IRL: Texas pre event notes

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 1, 2001) - Racing has its figurative ups and downs. On Wednesday, June 6, five drivers from the Indy Racing Northern Light Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will experience it in the literal sense as they join five...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 1, 2001) - Racing has its figurative ups and downs. On Wednesday, June 6, five drivers from the Indy Racing Northern Light Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will experience it in the literal sense as they join five race fans for the ride of their life on the newest thrill ride at Six Flags Over Texas, The Titan.

Brave participants include Indy Racing's Robby McGehee, who finished second in last year's Casino Magic 500, Davey Hamilton who has started every race since the inception of the Indy Racing League, Billy Boat who won at Texas in June 1998, Felipe Giaffone, a rookie currently third in the Indy points standings, along with truck series driver and local favorite Eric Norris, son of actor Chuck Norris, who also competes in ARCA and the NASCAR Winston West Series.

Five lucky fans, who were selected at random from entries to KSCS-FM in Dallas-Fort Worth, will be paired with the drivers for the thrilling ride.

The drivers will meet up with their selected fan at The Titan ride on Wednesday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. An autograph session will follow their ride.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING - The June 9 Casino Magic 500 will be a milestone for long-time Indy Car owner John Mecom, Jr. of Houston. After nearly four decades of owning race teams in various series, it will be the first time he will ever see one of his professional race teams compete in his home state. Mecom, Jr. is co-owner of Heritage Motorsports, along with his son John Mecom III, Jim Rathmann, Jr., and Jim Rathmann, Sr., winner of the 1960 Indy 500.

Many of the top names in Indy Racing history, including A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Al Unser, Sr., Mario Andretti and Roger Penske have all driven for Mecom.

"Just the fact alone that we're racing in Texas shows how much the sport has grown," said Mecom. "It's a professionally run track capable of hosting all major racing events. There are a lot of reasons why I'm thrilled to be competing at Texas Motor Speedway, most important, it's home. It's nice to be coming home to race."

Driver Jeff Ward will be piloting the Heritage Motorsports entry in this year's Casino Magic 500.

PUT A LID ON IT - Fans who arrive early for the Casino Magic 500 will not only see a great race, they'll also receive a special thank-you from the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. The first 10,000 fans to enter the gates on June 9 will receive an Indy Racing hat.

"We think that's a great way to say thanks," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "Tony George and the Indy Racing League are committed to the fans of open-wheel racing."

The hats will be handed out at Gates 2-7.

-TMS

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Series IndyCar , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Robby McGehee , Felipe Giaffone , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Billy Boat , Mario Andretti , Parnelli Jones , Tony George , Eric Norris , Roger Penske , A.J. Foyt , Al Unser