's incredible growth as the detergent industry's value sector leader.

"Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and the IndyCar Series have been excellent business partners for the past five years," said Todd Gatzulis, director of marketing - Laundry Care for the Dial Corporation. "As we embark on our sixth consecutive year as a sponsor, I am very proud of the consistent growth that Purex, DRR, and the IndyCar Series have demonstrated and look forward to a successful 2004 on and off the track."

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Luyendyk to drive in Rolex 24: Indy Racing League competitor Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, will be one of the drivers of the Multimatic Ford Focus Daytona Prototype car in the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-Feb. 1.

Luyendyk, 22, will be joined on the SpeedSource team by veteran endurance racers Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears Jr., with a fourth driver for the team to be announced.

Luyendyk participated in a practice session for the Rolex 24 At Daytona Jan. 3-5.

"I am very excited about the chance to compete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona," Luyendyk said. "This will be the SpeedSource team's first run at that prestigious race in the Daytona Prototype class, so I'm hoping I can run a strong race for them. SpeedSource and owner Sylvain Tremblay have given me a great opportunity to show my talents in the greatest endurance race in America."

Luyendyk finished seventh in the 2003 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series point standings. He started from the pole at Michigan and Texas, and his best finish was third at both Pikes Peak and Gateway International Raceway.

Luyendyk also has partnered with Pocket Choppers Inc., a company that produces and distributes miniature motorized bikes that look and sound like full-sized motorcycles.

"These bikes are so cool," said Luyendyk, noting that they reach speeds of about 40 mph.

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The IRL IndyCar Series doubled its exposure from 2002 with six drivers being named to Autosport magazine's list of the top 50 drivers in motorsports for 2003.

IndyCar Series points champion Scott Dixon, a new entrant on the magazine's list, led the way at No. 7. He was sandwiched between Formula One drivers Rubens Barrichello at No. 8 and Juan Pablo Montoya at No. 6. Dixon had three victories and five second-place finishes on the competitive 2003 IndyCar Series 16-race schedule.

Sam Hornish Jr., the 2001 and 2002 IndyCar Series champion who has joined Marlboro Team Penske for the 2004 season, was ninth on the list while driving for Pennzoil Panther Racing. He was 24th in 2002.

Indianapolis 500 champion Gil de Ferran was 13th, followed by Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves (18th, up from 37th), Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan (19th) and Pennzoil Panther Racing's Tomas Scheckter (36th, up from 38th).

Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was first on the magazine's list.

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De Ferran, Dixon and Hornish honored: IRL IndyCar Series 2003 champion Scott Dixon and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran were named to the 2003 Auto Racing All-America first team, as voted by members of the motorsports press.

Sam Hornish Jr., the 2001 and 2002 IndyCar Series champion, was named to the second team.

It is de Ferran's third first-team selection and his fifth as an All- American.

Dixon also was selected as an All-American in 2000, when he won the CART Indy Lights championship.

The All-America teams will be honored Jan. 10 at the 34th annual American Auto Racing Writers, Broadcasters Association banquet in Pomona, Calif.

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Bracks welcome daughter: IRL IndyCar Series driver Kenny Brack had more reason to celebrate the new year.

Brack's wife, Anita, gave birth to the couple's first daughter, Karma, at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, at 6:31 p.m. Dec. 31. Mother and daughter are doing fine.

Brack, who finished ninth in the 2003 IndyCar Series point standings, was not able to be in the delivery room, however. He was in a room a few floors above, recovering from surgery to remove his gallbladder.

"What a great ending to an otherwise somewhat challenging year," Brack wrote on his Web site.

Brack was injured in an accident during the season-ending Chevy 500 on Oct. 12 at Texas Motor Speedway, and has been rehabilitating since Dec. 5 at his home in Upper Arlington, Ohio.

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Dixon a finalist for award: 2003 IRL IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon is among four finalists for the 2003 Say When Halberg Sportsman of the Year award.

The award is one of three (Sportsman, Sportswoman and Sports team) saluting the achievements by New Zealanders in sports both at home and overseas during the calendar year. The awards are organized annually by the Halberg Trust.

Winners will be announced Feb. 19.

Dixon, 23, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, is joined as a finalist by Russell Coutts, skipper of the yacht that won the America's Cup; 2003 World Karting champion Wade Cunningham; and Ben Fouhy, gold medallist in the K1 1,000-meter World Canoeing Championships.

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The Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series seasons begin Feb. 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Toyota Indy 300 will be broadcast live on ESPN at 2 p.m. and on the IMS Radio Network.

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS