IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2006-07-10

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 10, 2006 Today's IRL headlines 1. Briscoe re-joins Dreyer & Reinbold 2. Foyt, Giaffone Part Ways 3. Firestone to serve as Nashville grand marshal 4. Of note 1. Briscoe re-joins Dreyer & Reinbold:...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 10, 2006

Today's IRL headlines
1. Briscoe re-joins Dreyer & Reinbold
2. Foyt, Giaffone Part Ways
3. Firestone to serve as Nashville grand marshal
4. Of note

1. Briscoe re-joins Dreyer & Reinbold: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced July 10 it has signed Ryan Briscoe to drive the No. 5 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda-powered Dallara in three of the remaining six events in the 2006 IRL IndyCar® Series season.

The 24-year-old native of Sydney, Australia will race in the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on July 15, the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Indy 225 at the Milwaukee Mile on July 23 and the Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway on Aug. 27.

"At this point and time, we are working towards building for the 2007 season," said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold. "With this in mind, we want to try different things with our team during the remainder of the season to see what we can learn for the future."

Added team co-owner Robbie Buhl: "We are continuing to grow as a team, and we can't stop learning. Ryan will be in the car for us at Nashville, and that will allow us to get to know him better. We are always working to build the team and Ryan will have a hand in that."

Briscoe, who finished a season-best eighth at Nashville while driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005, finished a career-best third driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing at Watkins Glen in June.

A noted road-racer, Briscoe has driven in the Grand American Road Racing Series and A1GP this season and will drive endurance events with the Holden Racing Team in the Australian V8 SuperCar Series.

"I'm very excited to get back in the car for the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team--especially with the success we had together in Watkins Glen earlier this year," Briscoe said. "It will also be exciting to be competing on an oval again. I will be running select races because I have prior commitments in Australia. I am doing what I can to do both."

The team has yet to confirm plans for the events that Briscoe will not compete. Reinbold said Buddy Lazier, who has started seven races for the team this season, remains an option.

"Buddy (Lazier) is the ultimate professional and did a great job for us this year," Reinbold said. "We will certainly continue to consider him for the future."

***

2. Foyt, Giaffone Part Ways: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt announced that he has mutually agreed to part ways with Felipe Giaffone. No replacement driver was named for the No. 14 ABC Supply Co. Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

"It wasn't working for either of us," said Foyt, who continues to recover from his June 26 knee replacement surgery on his left leg. "It's been frustrating for him and me, and I knew I needed to do something. We just didn't have the communication that we needed to be successful together."

Despite finishing fifth in the road-course event at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Giaffone and Foyt have struggled on the oval tracks. Outside of an eighth-place finish in the season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the team's best showing on an oval track was 15th at Twin Ring Motegi in April.

"I'm glad for the opportunity to drive for A.J.," Giaffone said. "From the beginning we have had the same goal, to work together to get good results. The season started out pretty good, but then it went in the other direction, and we didn't achieve what we expected."

Foyt will announce Giaffone's replacement later this week.

***

3. Firestone to serve as Nashville grand marshal: Reality TV star Andrew Firestone will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Firestone, the great-grandson of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey Firestone, is best known from his role on the ABC reality program "The Bachelor." He will give the command to start engines, among other duties during pre-race activities.

Firestone, who is active in his family's wine business located in the Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California, is now part of the Firestone team -- driving in racing events, making public appearances and acting as a goodwill ambassador for Firestone tires and the company his great-grandfather founded more than a century ago.

***

4. Of note: Andretti Green Racing's Marco Andretti and Dario Franchitti tested at The Milwaukee Mile on July 10. The pair was joined by Indy Pro Series driver Jonathan Klein, who drove an Andretti Green Racing IndyCar Series car as part of the IRL's bonus testing program. -- Jack Spurney, a 28-year Honda veteran with extensive management experience in the company's Research & Development efforts, has been named General Manager for Honda Performance Development (HPD). Spurney comes to HPD from Honda R&D Americas, Inc., where as Senior Manager, Administration, he managed a staff of associates with responsibilities for strategic planning, human resources, facility operations and organizational development. -- Indy Pro Series veterans James Chesson and Tom Wood will return to the series this weekend for the Sunbelt Rentals 100. Chesson will drive the No. 76 Part Sourcing International entry, while Wood will drive the No. 42 Kenn Hardley Racing entry.

***

The next IndyCar Series event is the Firestone Indy 200 at 9 p.m. on July 15 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Sunbelt Rentals 100 on July 15 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be telecast by ESPN2 at 2 p.m. on July 20.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Dario Franchitti , James Chesson , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Tom Wood , Chip Ganassi , Andrew Firestone , Jonathan Klein , A.J. Foyt
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing , Holden Racing Team