Road America: O'Connell receives special assignment

Johnny O'Connell To Throw First Pitch at Major League Baseball Game MILWAUKEE - American Le Mans Series champion driver Johnny O'Connell will bring the worlds of sports car racing and baseball together on Thursday when he throws out the...

Johnny O'Connell To Throw First Pitch at Major League Baseball Game

MILWAUKEE - American Le Mans Series champion driver Johnny O'Connell will bring the worlds of sports car racing and baseball together on Thursday when he throws out the ceremonial first pitch for a Major League Baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee's Miller Park.

O'Connell, General Motors factory Corvette driver in the American Le Mans Series, will be in the Milwaukee area preparing for this weekend's Road America 500 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

"This is really cool," said O'Connell, who co-drives with Ron Fellows in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R in the professional sports car racing series. "I've wanted to have the opportunity to do something like this for a long time. I'm getting my arm warmed up and will be ready."

O'Connell will drive a street-legal Corvette onto the playing field at Miller Park shortly before the 1:05 p.m. (CDT) start of the game. Then, after throwing the first pitch, O'Connell will get back into the Corvette and make a lap inside the stadium. The 42,000-seat stadium is sold out for the afternoon game which features the two National League Central Division rivals.

O'Connell and Fellows are the defending GTS class champions of the American Le Mans Series, a series of sports car races in North America based on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They have four class wins in the six ALMS events that have been run this season and lead the chase for a second straight title together. O'Connell, who lives in Flowery Branch, Ga., has more starts (50) than any driver since the formation of the ALMS in 1999 and his 20 career wins ranks second on the series' all-time list.

A veteran of nearly 20 years of professional racing competition, O'Connell has won some of the world's most prestigious events. He has six class wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring, America's premier sports car race, as well as three wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He and Fellows were also part of a team that won the 24 Hours of Daytona overall in 2001. O'Connell has also raced in the Indianapolis 500.

ROAD AMERICA 500

The Road America 500 will get the green flag at 1 p.m. (CDT) on Sunday, August 22. Practice and qualifying for ALMS cars will be held on Saturday, August 21, along with an autograph session featuring all ALMS drivers, and a Fan Forum.

The racing weekend at Road America will also feature races for the popular and competitive SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring cars, the Star Mazda Series, Formula Ford Zetec Championship and Mid-Am stock cars and trucks. In addition, Tonka Super Trucks will run exhibition laps.

Ticket information for the Road America 500 is available online at www.americanlemans.com or by calling 1-800-365-RACE. The race will be televised live by the SPEED Channel in North America and by MotorsTV in Europe, while the American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage of the race and of qualifying online at www.americanlemans.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell