IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2006-07-19

Today's IRL headlines 1. Behind the Scenes: DAG Engineer, Nathan O'Rourke, Vision Racing: (Last of a series) 2. Patrick draws cheers in hometown 3. Wheldon sports new colors 4. Of note 1. Behind the Scenes: DAG Engineer, Nathan O'Rourke, Vision...

Today's IRL headlines
1. Behind the Scenes: DAG Engineer, Nathan O'Rourke, Vision Racing: (Last of a series)
2. Patrick draws cheers in hometown
3. Wheldon sports new colors
4. Of note

1. Behind the Scenes: DAG Engineer, Nathan O'Rourke, Vision Racing: (Last of a series): The DAG engineer often plays a little known role in racing, but that doesn't downplay the importance of this imperative position however. A DAG engineer -- "Data Acquisition Guy" -- can be seen assisting with all facets of an IndyCar Series machine while at the track. Here's how one DAG engineer, Vision Racing's Nathan O'Rourke, describes his job:

Q. The obvious question. What does a DAG guy do? NATHAN O'ROURKE:

"The primary responsibility of a DAG engineer is to look after all of the wiring and sensors on the car. We pay close attention to this and monitor it for any failures it may have. Once all of that is taken care of, my responsibility is to assist the race engineer in any way that I can. This could include helping with the setup on the car or assisting with the data that we pull from car following an on-track session. Basically, if (the chief mechanic) needs something I am the one to help out with that. All of these duties keep me plenty busy while we are at the track."

Q. Being that one of the primary duties of the DAG is to assist the lead engineer on a race team, the question raises itself. Do you aspire to be a chief mechanic someday?

NATHAN O'ROURKE: "My ultimate goal in racing is to be the lead engineer on a race team. I want to make the big bucks like these guys (chief mechanics) do."

Q. You attended Purdue University and graduated two years ago with a degree in mechanical engineering. Where do you hope to be in a few years?

NATHAN O'ROURKE: "I'd say that I hope to be at the top of the ranks when I'm in my early to mid-30s, which is still a few years away for me. For now though, I'm really enjoying what I'm doing here at Vision (Racing)."

***

2. Patrick draws cheers in hometown: Danica Patrick faked a big leg kick, and pawed the rubber at Riverhawks Stadium in Loves Park, Ill. with her toe like a finicky pitcher before firing a less-than perfect "strike." No one really cared that the IndyCar Series driver from nearby Roscoe, Ill. one-hopped the ceremonial first pitch to the catcher. Patrick's appearance at the Rockford Riverhawks' July 18 game was part of an MDA fundraiser and capped off her hero's return to her hometown this week Patrick, who signed some 400 copies of her book "Danica Patrick: Crossing the Line" prior to the game, and the Riverhawks raised more than $12,000 for MDA with an auction of jerseys that mimicked Patrick's racing uniform. "It's always good to see friendly faces and meet the new ones who are excited, or fans who are just here to see some baseball," she told the Rockford Register Star. Patrick's jersey, an autographed baseball and two tickets and hospitality passes to the IndyCar Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in September sold for $2,700 "It's for a really good cause," Patrick said. "I know you've all been here for a while, and you're tired and cold, or maybe that's just me. But please donate as much as you can."

***

3. Wheldon sports new colors: For the second time this season, Dan Wheldon will trade in the traditional red and white of Target Chip Ganassi Racing for a special, one-off paint scheme Wheldon will carry the colors of Fuji Film on the No. 10 Honda-powered Dallara. It's the third special promotion for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, which used special paint schemes for Energizer E2 Lithium Batteries and Nicorette earlier this season.

***

4. Of note: Andretti Green Racing's Marco Andretti will give a pit stop demonstration at 10:45 a.m. (local time) July 20 in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum. The event is free and open to the public. -- The Milwaukee Mile has installed the SAFER Barrier on 3,472 linear feet of retaining wall in Turns 1-2 and Turns 3-4. *** The next IndyCar Series event is the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Indy 225 at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) on July 23 at The Milwaukee Mile. 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 Milwaukee 100 on July 22 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be telecast by ESPN2 at 2 p.m. on July 27. ESPN2's coverage of the Sunbelt Rentals 100 will be telecast at 2 p.m. on July 20.

-irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Danica Patrick
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing