Team Rahal announces second car for Fogarty

Team Rahal and Norwalk announce a second car for Toyota Atlantic for Jon Fogarty at Denver and Miami. HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal, a leading open-wheel racing team in North America, and Norwalk Furniture Company, a leading manufacturer of ...

Team Rahal and Norwalk announce a second car for Toyota Atlantic for Jon Fogarty at Denver and Miami.

HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal, a leading open-wheel racing team in North America, and Norwalk Furniture Company, a leading manufacturer of premium home furnishings, announced a partnership today for Norwalk to be the primary sponsor for a second car in the Team Rahal Toyota Atlantic program for the final two races of the 2003 season. Jon Fogarty, the champion of the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship season, will return to the series and run the #1 Norwalk Furniture/Toyota Swift for Team Rahal.

Fogarty, a 28 year-old native of Palo Alto, CA won a pair of races and four pole positions en route to winning the 2002 Atlantic series championship. He co-tested the Team Rahal Argent Mortgage Company car driven by Danica Patrick at Mid-Ohio in early June.

"We are pleased to expand on this partnership with Norwalk Furniture for the upcoming events," said three-time CART champion and Team Rahal co-owner Bobby Rahal. "Norwalk joined us last season and has supported Team Rahal in each of our racing programs. The chance to field a Norwalk Furniture car driven by an outstanding young talent like Jon is a great opportunity to gain exposure for the Norwalk brand. For Team Rahal, not only do we strengthen our relationship with our partner, but we are excited about what Jon brings to our Atlantic program."

"This is a great opportunity for all the parties involved," said Jim Gerken, CEO of Norwalk Furniture. "When Bobby came to us with the prospect of sponsoring Jon in the last couple of races, I jumped at the chance. Norwalk Furniture has enjoyed our partnership with Team Rahal and with Danica Patrick and we look forward to growing the relationship in the years to come."

"The chance to drive for Team Rahal is a great opportunity for me as a driver," said Fogarty. "To be able to work with a great champion like Bobby and to be part of a championship caliber team is a dream come true for me. It has been a frustrating season in 2003 for me personally but hopefully I can use the next couple of races to open some doors and find the opportunity that eluded me in Champ Cars this season."

"We're extremely pleased that Team Rahal is putting Jon back behind the wheel of a Toyota Atlantic car for the final two races of the season," said Vicki O'Connor, President of the Toyota Atlantic Championship. "Jon is a proven winner and champion, and we expect him to be fighting at the front of a strong field from the moment he pulls onto the track in Denver. I would like to thank Bobby, the entire Team Rahal organization and Norwalk Furniture for adding Jon to one of the deepest talent pools we've ever had in Toyota Atlantic."

"I am excited about working with Jon," said Danica Patrick who has piloted Team Rahal's Argent Mortgage car all season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. "Jon is a champion of this series and the chance to tap into his experience will benefit me as a driver and the team as this first year program grows."

The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is one of the world's premier open-wheel development series and the top rung on the CART Champ Car "Ladder System." The series boasts $100,000 race purses and is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from Atlantic are current Champ Car competitors Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rodolfo Lavin, as well as former Champ Car champions Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.

Norwalk Furniture Corporation was founded in 1902. It is a family owned business involved in the manufacturing and retailing of upholstered furniture.

Norwalk Furniture Corporation manufactures furniture under the Norwalk, Hickory Hill, J. Raymond and Joe Ruggiero brands, as well as providing private label furniture to its customers. Norwalk owns or franchises 86 custom upholstered furniture specialty stores under the Norwalk - The Furniture Idea trade name throughout the United States and Canada.

Team Rahal is now in its second decade as one of the leading open-wheel racing teams in North America. Based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time CART Champion Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, the team currently fields a single-car effort in Champ Car World Series (CART) for Michel Jourdain Jr. as well as an entry for 1999 Indy 500 winner and 1998 Indy Racing League champion Kenny Brack in the IRL. The team is in its first season with an entry in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, an entry that has now grown to a two car Atlantic program. Last year the team signed rising open wheel star Danica Patrick to a multi-year driving contract and she has piloted the team's single car Atlantic entry this season. The 60-member team enjoys primary sponsorship from the Gigante Group in CART and Pioneer and the Miller Brewing Company for the Indy Racing League and Argent Mortgage Company and Norwalk Furniture Company for Toyota Atlantics.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Kenny Brack , Danny Sullivan , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Rodolfo Lavin , Danica Patrick , Michel Jourdain