IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2005-10-07

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Oct. 7, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Panther offers Lazier model for auction 2. Castroneves profiled in Sports Illustrated 3. Wheldon continues championship trends 4. IndyCar Series represented at A1GP ...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Oct. 7, 2005

Today's IRL headlines
1. Panther offers Lazier model for auction
2. Castroneves profiled in Sports Illustrated
3. Wheldon continues championship trends
4. IndyCar Series represented at A1GP event

1. Panther offers Lazier model for auction: Panther Racing has again teamed with online auction service eBay for another auction to benefit a charity.

The team is auctioning a one-of-a-kind 1:18 scale model of the American Red Cross/Hurricane Katrina/Pennzoil Chevrolet-powered Dallara that was raced by Buddy Lazier in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 11.

The model was made by model builder Eric Hensley, who brought it to Chicagoland Speedway and had Buddy Lazier sign it. Hensley then offered it to Panther Racing to put up for auction for charity benefits.

Proceeds of this auction will go to the American Red Cross to help those needing aid and relief from the recent hurricanes in the gulf region.

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2. Castroneves profiled in Sports Illustrated: Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves is one of three racers profiled in the SI Players section of the Oct. 10 issue of Sports Illustrated.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner joins NASCAR Nextel Cup standouts Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the "My Best Friend...In Another Sport" feature.

Castroneves' best friend is Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, whom he met at the Super Bowl in February. The two, who both own homes in Miami, have lunch together in Coral Gables at the Italian restaurant Carmelo's.

"He's a hell of a driver," says Rodriguez of the two-time Indy 500 champ, whom he phones before races to wish luck.

Although Rodriguez made his 12th All-Star team this year, his skill remains lost on Castroneves. "I watch games," he says, "but I don't understand."

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3. Wheldon continues championship trends: Dan Wheldon may be the first IndyCar Series champion to also win the Indianapolis 500 in the same season, but the Englishman's title follows an interesting trend among champions.

Wheldon became the fourth champion in the last five years to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway in his championship season. He joined Sam Hornish Jr. (2001 and 2002) and Scott Dixon (2003) as winners at Homestead who won the title as well. Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the 2006 IndyCar Series season opener on March 26, 2006.

Wheldon also is the fifth champion to win at Pikes Peak International Raceway during his championship season joining Tony Stewart (1996-97), Kenny Brack (1998), Greg Ray (1999) and Dixon (2003).

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4. IndyCar Series represented at A1GP event: Scott Dixon is not the only Indy Racing League competitor visiting the A1 Grand Prix of Nations event at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany this weekend. Panther Racing drivers Tomas Enge and Tomas Scheckter will compete for the Czech Republic and South Africa, respectively in the event, while Scott Sharp will attend the event to provide A1 Team USA and driver Scott Speed guidance and counsel.

"With this talented assembly of professionals, I'm looking forward to attending my first A1 Grand Prix race with the objective of getting Scott Speed up on the winner's podium," said Sharp. "This series is going to be competitive and I'm ready to get to work for A1 Team USA."

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The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Toyota Indy 400 at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast also will be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the California 100 on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The ESPN2 race telecast will also be available live on ESPN360.com. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 20.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Tony Stewart , Tomas Scheckter , Tomas Enge , Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Kenny Brack , Jimmie Johnson , Dan Wheldon , Scott Speed , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske