VISION RACING TO ROCK ON WITH PARTNER ROCK & REPUBLIC
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 7, 2006) -- Coming off an exhilarating month of May and a poignant running of the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500, the partnership formed between Vision Racing and Rock & Republic will ride again for the Bombardier Learjet 500 which will run under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway this Saturday evening at Texas Motor Speedway. The partnership forged at Indianapolis will also extend to additional races in 2006.
Racing under the lights at the Texas Motor Speedway makes this race one of the most exciting of the IndyCar season. Wheel to wheel racing at the Bombardier Learjet 500 has produced such notable winners Tony Kanaan and Al Unser Jr.; and racing legends Scott Goodyear and Arie Luyendyk. Four of the top-20 closest IndyCar finishes have been at Texas Motor Speedway in the June race. Defending champion and current Vision Racing Rock & Republic driver, Tomas Scheckter, had a photo finish last year in front of Sam Hornish Jr. in one of the closest finishes in IRL history. Scheckter won the 2005 race from the pole, leading 119 of the 200 laps.
At this Saturday's race Scheckter will be piloting the Rock & Republic branded Dallara/Honda/Firestone which was driven by Townsend Bell in the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 last month. Coming off a top-10 finish at last weekend's race at Watkins Glen International, Scheckter is an early favorite to defend his title.
Ed Carpenter will again be driving the Vision Racing / Rock & Republic #20 Honda Firestone Dallara. With an impressive 11th place finish in the Indianapolis 500 and a 6th place finish in Sunday's Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix, Carpenter is certainly primed for an outstanding performance under the lights in Texas. Growing up racing sprint cars and midgets under the lights, this race suits Carpenter's driving style and gives him a distinct advantage going into this weekend.
In addition, the parties are identifying opportunities that may give rise for the return of driver Townsend Bell to rejoin the team in a third entry for select races later this season. Bell joined Vision Racing with Rock & Republic for the month of May, driving the Rock & Republic Vision Racing #90 Dallara/Honda/Firestone for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500. He started 15th in the event, ran as high as eighth and was forced to retire late in the race and settle for 22nd position.
By all accounts, the two organizations successfully realized the objectives set for the month, despite finishing the race itself with results below expectations. The partnership not only allowed Vision Racing to run three entries in the Indianapolis 500, but also forged a new sponsorship; linking motorsports with fashion, entertainment and celebrities. Both Vision Racing and Rock & Republic hope to continue the momentum created at Indy by extending the partnership for the remainder of 2006 with an eye toward a full program in 2007.
Vision Racing co-owner Tony George said, "We have a very dedicated group at Vision and I was very proud of our team for putting a competitive, three-car effort on track for the entire month of May. It would not have been possible to do in three weeks, as we did, without a dedicated, focused and committed partner like Rock & Republic."
Defining the meaning of the rock 'n roll style, Rock & Republic is known for it's cutting-edge fashion and appeal amongst A-list celebrities. Along with Vision Racing, Rock & Republic plans on bringing that same Hollywood appeal to the IndyCar Series just as they did at the Brickyard.
Rock & Republic CEO/Owner/Chief Designer Michael Ball said, "We're excited about continuing our affiliation with Tony and Laura George and the Vision Racing team for Texas. They understand the rock and roll edge of our branding strategy and we're looking forward to the potential of this ground breaking collaboration. Premium motor sports are a key component of our global branding initiative and it's a great fit with Rock & Republic's lifestyle brand."