Series news and notes 2010-01-15

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Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines 1. FAZZT Racing Team unveils partners for 2010 opener 2. Patraeus to serve as Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg grand marshal 3. Castroneves receives his third Baby ...

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
1. FAZZT Racing Team unveils partners for 2010 opener
2. Patraeus to serve as Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg grand marshal
3. Castroneves receives his third Baby Borg
4. Olinger heads to Haiti
5. Vote for Franchitti's Long Beach win
6. Patrick to appear on episode of CSI: New York
7. Baby makes four

1. FAZZT Racing Team unveils partners for 2010 opener: FAZZT Race Team announced Jan. 14 a partnership with Bowers & Wilkins, the world's leading producers of reference quality hi-fi and home theater speakers, and unveiled their livery for the inaugural race of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.

Team firesuits, pit equipment and uniforms also will carry B & W branding for the Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil on March 14.

"Our partnership with FAZZT is a great opportunity for Bowers & Wilkins to promote our expanding range of multi-media products to the Brazilian consumer and the global IZOD IndyCar Series audience," company owner and chairman Joe Atkins said. "We feel strongly that the profile of this event and the entire series fits very well with the demographics of the new digital consumer and provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase our new products and to support this exciting new team."

Team principals Andre Azzi and Jim Freudenberg joined driver and Montreal native Alex Tagliani at the unveiling of the No. 77 car's livery a day before the public opening of the 42nd Montreal International Auto Show.

"It is an honor and the fulfillment of a longtime dream to unveil the FAZZT Race Team No. 77 in my hometown of Montreal," Azzi said. "It has been a huge process to get our team to this point and we are excited to not only be a part of the grid in 2010 but to be a competitive entity in the IZOD IndyCar Series."

The team, which conducted a successful shakedown test last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will test at Sebring International Racing next week, will begin the season with the B & W livery and then continue the campaign with additional partners and liveries.

"The Montreal Auto Show is a wonderful opportunity for us to unveil our livery and B & W partnership to a worldwide audience in anticipation of the 2010 season opener," team COO Freudenberg said. "The global marketing platform that we are able to provide our partners through the IZOD IndyCar Series will be showcased with B & W in Sao Paulo in March."

B & W will be joined on the No. 77 FAZZT Race Team car by associate partners TorcUP (makers of hydraulic and pneumatic bolting tools and a division of Edmonton-based Cantorque), Fast Eddie Racewear (the Canadian-based official clothing supplier for FAZZT Race Team), Inner City Promotions (a loyalty and card marketing agency that has begun production of the FAZZT Race Team fan loyalty card), La Capsule Sportive (a Quebec-based retailer of sports merchandise, including the FAZZT Race Team apparel), and Sharp Business Systems (an Indianapolis-based office equipment and electronic systems provider).

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2. Patraeus to serve as Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg grand marshal: Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of U. S. Central Command, will be the grand marshal of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 28.

Gen. Petraeus will give the traditional command to start the race and will participate in pre-race ceremonies and the awards presentation. Event organizers also are planning a broader program with McDill Air Force Base and area military and their families. Special tickets programs are being developed for active military and their families and the traditional Honda Grand Prix Kick-Off Luncheon, which will be held March 25, will include a special salute to wounded veterans.

"Gen. Petraeus is one of the most respected leaders in the world and it is an honor to have him as the Grand Marshal of the Honda Grand Prix," said Tim Ramsberger, general manager of the event. "There is no one better to give the traditional drivers' command on Sunday of race weekend than Gen. Petraeus."

Before his 2008 appointments as the Commander of Tampa-based U. S. Central Command, Gen. Petraeus was the Commanding General of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, where he oversaw all coalition forces in the country. A recipient of countless honors and awards, Gen. Petraeus was named near the top of Foreign Policy Magazine's "Top Global Thinkers" in 2009 and last October Esquire magazine tabbed him as one of "The 75 Best People in the World."

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3. Castroneves receives his third Baby Borg: On Jan. 13, reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves accepted his third BorgWarner Championship Driver's Trophy - affectionately known as the Baby Borg - from BorgWarner chairman and CEO Tim Manganello during a ceremony as part of the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. It will join the others in his Florida home.

"They're like on a pedestal," Castroneves said of the 14-inch replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy that rests on a beveled black marble base inscribed with the winner's name and year of victory. "I have not only the 'Baby Borgs' but also the 'Dancing With The Stars' trophy. You gotta have that. It was a lot of hard work. It's a different sport but it's still a champion. I'll put them together and look at them every day. It's an unbelievable accomplishment."

Castroneves, who turns 35 on May 10, will attempt to join four-time Indy 500 winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears on May 30. Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is May 15, with Pole Day scheduled for May 22.

"My car number is three so getting the third Baby Borg it is a perfect fit," said Castroneves, who also won "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in 2001 and '02. "But I don't want to stop right there."

Team owner Roger Penske, who will be honored Jan. 16 with induction to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, and Penske Racing president Timothy Cindric (also Castroneves' race strategist) received the BorgWarner Championship Team Owner's Trophy. Penske Racing has recorded 15 Indianapolis 500 victories.

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4. Olinger heads to Haiti: Indy Racing League director of medical services Dr. Michael Olinger is among the medical professionals the U.S. government is sending Haiti to assist with the recovery efforts following the major earthquake near Port Au Prince on Jan. 12.

Olinger, who has worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency during a variety of disasters, will serve as a deputy medical director on FEMA's Red Incident Support Team.

"When I joined the IRL as medical director, I resigned my spot on (Indiana) Task Force One, but was placed as a medical support member on an alternate list," Olinger said before joining his team Jan. 15 at Homestead Air Force Base where it will deploy to Haiti. "I was the next to last guy on the list and they got all the way, to me so I'm on the way there."

Olinger will be in Haiti from 10-14 days offering support the medical resources deployed by U.S. government. In all, Olinger and his team will support the medical units of the 10 FEMA Task Forces on site and help develop a medical action plan for them.

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5. Vote for Franchitti's Long Beach win: Dario Franchitti's victory in the 35th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - the first IZOD IndyCar Series race on the scenic street course - has been nominated in the motorsports category of the LA Sports Council's "2009 Greatest Moments."

The winner will be chosen by fan voting at www.lasports.org through Jan. 31 and be announced Feb. 19 during the fifth LA Sports Awards.

The LA Sports Council is a private, non-profit organization that supports economic and community development through the promotion of spectator sports programs in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, including support of our local teams and the attraction of events to the area.

Franchitti will seek to successfully defend his title at Long Beach on April 18 in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

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6. Patrick to appear on episode of CSI: New York: Andretti Autosport driver Danica Patrick will appear in an episode of "CSI: NY" on CBS with a scheduled air date of Feb. 10.

The series is a crime drama inspired by "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and is about forensic investigators who use high-tech science to follow the evidence and solve crimes in the Big Apple. "CSI: Miami, "NCIS" and "NCIS: LA" also are CBS shows of a similar vein.

A few days earlier, Patrick will be featured in GoDaddy.com commercials to be aired during the Super Bowl. One ad will feature Patrick replicating scenes from movies such as "Flashdance," "Weird Science" and "The Seven Year Itch."

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7. Baby makes four: Justin and Julia Wilson welcomed their second daughter, Jessica Lynne, on Jan. 12.

Justin, who drove for Dale Coyne Racing during the 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series season, exited the season preview meeting at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway quickly and quietly to be with his wife at Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, Colo.

He made it just in time.

Jessica Lynne arrived at 7:12 p.m. (MT). She checked in at 5.13 pounds and 18 inches long. and joins her older sister Jane.

-source: irl

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS