Cure Autism Now, HomeMed team up for third Kelley entry.
Rookie Renna to drive; Actor Edwards returns to support effort.
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, April 4, 2003 - Kelley Racing filed a third entry April 4 for the 87th Indianapolis 500, with rookie Tony Renna named as the driver and Cure Autism Now Foundation and HomeMed Pharmacy as sponsors.
Award-winning actor Anthony Edwards, the longtime star of NBC's "ER," and renowned Hollywood producer Jonathan Shestack return as leaders of the Cure Autism Now effort at Indy.
Renna, 26, from Deland, Fla., will attempt to make his first Indianapolis 500 start in the No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Dallara/Toyota/Firestone. He made six starts for Kelley Racing in the IRL IndyCar( Series last season, with a best finish of fourth at Michigan International Speedway.
The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 25. Entries had to be postmarked by midnight April 2. The Indy Racing League expects to receive several more entries via mail in the coming days.
"It is a tremendous honor for me to represent Cure Autism Now and HomeMed Pharmacy in one of the great sporting events in the world," Renna said. "I am not just racing at Indy this year, but I am going into the month of May with a Kelley Racing organization that will clearly allow me to compete for victory in my first attempt.
"I am thrilled to have Toyota power behind me. Their focus toward success is incredible, and combined with the Dallara chassis, Firestone tires, and the Kelley Racing Team, I know we are going to accomplish tremendous things."
Renna will participate in the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program on April 21 at the famed 2.5-mile oval. Kelley Racing already has filed Dallara/Toyota/Firestone entries for its regular IndyCar Series drivers, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and 1996 series co-champion Scott Sharp.
The Cure Autism Now Foundation, founded by Shestack, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and funding autism research and accelerating the pace of scientific progress toward effective treatments and a cure. The organization is the largest private funder of biological research in autism, providing more than $10 million in grants since 1995.
High Hopes, a Nashville, Tenn.-based therapy and education center, is also a non-profit organization that provides therapy and educational services for children with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental delays as well as typically developing children. Firestone Tire, the Official Tire Supplier of the Indy Racing League, supports High Hopes.
"The idea of Cure Autism Now partnering with HomeMed Pharmacy, an organization that reaches so many people, is a win-win for everyone," Edwards said. "There are family members of autistic children that have felt an inability to assist, and to let them know that through this partnership with HomeMed Pharmacy that their support can make a direct impact in the fight against autism, that is an exciting world."
HomeMed Pharmacy, a division of US Health Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Management, is returning as a partner with Kelley Racing for Renna's entry. HomeMed Pharmacy previously partnered with Kelley Racing in 2002 as the primary sponsor of the Infiniti Pro Series entry for Jason Priestley.
"We are blessed to be in an industry with a product that will position us so naturally with Cure Autism Now and High Hopes," said Ronald Hunter, CEO and chairman of Standard Management. "Our vision quest at HomeMed Pharmacy is that through our partnership with Kelley Racing, we close out the year 2003 by contributing the largest fundraising effort in the history of Cure Autism Now and High Hopes."
HomeMed Pharmacy has created a program for the consumer market that benefits Cure Autism Now and High Hopes. Customers who place an order, either via www.homemed.com or by calling (800) 586-2882, between April 1-Dec. 31 and use the promotional code "Indy 32" will receive a discount on the order. A percentage of the purchase will be donated to Cure Autism Now and High Hopes.
"This is such a unique partnership with Cure Autism Now and HomeMed Pharmacy that it brings added excitement to our participation in 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," team owner Tom Kelley said. "HomeMed Pharmacy is creating a wonderful opportunity to assist Anthony Edwards in his efforts to focus the spotlight on autism through this entry as well as through HomeMed Pharmacy's donation of much needed funding for Cure Autism Now and High Hopes."
In addition to their charitable donations, HomeMed Pharmacy will sponsor the HomeMed HealthFair during May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The HealthFair will highlight products and companies that are concerned with addressing health issues.
"This is a phenomenal added value for fans that will be at the Speedway," said Jim Freudenberg, vice president of commercial operations for Kelley Racing. "The HealthFair is an excellent opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to showcase their products to the thousands of consumers who will be at the Speedway during the month of May."