IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League Notebook 2004-03-03

Indy Racing League Notebook Record ratings for ESPN coverage of Toyota Indy 300 INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 3, 2004 -- ESPN's coverage of the Toyota Indy 300, the Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series' season-opening race, on Feb. 29 was the ...

Indy Racing League Notebook
Record ratings for ESPN coverage of Toyota Indy 300

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 3, 2004 -- ESPN's coverage of the Toyota Indy 300, the Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series' season-opening race, on Feb. 29 was the network's highest-rated and most-viewed IRL race.

The race, won by Marlboro Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr., averaged a 0.9 rating and 809,000 households.

"We appreciate the incredible effort put forth by ESPN and all of its properties in promoting the season-opening Toyota 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway." said Ken Ungar, senior vice president, business affairs for the Indy Racing League. "The ESPN family worked very closely with the IRL in getting the IndyCar Series off to a strong start and we look forward to the team effort throughout the 2004 season."

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California Speedway to get SAFER Barrier: California Speedway announced this week it will install the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier with an expected completion date prior to its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event in late April.

"We look forward to the construction and installation of the SAFER wall getting under way at California Speedway," said California Speedway President Bill Miller. "We all know that safety is paramount in our sport, and this is another positive step going forward. We applaud all those involved in constructing this system and its installation at California Speedway."

Two sets of barriers will be placed along the turns at the 2-mile oval, with the first set starting at the entrance of Turn 1 and running continuously to the exit of Turn 2. The second set will start at the entrance of Turn 3 and run continuously to the exit of Turn 4. A third set of barriers will be placed on the inside retaining wall off the exit of Turn 2, extending approximately two-thirds of the way down the backstretch.

California Speedway is the fifth IndyCar Series track to install the SAFER barrier, joining the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Richmond International Raceway.

The IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series visits the track on Oct. 2-3.

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Rutherford to appear at Texas event: Fans can play golf with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Speedway Children's Charities Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Rutherford, who serves as the driver of the Indy Racing League pace vehicle, will be joined by seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty and several current NEXTEL Cup drivers.

The event is scheduled for April 1 at Tour 18 in Flower Mound, Texas, which is located a few minutes away from Texas Motor Speedway.

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The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the Copper World Indy 200 at 4 p.m. (EST) on March 21, at Phoenix International Raceway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series races at the Phoenix 100 at 2:45 p.m. on March 20. The race will be broadcast on tape delay by ESPN2 on March 25.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Richard Petty , Sam Hornish Jr. , Johnny Rutherford
Teams Team Penske