IPS: Chicagoland: Andrew Prendeville preview

Sunday's Indy Pro Series Season Finale Is Great Chance to Help Best Friends JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 7 - Race car drivers know all about taking chances, including last ones. Sunday's Indy Pro Series season finale at Chicagoland Speedway is the ...

Sunday's Indy Pro Series Season Finale Is Great Chance to Help Best Friends

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 7 - Race car drivers know all about taking chances, including last ones.

Sunday's Indy Pro Series season finale at Chicagoland Speedway is the last chance for drivers like Andrew Prendeville to earn points towards the series' 2007 championship. It's also the last chance this year for fans to make donations to the Best Friends Animal Society through the racinglapsforbestfriends.com Web site based on the number of laps Prendeville completes in his races.

Race fans who have been thinking about helping the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the United States through Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends program but haven't yet done so can make per-lap donations from 25 cents and up through the racinglapsforbestfriends.com Web site. Others who have been donating each event since the program began in May are encouraged to continue to help make a difference for animal concerns.

The distance for Sunday's Indy Pro Series season finale is 67 laps.

Fans can follow Prendeville in his Best Friends Animal Society No. 5 through the live coverage at 11:30 a.m. Central time on indycar.com/pro. The race will also be shown at 5 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, Sept. 13 on ESPN2.

Fans can also purchase raffle tickets for 2008 Indy 500 tickets through the racinglapsforbestfriends.com Web site. The raffle winner will be chosen by a random drawing on Sept. 28.

Other ways to contribute include calling the sanctuary at (435) 644-2001, extension 4801, or by mailing checks payable to 'Racing Laps for Best Friends' to: Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741-5000.

Prendeville is coming off his best finish of the year, as he placed third Aug. 26 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. He's currently 11th in the overall point standings. The Morristown, N.J.-based driver is one of six drivers who could finish seventh for the year based on their results at Chicagoland on Sunday. The others are Stephen Simpson, Logan Gomez, Robbie Pecorari, Chris Festa and Jonathan Klein. Simpson holds seventh going into Sunday's race with 322 points, but the other five are all within 33 points of him.

Sunday's race will be Prendeville's first at this particular 1.5-mile oval. The action is sure to be close, because Chicagoland Speedway has generated the closest racing in series history. Three of the five races held here in the past had margins of victory of less than one-tenth of a second. In 2003 Mark Taylor edged Ed Carpenter by 0.0170 of a second at Chicagoland in the closest finish in series history.

Prendeville and his mother, Pat Prendeville of Henderson, Nev., donated signage for Best Friends on his RLR/Andersen Racing No. 5 for the entire 16-race 2007 Indy Pro Series schedule. Andrew Prendeville's older brother, Doug, who races in other series, owns the car.

Pat Prendeville grew up listening to the Indy 500 on the radio every year, and she made sure her children watched it on television as they grew up. A Best Friends member and supporter for several years and the owner of two cats from Best Friends, she also instilled in her children a respect and love for animals. It was her idea to donate space on the Indy Pro Series car for the organization - an idea that her sons immediately embraced.

Best Friends hopes the exposure to racing fans will raise awareness of the organization and gain support for animal welfare. The organization tries to help all animals, no matter what their physical condition. Often animals that can't be placed by local animal shelters live their lives out at Best Friends' sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Even animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq can be found there.

The work of Best Friends is supported entirely through the donations of its members and supporters. Its mission is driven by a simple philosophy: Kindness to animals helps build a better world.

For more information see racinglapsforbestfriends.com, bestfriends.org, andersenracingteam.com and indycar.com/pro.

Best Friends' Chicago Connections:

Over the last 18 months Best Friends has handled 22 cases specific to Chicago. These have included providing tips on how to successfully add a new cat to a cat household, information on how to find a home for a dog, and how to change the behavior of a biting cat. Best Friends also recently sent a message to its members in the Chicago area to find a home for two cats.

The most significant program that Best Friends is involved with in the area is working with Tio Hardiman, the organizer of the Chicago Campaign to Stop Animal Fighting. He is attempting to stop dog fighting in inner-city neighborhoods by educating youth and dog owners in the area. This is one of many grassroots programs that Best Friends supports and promotes through its extensive network.

The Best Friends network also helped promote the tenth annual Angels with Tails event organized by PAWS in Chicago. This is a premier adoption event showcasing homeless dogs and cats. Animals are placed in storefront windows along Michigan Avenue and Oak Street for viewing. Many of the trendy shops in that area participate each year.

-credit: restart communications

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Robbie Pecorari , Stephen Simpson , Jonathan Klein , Logan Gomez , Ed Carpenter