IRL: Indy500: Toro added to sponsors list

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Tuesday, May 23, 2000 -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and The Toro Company announced today that Toro is the turf maintenance and irrigation equipment provider for IMS. Beginning with the racing of the...

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Tuesday, May 23, 2000 -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and The Toro Company announced today that Toro is the turf maintenance and irrigation equipment provider for IMS. Beginning with the racing of the 84th Indianapolis 500 on May 28, the Toro brand badge will appear atop the main straightaway scoring tower. Toro will also supply its Toro Wheel Horse 5xi garden tractors for use by the race teams throughout the event. The nation's most popular racing venue includes the Brickyard Crossing, an 18-hole golf course that includes four holes within the racing oval. The Brickyard Crossing plays host to the Comfort Classic SENIOR PGA TOUR event annually. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and surrounding grounds are comprised of 559 acres of turf, including 224 acres inside the oval. "Our goal is to become a preferred destination for sporting recreation, including great golf," said Tony George, president, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We're experts at hosting the world's most attended sports events, the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400, and 2000 will include the inaugural Formula One race, the United States Grand Prix. We are proud to have Toro's expertise in providing excellent turf conditions to enhance our facilities." IMS is nearing the completion of a major renovation that included the construction of a new 2.606-mile road course for the running of the inaugural Grand Prix. The turf in the center of the oval will be maintained to provide the most enjoyment for each spectator and golfer. "Our alliance with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway strategically positions the Toro brand for exposure to the most brand-loyal consumers in the world," said Kendrick B. Melrose, chairman and chief executive officer of The Toro Company. "We'll be working with the IMS to create the best viewing and golfing experiences possible for race day or any day. This is an excellent opportunity to elevate our brand image in partnership with a premier facility that provides an outstanding experience for race fans and golfers alike."

As part of the agreement, Toro Wheel Horse tractors will return to the hallowed racing ground and be behind the scenes supporting race teams in the garage area and helping move cars to the track. For decades, Wheel Horse tractors were behind the scenes on race day. To commemorate the return, a limited edition Indy 500 Toro Wheel Horse 5xi tractor is available at select Toro dealers throughout the United States.

Pole winner Greg Ray also takes home one of the limited edition Toro Wheel Horse tractors and as will the winner on race day.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has the largest sports seating capacity of any venue in the world. The Indianapolis 500 is the oldest automobile race in the United States and annually is the largest single-day sporting event in the world.

-IRMLS/IMS-

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Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Tony George