IRL: Rio Casino to sponsor Foyt's second car, driven by Salazar

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000 -- Harrah's Casinos increased its involvement with the Indy Racing League and A.J. Foyt Enterprises by announcing Jan. 27 that the Rio All-Suite Casino Resort will serve as the title sponsor...

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000 -- Harrah's Casinos increased its involvement with the Indy Racing League and A.J. Foyt Enterprises by announcing Jan. 27 that the Rio All-Suite Casino Resort will serve as the title sponsor of a second Foyt-owned Indy Racing car in 2000. Veteran Eliseo Salazar will drive the #11 Rio A.J. Foyt Racing G Force/Aurora/Firestone in all 10 Indy Racing League events in 2000, including the Indianapolis 500. Harrah's Casinos is the title sponsor of the #14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing G Force/Aurora/Firestone owned by Foyt and driven this season by Indy Racing standout Jeff Ward. "By expanding our involvement with Foyt Racing, we are creating a marriage between America's premier names in casino entertainment and open-wheel racing," said Craig Hudson, Harrah's vice president of brand management. "Based on the outstanding success Harrah's Racing enjoyed during the 1999 season, we couldn't be happier to bring an additional casino brand into the IRL's most recognized racing team." Said Cary A. Rehm, senior vice president and general manager of the Rio: "We've seen the tremendous return Harrah's has received on its investment, and it made perfect sense for the Rio to follow suit. Given the IRL's new television agreement with ABC and the high-profile association we have with A.J. Foyt, this is a perfect opportunity to reinforce Rio's reputation as a winner." Salazar, in his 26th year of racing, won the 1997 Las Vegas 500 and has won numerous races around the world. "Racing with A.J. is going to take my career to a new level," Salazar said. "No one in racing has more experience than A.J. does, and no one knows more about winning. I know our determination, skill and knowledge will put us in the hunt for the championship." Harrah's began its relationship with Foyt during the 1996-97 racing season, when it sponsored Foyt's team at the Las Vegas 500 Indy Racing League event. Harrah's became an associate sponsor of both of Foyt's cars in January 1999 before becoming the title sponsor of one of Foyt's cars in June 1999. "Racing teams need the support of sponsors to win, and during the past year Harrah's has backed my team in every way possible," Foyt said. "Agreeing to bring the Rio aboard as the title sponsor of my second car was about the easiest decision I've made in a while."

-IRL/IMS-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eliseo Salazar , Jeff Ward , A.J. Foyt