RLR/Andersen Racing's best friends

A Diverse Menagerie of Pets Are Behind the People At RLR/Andersen Racing INDIANAPOLIS, May 21 - Animals are always on Andrew Prendeville's mind due to his work with the Best Friends Animal Society. He advertises the not-for-profit animal welfare...

A Diverse Menagerie of Pets Are Behind the People At RLR/Andersen Racing

INDIANAPOLIS, May 21 - Animals are always on Andrew Prendeville's mind due to his work with the Best Friends Animal Society. He advertises the not-for-profit animal welfare group on the sides of the RLR/Andersen Racing Firestone Indy Lights car that he'll drive in Friday's Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also encourages fans to make donations to Best Friends through a Web site he developed at racinglapsforbestfriends.com.

Prendeville isn't the only person on the team who has a soft spot for animals, however. An informal poll of the RLR/Andersen Racing team members done just for fun uncovered that together they have some 17 dogs, more than 13 cats, 17 cows, one horse and too many fish to count.

That's a lot of animals for people who are on the road as often as racers are. Prendeville isn't home enough to have a dog of his own, but through Best Friends' Web site at bestfriends.org he sponsors a dog named Ballsy. Ballsy was orphaned due to Hurricane Katrina and now lives at the Best Friends Animal Society's sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, where he is awaiting adoption. Prendeville outlines Ballsy's rehabilitation through blogs on racinglapsforbestfriends.com.

John Andersen, the team's co-owner and Firestone Indy Lights team manager, wins the animal count for the team hands down. He has 17 Hereford cows, two dogs, three inside cats and numerous other barn cats on his 34-acre farm in Hamburg, N.J.

"The two dogs are Gunnar, a purebred golden retriever, and Annika, a husky that was a stray," Andersen said. "The three house cats are Line [pronounced Lena], a feral cat; Abby, who came from a shelter, and Otto.

"Otto is actually a female cat that came to us in the mouth of one of my wife's cousins' dogs" he noted.

The Capes, two brothers from England who are the team's engineers, have three dogs and a cat.

Chief engineer Dominic Cape owns a purebred golden retriever named Rocket and a gray and white cat named Spike. The latter "got thrown out of a car" before he came to live with the Cape family.

Nicholas Cape, engineer/assistant team manager, has two purebred Scottish terriers named Angus (a male) and Mirren (a female).

The only members of the team who don't regularly interact with pets of some sort are Prendeville's teammate, J.R. Hildebrand; data acquisition specialist Jake Ware; and Brandon Deagle, the team's transporter driver.

"I've learned over the years that you can tell a lot about people from the animals they have and how they treat them," Prendeville said. "This poll shows that we have a lot of good people on our team. I guess we'll have to find an animal for the people on our team that don't have one yet. There are lots of great shelter animals that need good homes."

The team's list of pets follows:

1. Andrew Prendeville, driver of the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5: Sponsors Best Friends Katrina dog, Ballsy (see racinglapsforbestfriends.com).

2. Dan Andersen, team co-owner: Had three beagles die within 18 months, so none at the moment because that was very heart-breaking. Dan's wife, Ruth, often babysits son Mike's beagle though. His name is Bo.

3. John Andersen, team co-owner and Indy Lights team manager: 17 Hereford cows, two dogs, three inside cats and numerous other barn cats on his 34-acre farm in Hamburg, N.J. The two dogs are Gunnar, a purebred golden retriever, and Annika, a husky that was a stray. The three house cars are Line (pronounced Lena), a feral cat; Abby, who came from a shelter, and Otto.

4. Michelle Kish, overall team manager: A 1-year-old male, purebred doberman pincher named Kohl.

5. Dominic Cape, chief engineer: A purebred golden retriever named Rocket, and a gray and white cat named Spike.

6. Nicholas Cape, engineer/assistant manager: Two purebred Scottish terriers, Angus (male) and Mirren (female).

7. William Paul, chief mechanic on Prendeville's No. 5: Yellow labrador retriever named Toby that he found on the side of the road when Toby was about 5 months old. Toby is over 2 now.

8. Sebastian Jubelin, second mechanic on the No. 5: None personally, but his dad's girlfriend has two cats: Sputnik and a new one that he doesn't know the name of. Sputnik came from a friend who couldn't take care of him anymore.

9. Doug Beaulieu, chief mechanic on Hildebrand's No. 25: Two cats, Penny and Anna, who are full sisters who came from a shelter.

10. Francisco Navarro, second mechanic on the No. 25: Lots of trigger fish and other salt-water fish that he keeps in a 55-gallon salt-water aquarium. He also just got a pedigreed chow dog.

11. Doug Prendeville, car owner of the No. 5: Two cats; Buddy, a big, white, longhaired feral male cat who he rescued from an old race team shop, and Sunkist, an orange female.

12. Junious Matthews, Racing Laps for Best Friends PetStop manager: A rat terrier named Lola; a pug named Beemer that he rescued so he wouldn't go to a puppy mill, and a pug named Chelsea that he adopted from a family that couldn't keep her.

13. Pat Prendeville, Racing Laps for Best Friends consultant: Two tabby cats she adopted from Best Friends, Peter and Piper.

14. Vicki Kilmer-Rinker, cause marketing manager, Best Friends Animal Society: A Keeshond named Nikita; a lab/rottweiler mix named Chubbles who was her first rescue dog; an Australian shepherd mix she's fostering named Kiri; Kiri's mate, Kalli, a golden retriever mix that she's also fostering; and a male cat named Ansel that was dumped at her vet's office.

15. Linda Mansfield, PR rep: a registered black Morgan horse named Bear purchased from a breeder of Friesen crosses in Wisconsin following a race at Road America.

-credit: rlr/ar

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Doug Prendeville , J.R. Hildebrand