FF: CHAMPCAR/CART: Champ Car drivers run USAC Focus event at Irwindale

Fernandez, Jourdain & Carpentier Join Irwindale Focus Field March 27 Adrian Fernandez, Michel Jourdain, Jr. and Patrick Carpentier will climb into USAC Ford Focus Midgets to pit their noted racing skills in these quick, twitchy race cars...

Fernandez, Jourdain & Carpentier Join Irwindale Focus Field March 27

Adrian Fernandez, Michel Jourdain, Jr. and Patrick Carpentier will climb into USAC Ford Focus Midgets to pit their noted racing skills in these quick, twitchy race cars against the best, local regulars when the 2004 USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Series debuts at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway March 27.

Race fans will see 25 laps of heart-pounding race action as these talented drivers bring their open wheel skills to the Irwindale short track. The event takes place as part of preliminaries for the 2nd Annual Mopar Twin 25's Irwindale.

Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology, made the announcement recently in a crowded press conference at the Long Beach Westin Hotel, along with the three drivers. Davis explained that the Ford Focus Midgets provided an affordable, fun, entry-level opportunity for up-and-coming drivers. He said the Ford Focus midgets have generated several regional series across the country, and are "probably the fastest growing grassroots racing in the U.S."

"It's so much fun," said Jourdain, who tested a Focus Midget in 2002. "It's going to be tough. Something completely new for me."

"I'm really looking forward to it," said Carpentier, who also has test-driven a Ford Focus Midget. Carpentier compared the acceleration to a Champ Car. "These cars accelerate like crazy. I really think it's going to be a lot of fun," he said.

"It will be quite an experience," added Fernandez.

In addition to the Ford Focus Midget race, there will be a full night of frantic, wheel-to-wheel USAC Midget racing, featuring drivers in the National USAC Midget series. The hottest open wheel stars in USAC are going for the big money offered for any driver who wins both of the night's 25-lap feature races. ARP is offering the spectacular bonus prize of $50,000 to a driver who wins both of the night's feature races, but the challenge is that the winner of the first feature race starts dead last in the second 25-lap feature. He, or she, must pass the entire field in 25 laps to claim the $50,000!

Another attraction of the evening will be the spectacular Drifting Exhibition, kicking off the Mopar Twin 25's Irwindale, where local race fans will be able to see for themselves the latest motorsports craze to hit these shores from Japan.

The 2nd Annual Mopar Twin 25's Irwindale is presented by Mission Foods. Associate Sponsors are Racer magazine, MSD Ignition, Calico Coatings, Gigante, Probe Industries, Vital Express, Corteco, Guerrero and Turbines Inc.

At noon, this great day for race fans begins with Eibach Springs Presents the Festival of Speed, which offers motorsports enthusiasts an extraordinary opportunity to experience Southern California's rich racing heritage on display and in action! In addition to some of Southern California's most famous race vehicles on exhibit, several will be fired up again so race fans can hear them roar once more down Irwindale's 1/8-mile drag strip. Also, several of the legendary figures who either drove or wrenched these cars will be in attendance.

Other event highlights include exciting quarter midget racing action-stars of the future-on a purpose-built oval in the Irwindale Speedway parking lot; and interactive exhibits from the Indy Racing League titled, "The Indy Racing Fan Experience," where fans can drive a full-sized Indy car simulator or participate in an Indy car pit stop.

Eibach Springs Presents the Festival of Speed opens at noon. Race gates open at 4 p.m. The Drifting Exhibition begins at 5 p.m., with the first race at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 for General Admission. Reserved tickets are $25. Contact PRE at 800/515-8445, or go to www.twin25s.com. Eibach Presents the Festival of Speed is at no charge.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , USAC
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Patrick Carpentier , Michel Jourdain