IRL: Andretti to be honored in Nazareth

Michael Andretti Boulevard unveiling starts Week of Festivities Nazareth, PA (August 18, 2003) - With the Firestone Indy 225 just days away, race-related events around the Lehigh Valley are in full swing, compliments of the City of Allentown ...

Michael Andretti Boulevard unveiling starts Week of Festivities

Nazareth, PA (August 18, 2003) - With the Firestone Indy 225 just days away, race-related events around the Lehigh Valley are in full swing, compliments of the City of Allentown Promotions and Special Events Committee, starting with the unveiling of Michael Andretti Boulevard, formerly Hamilton Street between Seventh and Ninths Streets in downtown Allentown.

The dedication and unveiling, which occurred earlier today at the corner of Ninth and Hamilton Streets, included a special appearance from Andretti, who was joined by Allentown Mayor Roy Afflerbach and Nazareth Speedway President Craig Rust.

"I am really excited to see the communities getting behind this world-class racing event at Nazareth Speedway and I'm especially looking forward to the events coming up this week," said Andretti. "This is a great way to introduce people to the Indy Racing League and I hope it convinces fans to come out and see the race."

Festivities continue on Wednesday night with the Checkered Flag Gala at the Lehigh Trust Building from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The night will honor the career of Michael Andretti, and includes special award presentations and a silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting Allentown's The Fund to Benefit Children and Youth, by way of the Michael Andretti Foundation. Tickets for the Gala are still available for $125 and can be purchased by calling Mary Ellen Koval at 610-437-7453

The final piece of the week, and probably the most significant, is Thursday's free Street Festival sponsored by 7-Eleven, on Michael Andretti Boulevard, between Seventh and Ninth Streets from 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Four interactive displays from the Indy Racing League will be on hand, as well as USAC and IRL IndyCar Series show cars, vintage race cars, pace cars and AJ Foyt's and Emerson Fittipaldi's Indy 500 race cars.

The day is officially kicked-off at 12:15 p.m. by Mayor Afflerbach and several other dignitaries on the IRL Live Stage (located at the intersection of Seventh Street and Michael Andretti Boulevard). A media pit stop competition is planned at the IRL Pit Stop Challenge display for 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., a complete IndyCar Series roster driver autograph session from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and a special Allentown Lifetime Achievement award will be awarded to three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford at 7:30 p.m. The day is capped off by an exciting concert by country stars Emerson Drive from 8:00 pm. - 10:00 p.m.

Then, the chase for the IRL IndyCar Series Championship takes center stage at Nazareth Speedway as the fastest growing open-wheel series in the United States returns to the Lehigh Valley, August 22-24. Will the new Andretti Green Racing entry, with car owner and Nazareth native Michael Andretti, dethrone two-time IRL champ Sam Hornish Jr.? Or, will Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran fend off Sarah Fisher, Scott Sharp and Al Unser Jr. for the crown? Find out August 22-24 when Indy racing returns to Nazareth. The action-packed weekend is capped off with the USAC Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget Series' races. Tickets for all three days are still available, with Sunday tickets starting at just $40.

For tickets and additional information, please contact the Nazareth Speedway ticket office at 1-888-629-RACE(7223) or online at www.nazarethspeedway.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Emerson Fittipaldi , Sam Hornish Jr. , Johnny Rutherford
Teams Team Penske