IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2006-01-06

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Jan. 6, 2006 Today's IRL headlines 1. Wheldon, Patrick lead IRL contingent for Rolex 24 2. Fans asked to honor Bignotti 1. Wheldon, Patrick lead IRL contingent for Rolex 24: Danica Patrick added her name...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Jan. 6, 2006

Today's IRL headlines
1. Wheldon, Patrick lead IRL contingent for Rolex 24
2. Fans asked to honor Bignotti

1. Wheldon, Patrick lead IRL contingent for Rolex 24: Danica Patrick added her name to the list of IndyCar Series drivers who will compete in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

The Bombardier Rookie of the Year accepted an invitation to co-drive a Daytona Prototype with Rusty Wallace, Allan McNish and Boris Said after testing with the team on Jan. 5.

"If (Rusty Wallace is) leaving it up to me and he's leaving it open, I'd love to run this race," the 2005 Bombardier Rookie of the Year said after testing the No. 2 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford. "I think it's one of those races where you have to stay consistent. As soon as I pick up my speed on the track, hopefully that will stay consistent with traffic."

Patrick will share the car with Wallace, Allan McNish and Boris Said. will compete for the first time in the endurance sports car race and the first time at Daytona International Speedway. Her commitment increases the number of IndyCar Series drivers in the round-the-clock race to nine.

Also scheduled to compete in the Rolex 24 are defending IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon, Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), Scott Sharp (Lowe's Fernandez Racing), 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, Bryan Herta and Alex Barron (Finlay Motorsports), Dario Franchitti (SAMAX Motorsport) and Patrick Carpentier (Cheever Racing).

"I ran this race last year for the first time with another team and had a blast," Wheldon said. "But this year it will be different. Anytime you run in one of Chip Ganassi's cars, you expect to run up front."

IndyCar Series team owners Adrian Fernandez and Eddie Cheever Jr. also will drive for their own teams entered.

2. Fans asked to honor Bignotti: The family of George Bignotti, who won the Indianapolis 500 seven times as a chief mechanic, is seeking the help of race fans around the world in celebrating his 90th birthday on Jan. 12 by sending him a birthday card.

Fans are asked to send cards to:

George Bignotti
9413 Steeplehill Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89117.

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The IRL IndyCar Series opens the 2006 season with the Toyota Indy 300 on March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition also opens on March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Allan McNish , Boris Said , Eddie Cheever , Scott Sharp , Adrian Fernandez , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Bryan Herta , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing