IPS: Mid-Ohio: Andrew Prendeville preview

The Animals Are Pulling for Prendeville In Sunday's Indy Pro Series Race at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio, July 20 - Madge, a puppy that recently found a new home thanks to the Best Friends Animal Society, wants Andrew Prendeville to finish all 40...

The Animals Are Pulling for Prendeville In Sunday's Indy Pro Series Race at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio, July 20 - Madge, a puppy that recently found a new home thanks to the Best Friends Animal Society, wants Andrew Prendeville to finish all 40 laps of Sunday's Indy Pro Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

So do the other 1,499 animals that can be found on any given day at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, plus other animals at shelters that Best Friends helps here in Ohio and throughout the world.

They'll all be rooting for Prendeville to do well because Prendeville is trying to activate race fans all over the world to help them.

He developed a special program called Racing Laps for Best Friends to encourage donations to the not-for-profit organization, which operates the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the United States. Through a Web site he developed called racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans can pledge monetary donations to Best Friends based on the number of laps he completes in each Indy Pro Series race with his RLR/Andersen Racing/Best Friends Animal Society No. 5. At $1 per lap for a 40-lap race such as Sunday's Indy Pro Series race at Mid-Ohio, the donation would be $40. If the car would only complete 25 laps, then the donation would be $25.

Donations in any amount from 25 cents and up per lap can be pledged using the Web site and a major credit card.

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.

Best Friends hopes the exposure to race 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. Even animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq can be found there.

According to a Best Friends spokesperson, the not-for-profit organization handles about 135 cases a year from Ohio. They involve things such as help with trapping feral cats and treating them, finding homes for dogs and cats, and information on no-kill shelters in the local area.

Best Friends has been working with Mark Kumpf, director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center in Dayton, Ohio, on the statewide issue of breed-specific legislation, which will affect the entire state. Best Friends is trying to move the focus from breed-specific legislation to instead address the issue of problem dogs, regardless of breed.

Ohio was also one of the states that was of great assistance to Best Friends in taking Katrina animals it had rescued from the New Orleans area. One shelter, Tender Loving Care in Medina, Ohio, fostered and found homes for animals from Tylertown, Miss., which is directly north of New Orleans. There were several other shelters throughout the state that also helped foster and find homes for Best Friends' Katrina rescues.

Madge, the puppy Prendeville met during a visit to Best Friends in March, didn't have such an exotic background. She and some siblings were simply left in a crate one day at the sanctuary. She has since been adopted and is living in Las Vegas.

Prendeville, 25, of Morristown, N.J., drives for RLR/Andersen Racing of Fairfield, N.J. Andersen Racing is the official Indy Pro Series team of Hilliard, Ohio-based Rahal Letterman Racing.

Although Sunday marks the first Indy Pro Series race ever at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Prendeville has had much success there driving in other series. In 11 previous starts at Mid-Ohio in formula cars he's won five times and been on the podium eight times. The other three finishes were a fifth, a seventh and a DNF. One of those victories was the SCCA Formula Continental national championship at the Valvoline Runoffs in 2002.

Prendeville worked at the Mid-Ohio School as an instructor in 2005, and has logged well over 2,500 laps there in the last five years.

Qualifying is slated for Saturday morning, with the 40-lap or 60-minute Indy Pro Series race starting at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday. It will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. Live timing and scoring will be offered at indycar.com/pro.

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

-credit: restart communications

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville