INDY CHAMP FRANCHITTI WINS TITUS TROPHY AS TOP DRIVER OF 2007

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 -- 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti received the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy as the top driver of 2007 during the 38th annual American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-America Team Banquet on Jan. 12 in Indianapolis.

The Titus Trophy is earned by the driver who receives the most All-America Team votes cast by AARWBA members. Named in memory of the late journalist and professional racer, it is the highest honor offered by the country's oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals.

"It makes me very proud to receive the Titus Award," Franchitti said. "2007 was a wonderful season for me, and awards like this will help to remind me of what I was able to achieve with my team. Thanks to all my friends who voted for me in the media."

Franchitti's victory at Indianapolis was one of his four wins during the 2007 IndyCar Series season with Andretti Green Racing. He won his first IndyCar Series title by just 13 points over Scott Dixon.

The Titus Memorial Trophy was one of many honors Franchitti received during the banquet. IMS President and Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood presented Franchitti with his Champion of Champions Indianapolis 500 winner's ring at the Shav Glick Newsmakers Forum preceding the banquet, and Franchitti also saw his image on the famed Borg-Warner Trophy for the first time during the forum.

2007 Freedom 100 winner and Indy Pro Series champion Alex Lloyd attended the banquet to receive his "Horsepower Trophy" for being named to the AARWBA All-America Team first team in the At-Large category. Lloyd and fellow Indy Pro Series graduates Jay Howard and Hideki Mutoh spoke at the Glick Newsmakers Forum.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi was the featured speaker at the banquet. Fittipaldi will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 E85 concept car, powered by E85 ethanol fuel, as one of two Pace Cars for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.

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2008 IMS tickets: Tickets for all three world-class events in 2008 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the 92nd Indianapolis 500, 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP -- are on sale.

Fans have three easy methods to buy tickets: Online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time; on the phone by calling (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at 4790 W. 16th St. in Indianapolis from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-credit: ims