IPS: Prendeville's Best Friends program expands

Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends Program Expands; 'PetStops' Will be Staged at Local Animal Shelters Prior to Races LAS VEGAS, March 19 - Race car driver Andrew Prendeville, who instituted a very popular promotion last year for the...

Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends Program Expands; 'PetStops' Will be Staged at Local Animal Shelters Prior to Races

LAS VEGAS, March 19 - Race car driver Andrew Prendeville, who instituted a very popular promotion last year for the Best Friends Animal Society centered around his Indy Pro Series races, announced today that the program will expand dramatically for the 2008 season.

The Background

"Racing Laps for Best Friends" raises exposure and funds for the Best Friends Animal Society, a not-for-profit animal welfare organization that strives for a day when there will be no more homeless pets. Best Friends assists animal shelters around the world with their individual programs, as well as operates its own animal shelter in Kanab, Utah.

Last year Prendeville donated signage for Best Friends on his Indy Pro Series race car, the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5. It appeared in races across America that were covered on ESPN2. Through a special Web site at racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans made donations to Best Friends based on the number of laps Prendeville completed in each race. Fans also participated in a raffle for 2008 Indy 500 tickets courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A tent manned by Best Friends volunteers was erected at several Indy Pro Series tracks as an additional outreach venture. Prendeville also made numerous media appearances to detail Best Friends' mission, and visited several animal shelters across the country.

Although the program didn't start until last May, approximately $50,000 was raised for Best Friends through the Racing Laps for Best Friends program last year. Donations to the program are tax deductible.

What's New

Today Prendeville said that all of that will not only continue this year, it will be expanded. A special red-and-black, 20-foot Racing Laps for Best Friends trailer has been created that will make appearances at racetracks, animal shelters, animal rescue facilities and special events near the 12 tracks that will host the 16 Indy Pro Series races slated for 2008.

Through racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans can pledge a specific amount of money for each lap that Prendeville completes in each of his races, with the donation going totally to Best Friends. They can also make flat donations through the Web site, in person at the track, or by mail.

Fans who make per-lap pledges for the entire season will receive a paw print with either their name of their pet's name affixed to the Racing Laps for Best Friends trailer. When that season pledge reaches $1,000, the name and paw print will also appear on Prendeville's helmet.

Information on a special raffle that benefits Best Friends is also available on the racinglapsforbestfriends.com Web site. The prizes are sessions at the famed Bertil Roos Racing School.

PetStops at Local Shelters

Indy Pro Series events are short enough that pitstops aren't usually necessary. If Prendeville makes one, it's usually because there's a problem.

So although a pitstop isn't usually good for him, nothing but good can come from the "PetStops" Prendeville will make at animal shelters across the country in 2008.

The PetStops are free and open to the public. Fans attending them will have the opportunity to meet Prendeville, get his autograph, and see his race car up close. Tours of local shelters and adoption events are planned depending on the wishes of each particular participating shelter. Fans will also have the opportunity to pick up free animal welfare materials and to purchase Best Friends merchandise.

The first four free "PetStops" for 2008 are scheduled for:

* Thursday, March 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Miami Dade Animal Services, 7401 NW 74 St., Miami, prior to Prendeville's season-opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. on Saturday, March 29;

* Thursday, April 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N., Largo, Fla., prior to Prendeville's races Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, on the street circuit at St. Petersburg, Fla.; * Wednesday, April 23 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, 5445 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kan., prior to Prendeville's race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. on Sunday, April 27; and

* Tuesday, May 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Indianapolis Animal Care & Control, 2600 South Harding St., Indianapolis, Ind., prior to Prendeville's race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind. on Friday, May 23.

Subsequent dates will be announced later.

"The main purpose of the PetStops will be to encourage adoptions and volunteerism at local shelters, to help people become more aware of the work of their local shelters and Best Friends, and to provide exposure to the Racing Laps for Best Friends program," said Prendeville. The PetStops will be staffed by Best Friends employees, the staff of the local shelters involved, and local volunteers.

Everything Pets in Cincinnati

Prendeville, his race car and the Racing Laps for Best Friends trailer are also signed up to appear at the Everything Pets show at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati April 11-13 in conjunction with a display by Kentucky Speedway. Best Friends volunteers will man the Racing Laps for Best Friends trailer all three days of the show. Prendeville will be on hand to meet show-goers that Saturday and Sunday following testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that Friday. Show hours and admission prices can be found on the show's Web site at everythingpets.org. Prendeville will race at Kentucky Speedway, which is near Cincinnati in Sparta, Ky., on Aug. 9.

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

-credit: restart communications

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville