DETROIT (Feb. 6, 2001) - Simple Green, the newest sponsor of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART), is expanding its support of the sanctioning body to include a new contingency award for the Dayton Indy Lights Championship.
The Simple Green Clean-Up Award will post a $2,500 bonus at each Dayton Indy Lights event to any eligible driver that manages to win the race from the pole while setting the fastest race lap and leading the most laps. The award "rolls" to the next race each time it is not claimed which could conceivably see a $30,000 bonus on the line for the winner of the season-ending event at California Speedway, Nov. 4.
The four-tiered Simple Green Clean-Up Award is designed to reward dominating performances on the track while giving Simple Green an opportunity to support the emerging drivers in the "Official Development Series" of CART.
"Although our association with CART is just beginning, we have realized early on that the Dayton Indy Lights Championship is the main series that is producing the next generation of stars for the FedEx Championship Series," said Mark Carter, Executive Director of Advertising for Simple Green. "We are impressed by the fact that recent race winners in the FedEx Championship Series like Paul Tracy, Adrian Fernandez, Helio Castroneves and Cristiano da Matta have all come out of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship. The Simple Green Clean-Up Award is intended to bring attention to similar young driving talents while they are still in Indy Lights so fans have a better idea who they are when they step up to the FedEx series."
Another feature of the new Simple Green award will be an expansion of the program to include the top-five qualifiers at all races following the season-opening Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix, March 11. Non-pole winners, however, will only be eligible for that event's posted Simple Green Clean-Up bonus minus the $2,500 that would have gone to the pole winner. For example, if a non-pole winner earns the Simple Green Clean-Up Award at a race where $10,000 in bonus money is posted, the driver would earn $7,500.
"We are extremely grateful to Simple Green for posting this award at every 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship race and look forward to a long association with this great company," said Dayton Indy Lights President and COO Roger Bailey. "Getting support from CART sponsors for the organization's support series is critical to our success and hopefully Simple Green will set an example that others will follow."
In the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship, drivers turned in a clean-up performance on four occasions during the 12-race season. Eventual series champion and 2001 FedEx Championship Series rookie Scott Dixon turned the trick in Round Two at the Milwaukee Mile and was later followed by similar dominating runs from Jonny Kane in Round Three at Detroit, Townsend Bell in Round 10 at St. Louis and Casey Mears in Round 11 at Houston.
Dixon would have also scored non-pole winner bonuses at the Chicago and Laguna Seca races where he won, set the fastest race lap and was the lap leader after qualifying in the top-five at each race.
All competing Dayton Indy Lights drivers will be eligible for the Simple Green Clean-Up Award if they display the Simple Green logo on their race cars and driver uniforms.
The addition of the Simple Green Clean-Up Award follows a 2000 sponsorship announcement between the company and CART that designates Simple Green as the official sponsor of the Simple Green CART Safety Team. Under the sponsorship agreement - which was developed by ISL United States, the exclusive worldwide marketing agent of CART - Simple Green's non-toxic cleaning formula is also the "Official Cleaner and Degreaser" of the FedEx Championship Series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. The Simple Green family of products, manufactured and sold globally, are non-toxic cleaning solutions currently used in the home and for automotive and industrial purposes.