IRL: Behind the Barriers - Nazareth

Nazareth residents made several calls to local authorities on Thursday night, reporting low flying aircraft. As it turns out it was an air show in Michael Andretti's backyard. A party to kick off the Nazareth race weekend was attended by all four...

Nazareth residents made several calls to local authorities on Thursday night, reporting low flying aircraft. As it turns out it was an air show in Michael Andretti's backyard. A party to kick off the Nazareth race weekend was attended by all four Andretti Green Racing team drivers as well as friends, family and AGR crew members. Mike Mancuso, pilot of the Klein Tools aerobatic plane, along with Matt Chapman, put on a dazzling two plane show that stunned party guests as well as a few local residents. Mike Mancuso will perform aerobatic stunts prior to the start of Sunday's Firestone Indy 225.

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Nazareth Speedway officials have announced that the Firestone Indy 225 will be the last spectator event at the I-mile oval. The dirt track was built in 1966 and hosted weekly shows for five years. After a ten year hiatus, a local promoter operated the track from 1981 to 1985. In 1986, Roger Penske bought the 90-acre property and paved the track. Hometown favorite Michael Andretti won the first race at the all new "Pennsylvania International Raceway" on September 20, 1987. With several tracks sharing the initials PIR (Phoenix, Pocono and Portland), the track was named Nazareth Speedway in 1993. In 1999, Penske Motorsports and International Speedway Corporation merged.

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Sam Hornish will start on the front row for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225. This is Hornish's first front row start this season.

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Ed Carpenter hit the wall in his primary car during practice on Saturday and will move to the backup car for Sunday's race. Carpenter will not make a qualifying attempt and will start 22nd.

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Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will attend the Republican National Convention in New York as a guest of President Bush. Rutherford, along with Nolan Ryan, Yogi Berra, George Foreman and Bobby Knight will attend the convention on the night the President accepts the party's nomination before attending a reception at Club 21 in New York.

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One lucky fan will be randomly selected to be the honorary starter for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225. Local rock station WZZO will be broadcasting live from Nazareth Speedway on Sunday morning from 9:00 to noon. Fans can register to be the honorary starter by stopping by the WZZO broadcast site located just the outside the track's tunnel entrance.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Roger Penske , Ed Carpenter , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis