What they're saying about the IRL IndyCar Series name. INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2003 -- Quotes from selected team owners, drivers, racetrack executives and other officials about the new name of the premier level of racing in the Indy...
What they're saying about the IRL IndyCar Series name.
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2003 -- Quotes from selected team owners, drivers, racetrack executives and other officials about the new name of the premier level of racing in the Indy Racing League, the IRL IndyCar Series. Indy Racing League President and CEO Tony George unveiled the new name and series logo during a media conference Jan. 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
MATTHEW ALEXANDER (Vice president and general manager, Chicagoland Speedway): "Chicagoland Speedway is proud to be a part of the Indy Racing League's phenomenal growth as the nation's premier open-wheel series. The IndyCar name has always been synonymous with the cars, drivers and rich heritage of the Indianapolis 500. Changing their name to IndyCar Series will help relate their excitement, strengthen their brand and differentiate themselves from all other types of open-wheel racing to their ever-growing fan base. After Sam Hornish Jr. won the Delphi Indy 300 in the closest finish in Indy Racing League history, edging Al Unser Jr. by .0024 of a second, Chicagoland Speedway is excited about again hosting the IndyCar Series and the closest racing in the world during the 2003 season."
ROBBIE BUHL (Co-owner/driver, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "There's no more recognizable race venue in the world and certainly no place with more emotional attachment for us as owners and drivers (than Indianapolis). Given, that as drivers, we all live not only to race here but for a chance to win at Indy, the IndyCar Series makes it easier to promote our series as unique. The value in distinguishing our level of competitive racing from others ultimately helps to build and shape the loyalty -- among fans and sponsors, as well as drivers -- that we know is essential in growing the IRL. We are IndyCar racing. Besides, it's easier than referring to us as the "Series-which-offers-the-best-wheel-to-wheel-racing-not-to-mention-the-m ost-photo-finishes-in-less-than-half-a-second."
BUZZ CALKINS (Owner, Bradley Motorsports, 1996 IRL IndyCar Series co-champion as a driver): "I think this is a very positive step for the series. It incorporates what the lay person knows about open-wheel racing without compromising how the serious race fan identifies with the series."
MARK CASSIS (Executive vice president and general manager, Kentucky Speedway): "We are honored to be a part of the new IndyCar Series. Since opening in 2000, the Indy Racing League has provided Kentucky Speedway and our fans with the best show in motorsports as close finishes and speeds over 220 mph are always a part of the action. We are delighted to once again host the Infiniti Pro Series and The Belterra Casino Indy 300 Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17 at Kentucky Speedway."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (Owner/driver, Red Bull Cheever Racing, 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner): "Everything is right back to where it should be. We have the best oval racing series in the world. We have the 86-year history of the Indianapolis 500 as our tradition. Everyone already knows us as IndyCar drivers. Now we can officially say it. The final piece of the puzzle has been put in place."
TIM CINDRIC (President, Penske Racing, Inc.): "Since the early 70s, our type of racing has been best known to the general public as IndyCar racing. It's refreshing to know that everyone can officially refer to it as such for years to come. This change should maintain our connection with our current fans while continuing to enhance the legacy of the Indianapolis 500."
GIAN PAOLO DALLARA (Owner, Dallara Automobili SRL): "Dallara, as a company, has enjoyed blossoming growth, both technically and commercially, because of its involvement with the Indy Racing League. At this point, we feel not only that we have been building a solid, six-year relationship with the Indy Racing League, but we also are part of a long and established heritage and American way of racing through the Indianapolis 500. This new name, IRL IndyCar Series, reflects on that heritage while distinguishing this fantastic form of racing, which is second to none in terms of spectacular and close technical competitiveness."
SARAH FISHER (Driver, winner of IRL Crew Most Popular Driver Award in 2001-2002): "When I was growing up, I always wanted to be an IndyCar driver, and now it's official!"
DOUG FRITZ (President, Richmond International Raceway): "Although Richmond International Raceway has hosted NASCAR events for more than 50 years and IndyCar races for only two seasons, the IndyCar name has quickly become synonymous with speed, excitement and great racing to our fans in Richmond. The SunTrust Indy Challenge is one of the most entertaining races on the IndyCar Series schedule, and we are looking forward to continuing the rich heritage of IndyCar racing for many years to come in Richmond."
EDDIE GOSSAGE (Executive vice president and general manager, Texas Motor Speedway): "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. If it's a race with cars running side-by-side at over 200 mph with a beautiful, high-pitched whine, it must be an IndyCar Series race with methanol-burning, needle-nosed, whistling fast cars. The second home of the Indy Racing League -- Texas Motor Speedway -- is proud that the IRL IndyCar Series will continue to build on the great tradition and rich history of the Indianapolis 500."
DENNIS REINBOLD (Co-owner, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "As a worldwide sporting icon, the Indianapolis 500 commands awe and respect. It (IndyCar Series) simply formalizes what's been going on around the paddock for years -- we all describe our racing as IndyCar racing, because it provides the most distinguishing factor between other racing series."
BUDDY RICE (Driver, Red Bull Cheever Racing): "I think the IndyCar Series name is a good choice. It will be easier for the fans and the public to recognize. The IndyCar name has been around for a long time with the Indianapolis 500. It will be easier for the fans to relate to this name."
BRETT SHELTON (President, Michigan International Speedway): "In a year where Michigan International Speedway is celebrating 35 years of IndyCar racing, it is only appropriate that the IRL is bringing back the IndyCar name that is recognizable to so many people. MIS has the longest-running IndyCar tradition behind Indianapolis. We look forward to the IndyCar Series returning once again in 2003 on the road from Indy to MIS."
MATT STRELO (Vice president and general manager, Gateway International Raceway): "We've always told fans in St. Louis that when the IRL comes to Gateway that we're bringing the excitement of Indy 500 and The Brickyard to their back yard. This new name says it all -- IRL ... IndyCar ... It is the greatest spectacle in racing -- at The Brickyard, or in your back yard."