IRL: Behind the Barriers: Indy 500 Day four

The 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast in high definition for the first time. The race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be run on Sunday, May 27, with ABC's telecast to start at noon ET. "One of the most frequent requests...

The 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast in high definition for the first time. The race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be run on Sunday, May 27, with ABC's telecast to start at noon ET. "One of the most frequent requests from our fans is a high-definition telecast of the Indianapolis 500, and we're thrilled to fulfill that demand," said Speedway president Joie Chitwood. Both weekends of qualifying by ESPN on ABC and ESPN2 will also be presented in high definition with GoDaddy.com as the presenting sponsor.

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A total of 40 cars are now at the Speedway. Thirty-nine have passed technical inspection. Rain delayed practice until 4:33 p.m. leaving time for 25 drivers to record 680 laps today.

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Space on Tomas Scheckter's helmet is up for bid on Ebay to benefit The Gift of Hearing Foundation. The successful bidder will be allowed to place their company name or logo on IndyCar driver Tomas Scheckter's helmet for the World's Greatest Spectacle in Racing, The Indianapolis 500. The Gift of Hearing Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation initially dedicated to increasing access to cochlear implant (CI) surgery and services for those who have been identified as candidates for this technology. Check out Ebay item number 290111844982 to bid. The auction ends May 11.

IndyCar Series Team and Sponsor Business News

Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves now share something in common with the Los Angeles Sheriff's department; cars prepared by Penske. In a deal announced last week, Penske Truck Leasing was awarded a three-year fleet management and maintenance services contract valued at approximately $47 million to support the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "We are very pleased to be servicing the fleet needs of the nation's largest local law enforcement agency," said Frank Mileto, Senior Vice President - New Business Ventures, Penske Truck Leasing. "We are well known for meticulous detail and high standards for vehicle maintenance.

Under the agreement, Penske will provide vehicle maintenance and body shop repair work for more than 4,600 units, which includes police cars, motorcycles, buses and other specialized equipment.

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Honda opened an Environmental Learning Center (ELC) in Irving, Texas last week. The 4-acre facility, located adjacent to an existing four-acre Rider Education Center (REC), is the company's third such facility in the country. The ELC is designed to be a unique community resource that promotes a responsible land use ethic through a greater understanding of the varied regional ecology. Honda also has ELCs in Colton, Calif., and Alpharetta, Georgia.

Honda's Rider Education Center has trained more than 30,000 street, dirt and ATV riders since it opened in 1989. The adjacent ELC features a trail system and species of plants, grasses and trees representing ten different Texas ecosystems as part of the Center's state-of-the-art off highway training facility. "Our ELCs serve as both an environmental resource for youth organizations as well as motorcycle training centers teaching environmentally responsible rider ethics to both beginners and experienced riders," said Dave Edwards, national manager of environment and education for the Motorcycle Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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BorgWarner, sponsor of the famous trophy awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 each year, has broken ground on a second dual-clutch production plant in Germany. Driven by growing global demand for its dual-clutch transmission technology, known as DualTronic, BorgWarner Transmission Systems has broken ground for a second manufacturing facility at its Drivetrain campus in Arnstadt, Germany. When completed in November, it will double the manufacturing area of the current site to over 107,000 square feet (10,000 square meters) and is expected to create 150 new jobs by 2010. During the next few years, the company will invest nearly $35 million (euro 26 million) to expand the site, which will include a dedicated vehicle lab and test track for on-site vehicle evaluation.

BorgWarner was first-to-market with dual-clutch transmission technology, launching its award-winning DualTronic innovation on two VW/Audi models in 2003 with applications on additional models and production volumes increasing steadily since then.

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Roger Penske's United Auto Group announced today the first big marketing push for the smart fortwo economy car. Smart USA Distributor LLC, a subsidiary of United Auto Group, Inc is launching a national road show May 19, starting in Los Angeles, California, to introduce the revolutionary smart fortwo to U.S. consumers. The tour provides a hands-on experience, allowing consumers to test-drive the fortwo and experience its innovation and functionality. The 50-city tour will visit events from festivals and universities, to sporting events and retail outlets, to other popular city destinations through November. The 'street smart' tour hits Indianapolis July 5-8. The anticipated road show schedule and updates can be found at www.smartusa.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Helio Castroneves , Dave Edwards , Roger Penske , Sam Hornish Jr.