IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2005-06-29

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- June 29, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Luyendyk helps teens with their "Road Skillz" 2. Bowling for Soup concert headlines Kansas City IndyFest 3. Kite aiming for double-duty at Kansas 1. Luyendyk helps...


Today's IRL headlines
1. Luyendyk helps teens with their "Road Skillz"
2. Bowling for Soup concert headlines Kansas City IndyFest
3. Kite aiming for double-duty at Kansas

1. Luyendyk helps teens with their "Road Skillz": More than drugs, alcohol and violence combined, the number one killer of teens in the United States is traffic fatalities.

Determined to fight this crisis, IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. and his father, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk Sr., are entering a totally different kind of race - one to reduce car accidents among the record number of young Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 who will be getting behind the wheel and driving on U.S. highways and roads this year.

Road Skillz, a revolutionary new type of driving skills DVD, is aimed specifically at 16-25 year old drivers. Luyendyk Jr. is featured in the DVD and aided by other world-renowned professional race car drivers, takes a totally different approach to driver's education. Unlike the standard "scare tactics" and "lecture" type driver education videos, Road Skillz incorporates real-life situations, a wide array of cars, CGI animation, popular music, and real-life re-enactments of what to do and what not to do in a crisis situation to effectively teach under-experienced teen and novice drivers the critical knowledge they need to handle today's cars and roadway risks.

"I wanted to be involved with the making of this DVD because I know how important real-life experience is when it comes to risky driving situations," said Luyendyk Jr., who was the Menards Infiniti Pro Series' most popular driver in 2003 and 2004. "As a young professional driver, I really wanted to make a difference by giving inexperienced teen and novice drivers the real knowledge and skills they need to recognize and avoid the leading causes of accidents, enabling them to make the right decisions at critical times."

Road Skillz is the first DVD to feature race car drivers from multiple leagues. In addition to the Luyendyks, the DVD includes special appearances from NASCAR Driver Boris Said, Baja 1000 Off-Road Champion Ryan Arciero, and legendary Le Mans 24-Hour Endurance Driver Henri Pescarolo, among others. Highlighted in the DVD, these professional drivers share their own driving experiences in a "quick tip" format, detailing the best and safest way for inexperienced drivers to correctly respond to risky situations that can occur when driving, such as driving in rain, fog, night and city driving hazards. Some of the topics covered in the DVD are Intersections, Deadly Distractions, Common Causes of Rollovers, Alcohol, Tire Blow-Outs, Skidding, Blind Spots, and Animals.

"Although professional driving schools are great for learning the rules and regulations, they basically teach kids how to pass the driving test, not the skillful driving techniques and critical knowledge they need to face the potentially life threatening risks that drivers can encounter behind the wheel, " said Producer/Director Rodolphe de Diusse.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 16 year-old drivers have the highest fatal crash rate. In fact, most fatal accidents among 16-year-old drivers are caused by inexperience and driver errors such as overcorrecting after veering off the road, speeding, and losing control when facing an obstacle or animal in the road.

"We created Road Skillz to make a lasting impression that instills good common sense driving skills and confidence not only in novice drivers, but with all drivers," said Road Skillz Executive Producer Scott Kuhne. "Our ultimate goal is to help make today's heavily trafficked roads and highways safer for everyone. By recreating the most common accidents with video game like animation and then demonstrating, in live action, how to react and avoid the accident altogether, Road Skillz gives the common driver the critical knowledge needed in a crisis situation."

Road Skillz is donating 5 percent of all profits to non-profit organizations that provide teen driving training and education.


2. Bowling for Soup concert headlines Kansas City IndyFest: Popular rock band Bowling for Soup will perform during Argent IndyFest in historic Westport on July 1.

The concert, which is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., is part of an all-day IndyCar Series fan event, which also will include the driver autograph sessions and interactive racing displays.

IndyFest is scheduled from 2 to 10 p.m., and kicks off the Argent Mortgage Indy 300 races at Kansas Speedway. The event in the Westport Entertainment District is free of charge and will feature IndyCar Series driver autograph and question and answer sessions, live music, racing-themed displays and the IndyCar Fan Experience.

Designed to bring fans of all ages closer to the excitement of the IRL IndyCar Series, the IndyCar Fan Experience includes Pole Position, Tech, the XM Live and Pit Stop. Each display tests a race fan's skills and helps them get an up-close look at the technical and precise world of open-wheel racing.

The IndyCar Series drivers will be at Tizer's to sign autographs and participate in fan forums at 6 p.m. The Bowling For Soup concert is in the parking lot of Harry's in Westport. Admission to the concert is $10 at the gate.


3. Kite aiming for double-duty at Kansas: For the second time this summer, Jimmy Kite will attempt to compete in both the IndyCar Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events at the same track on the same weekend.

Kite, who competed in both events at Texas Motor Speedway in June, is scheduled to compete in both the No. 06 MRD Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado and the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Toyota-powered Dallara at Kansas Speedway this weekend.

Kite made history as the first person to race a NASCAR Truck and IndyCar Series machine on the same track back-to-back at Texas where he finished 24th and 22nd respectively.

"The Texas double went OK," said Kite, who finished a season-best 13th at the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 25. "I felt fine for both of those races. We just didn't get the results we wanted in either. Kansas will be a little tougher because they're both being run during the day. It'll be hot. I'll be in the truck or the car almost constantly leading up to the races. That is probably the biggest challenge. Also, I've never raced at Kansas so that will be a challenge too. I'll have to learn the track pretty quickly for both of the teams so we can start getting the right setup."


The 10th season of IRL IndyCar competition continues with the Argent Mortgage Indy 300 at 1 p.m. (EDT) July 3 at Kansas Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 "XM Extreme." The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Cleanevent 100 on July 16 at Nashville Superspeedway. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) July 21 by ESPN2. The next episode of "The Fast Life," ESPN2's behind-the-scenes series about the IndyCar Series, airs at noon (EDT) on July 5.


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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Henri Pescarolo , Boris Said , Arie Luyendyk , Jimmy Kite , Arie Luyendyk Jr. , Scott Kuhne