IRL: Team Rahal/Argent expand partnership

Team Rahal and Argent Mortgage expand partnership for 2004 season Argent to sponsor Team Rahal's IRL Indy Car and Toyota Atlantic Car HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal announced today the expansion of its partnership with Argent Mortgage Company LLC...

Team Rahal and Argent Mortgage expand partnership for 2004 season
Argent to sponsor Team Rahal's IRL Indy Car and Toyota Atlantic Car

HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal announced today the expansion of its partnership with Argent Mortgage Company LLC as a major sponsor for the Ohio-based team's 2004 racing program.

In 2004 Argent Mortgage Company will serve as a co-primary sponsor with Pioneer Electronics on Team Rahal's IRL IndyCar Series Honda/G-Force entry driven by former Indy 500 and IRL Indy Car Series champion Kenny Brack. Brack was injured in the final 2003 IRL IndyCar Series race in Texas on October 12 and is currently recovering at his home in Columbus, Ohio.

Team Rahal also has announced that young American driver Buddy Rice of Phoenix, Ariz., will be the substitute driver for Brack in the opening races of the 2004 IndyCar Series.

Argent Mortgage will continue its involvement as the primary sponsor with Team Rahal's Toyota Atlantic Championship program and rising open-wheel star Danica Patrick. The Toyota Atlantic Championship is the final step in the Champ Car ladder system, which develops young drivers for the highest levels of open-wheel racing in the United States and around the world.

Argent Mortgage entered the motorsports arena in 2003 with a successful campaign that included sponsorship of Team Rahal's Toyota Atlantic car driven by Patrick as well as race event sponsorship in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Argent was the primary sponsor on Team Rahal's second Indy 500 entry in 2003 driven by past open-wheel champion Jimmy Vasser.

"Our opportunities in 2003 with Team Rahal -- including Danica Patrick's Toyota Atlantic program and the Indy 500 entry with Jimmy Vasser -- were great marketing successes for Argent Mortgage," said Wayne Lee, President of Argent. "We are very pleased to expand our racing program for 2004. Auto racing is a unique forum for a company to express its messages and we feel that Team Rahal and Bobby Rahal, with Danica, Kenny and Buddy as our drivers, gives us an outstanding vehicle for Argent. We are looking forward to another sensational racing season in 2004."

"The expansion of Argent's partnership with Team Rahal is extremely exciting," said three-time CART champion and Team Rahal co-owner Bobby Rahal. "The alliance we enjoyed in 2003 with Argent and our Toyota Atlantic and Indy 500 programs proved to be a tremendous asset for both of us. Argent introduced itself to a new audience through its marketing and media programs last year. With two racing programs in 2004, we feel our partnership will support Argent's continued growth."

Argent Mortgage Company LLC is a national mortgage lender that specializes in nonprime lending. As a wholesale mortgage lender, Argent works with independent mortgage brokers and bankers throughout the U.S. Argent is a subsidiary of Ameriquest Capital Corp., a leading financial services holding company whose subsidiaries have 20 years of experience in the nonprime industry.

Patrick, 21, made Toyota Atlantic history in 2003 by becoming the first female to place on the podium (Top 3) when she finished second in Miami, Fla., and third in Monterrey, Mexico. Patrick recorded a sixth place finish in the final Toyota Atlantic point standings, the highest by a women driver in the 30 year history of the series.

Brack, who finished ninth in the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series standings, is scheduled to return to the driver's seat in 2004 in Team Rahal's Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Honda/G-Force on Firestone tires. Rice, the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Series champion, has 18 IRL IndyCar Series starts and finished second in his series debut in 2002 at Michigan. Rice will begin testing the Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Honda/G-Force for Team Rahal on January 28 at Homestead, Fla.

Team Rahal, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time CART Champion Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been a top open-wheel racing operation for more than a decade with 16 victories, 19 poles and one series championship (Bobby Rahal in 1992 in CART). In 2004, Team Rahal will be the only team in open-wheel racing to field cars in three different racing series - Patrick in Toyota Atlantic Championship, Brack in the IRL Indy Car Series and Michel Jourdain Jr. in the Champ Car World Series.

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About this article
Series Atlantic , IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Kenny Brack , Buddy Rice , Danica Patrick , Michel Jourdain