IPS: Festa chosen for Cheever driver development

CHEEVER RACING SELECTS CHRIS FESTA TO LAUNCH IRL DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Driver Development Team to Compete in 2006 Indy Pro Series Indianapolis, Ind. (Jan, 25, 2006) Cheever Racing today announced a comprehensive driver development...

CHEEVER RACING SELECTS CHRIS FESTA TO LAUNCH IRL DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Driver Development Team to Compete in 2006 Indy Pro Series

Indianapolis, Ind. (Jan, 25, 2006) Cheever Racing today announced a comprehensive driver development program with the goal of bringing its own new talent to the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series. Formtek and CareCentric, Inc. will partner with veteran Indy Racing League team to field an Indy Pro Series entry for American driver Chris Festa this season.

"The Indy Pro Series, now well established in its fifth season, offers Cheever Racing an opportunity to take a young gun like Chris and build him up with the final expectation of racing at the Indianapolis 500," owner Eddie Cheever, Jr. said. "Our entire group is looking forward to working with Chris on this objective."

This will be the second year of competition in the Indy Pro Series for the 20-year-old from Atlanta, Ga. Festa finished sixth in the series standings in 2005 with a season-best result of second place at Phoenix International Raceway, and five other top-five finishes.

"I am excited to be joining Cheever Racing, it is a great opportunity," Festa said. "I have great respect for Eddie as a driver and owner. I have met the team of engineers and mechanics I will be working with, and together I believe we will be a serious contender in the Pro Series--and that this will be a bridge to the IndyCar Series and even some Grand-Am races."

Festa, a current marketing major at Florida State University, has one focus in racing: to compete at the top levels of open-wheel competition. He has followed a racing career path that started with racing karts from ages 13 to 18, to racing Toyota Atlantics in 2004 and now the Indy Pro Series.

The No. 51 Formtek/CareCentric Cheever Racing entry will be the first Indy Pro Series team for Cheever Racing, one of the original teams of the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series.

"With two events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and a good combination of oval and road course races, the Indy Pro Series is a good place for America's future open-wheel racers to be driving and learning," Cheever said.

The 2006 Indy Pro Series championship begins March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The highlights of the 12-race series includes the Freedom 100 on May 26 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, and the Liberty Challenge during the United States Grand Prix weekend at Indy on July 1.

About Formtek: Formtek is a group of long-established companies, each with a well-known name and a history of providing innovative and reliable equipment to the metal forming and metal processing industries.

About CareCentric: CareCentric first participated in motorsports four years ago and has sponsored entries in various forms of American open-wheel racing including FF2000, Formula Renault 2000, Star Mazda, Toyota Atlantic and currently the Indy Pro Series.

CareCentric provides information technology, business operation and outsourcing solutions and services to more than 1,200 customers. CareCentric's customers include freestanding, hospital-based and multi-office home health care providers, including skilled nursing, private duty, home medical equipment and supplies, long-term care, home-care pharmacy and hospice. Complete information solutions enable these home-care lines of business to utilize and generate comprehensive, integrated financial, operational and clinical data. CareCentric is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with offices nationwide.

About Cheever Racing: Based in Indianapolis, Cheever Racing opened its doors in 1997 to race in the IRL IndyCar Series. The team went on to win the 1998 Indianapolis 500. A leader in American motorsports, the team is built on owner Eddie Cheever Jr.'s 30-plus years of experience in Formula One, sports cars and open-wheel racing. In 2006, Cheever Racing is set to compete in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve and the Indy Pro Series. Notably, the team is looking to enter its 10th year of IRL competition in 2006.

-cheever racing

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