Series news and notes 2009-11-30

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines 1. Patrick re-signs with Andretti Autosport 2. Franchitti, Hildebrand named to All-America Team 3. Tickets for St. Petersburg event on sale Dec. 4 1. Patrick...

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines

1.      Patrick re-signs with Andretti Autosport

2. Franchitti, Hildebrand named to All-America Team
3. Tickets for St. Petersburg event on sale Dec. 4

1. Patrick re-signs with Andretti Autosport: With the backdrop of New York's Times Square, Danica Patrick unveiled the car she will race in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"We've got the new IndyCar Go Daddy car for Andretti Autosport here," Patrick said. "Go Daddy has been part of our car for the last three years, but now we've got them as the primary sponsor. With these bright colors, you can't miss me."

Andretti Autosport announced Nov. 30 that Go Daddy, the world's largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, had signed a multi-year primary sponsorship agreement with the team and Patrick had signed a new multi-year deal to be the driver of the team's #7 Go Daddy IZOD IndyCar Series entry.

"All of us at Andretti Autosport are looking forward to having Danica back with the team and are excited about working with (Go Daddy CEO and Founder) Bob Parsons and everyone at Go Daddy as the primary sponsor on Danica's car," said team owner Michael Andretti, who helped Patrick unveil the black and neon green-liveried car. "Go Daddy brings a lot of energy to our team and to the IZOD IndyCar Series. We're very excited about the opportunity to work with them in 2010 and beyond."

Patrick joined Andretti Autosport before the start of the 2007 season and became the first woman to win an IZOD IndyCar Series event at the Indy Japan 300 in 2008. She finished third in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 -- bettering the fourth-place mark she established during her breakout 2005 season. Patrick also drove to a career-best fifth-place finish in this year's IZOD IndyCar Series championship.

"Michael Andretti has helped me become a better driver, and we hope to accomplish a great deal during the next few years together, "Patrick said. "Bob Parsons and Go Daddy have believed in me from the start. You know, my lifelong goal is to win the Indy 500, and I'd love to do that in the GoDaddy.com car."

Go Daddy is a leading provider of services that enable individuals and businesses to establish, maintain and evolve an online presence. Go Daddy provides a variety of domain name registrar plans and Web site design and Web hosting packages, as well as a broad array of on-demand services. Go Daddy is also well-known for its Super Bowl commercials, in which Patrick has been featured three straight years.

"Danica is the quintessential Go Daddy Girl," Parsons said. "Danica is a beautiful woman competing in a male-dominated sport. She's passionate. She's focused. She's all about doing what it takes to win and we love that about her. Not to mention she's edgy, smokin' hot and as tough as any competitor anywhere. We are very good together."

As part of its continuing relationship with Andretti Autosport, Go Daddy provided the team with a redesigned company Web site, which was also launched Nov. 30 at www.andrettiautosport.com.

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2. Franchitti, Hildebrand named to All-America Team: 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti and 2009 Firestone Indy Lights champion J.R. Hildebrand were among the seven drivers honored with first-team honors on the 2009 American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's All-America team.

Franchitti, who won five races and the IndyCar Series championship in his return to the series after a year in NASCAR, earned his second first-team honor by earning the most votes in the open-wheel category. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves earned the second-team honors in the voting of more than 300 members of the media.

Hildebrand, who won four races en route to the Firestone Indy Lights title, was the top vote-getter in the at-large category. It's the second time Hildebrand has been named to the All-America First team. He also was a selection in 2006 after winning the F2000 Championship.

Franchitti and Hildebrand, along with the rest of the first team - NASCAR Sprint Cup star Mark Martin, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., NHRA Top Fuel Champ Tony Schumacher, Rolex Sports Car Series co-champs Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney and World of Outlaws titlist Donnie Schatz - will be honored at the 40th AARWBA banquet Jan. 16 in Brownsburg, Ind.

The winner of the Jerry Titus Award, which is awarded to the top vote-getter over the seven categories, also will be announced at the banquet.

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3. Tickets for St. Petersburg event on sale Dec. 4: Tickets for the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, featuring five racing series headlined by the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights go on sale Dec. 4.

The three-day racing event, scheduled for March 26-28 on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, features five unique racing. In addition to the featured classes, the SPEED World Challenge, including both GT and Touring classes also returns while the Star Mazda Championship and the U.S. F2000 National Championship will debut on the 1.8-mile temporary circuit that includes a combination of adjacent downtown streets circling Pioneer Park, the Bayfront Center and extending onto runways at Albert Whitted Airport that overlook the Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina.

"The 2010 schedule at the Honda Grand Prix is packed with exciting racing," said Tim Ramsberger, vice president and general manager of the event. "We have kept our ticket prices at the same level for the past four years and we are looking forward to staging another great event in St. Petersburg this March."

Tickets for the event range in price from $25 for adult general admissions tickets to $110 for an adult three-day reserved seat pass. Three-day general admission passes are $45 and a general admission ticket for Sunday's featured races is $40. Reserved seat for Sunday range from $60 for seats in the lower rows to $80 for seats in the upper rows and three-day reserved seat passes start at $85. Reduced rate tickets are available for juniors, ages 12 and under, in certain ticket categories.

Race fans purchasing a three-day reserved seat ticket, purchased by December 31, 2009, will also receive an IZOD IndyCar paddock pass, valued at $55. To purchase tickets, visit www.gpstpete.com.

-credit: irl

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS