IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2005-10-04

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Oct. 4, 2005 1. Carpentier rides top-10 streak into California: Red Bull Cheever Racing driver Patrick Carpentier has found his stride in the IRL IndyCar® Series. The open-wheel veteran has recorded seven...


1. Carpentier rides top-10 streak into California: Red Bull Cheever Racing driver Patrick Carpentier has found his stride in the IRL IndyCar® Series.

The open-wheel veteran has recorded seven top-10 finishes in the last eight IndyCar Series events heading into the Toyota Indy 400 on Oct. 16 at California Speedway.

The results of late are a pleasant surprise for the series newcomer, who broke out of his midseason slump with a third-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in late June.

"I'm really happy with what we've been able to accomplish this year," said Carpentier, who finished third in his last visit to the 2-mile facility in 2002. "I definitely wasn't expecting a strong finish at the beginning of the year when things weren't going so well for us."

The Canadian is tied for ninth in the series point standings with Tomas Scheckter but could finish as high as seventh in the final standings with a good run at California Speedway.

"We've improved pretty much every race, and I really can't expect more than that," he said. "The wins will come in time. The most important thing to me is that I'm having fun. It has been one of the most enjoyable seasons of my career."


2. Ethanol IndyCar Series car featured in corn maze: Naturally, the Liberty Corn Maze in Liberty, Mo., features the ethanol IndyCar Series car driven this season by Paul Dana and Jimmy Kite.

A blend of ethanol and methanol will fuel IndyCar Series cars in 2006, with 100 percent ethanol powering the 3.0-liter naturally aspirated engines in 2007. Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is made from corn or other grains. The ethanol industry is the primary sponsor of the No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing Toyota-powered Dallara.

A tour of the trail that is shaped like the ethanol car will take about 45 minutes to an hour. That's if you walk the entire 2.6 miles of the trail that is 50 inches wide. A map is included and "corn cops" help those who get turned around. Using global positioning satellite, the maze allows intricacies of the image and letters to be seen from the air.


3. Briscoe continuing recovery in Italy: IndyCar Series rookie Ryan Briscoe has traveled to Italy to continuing his recovery from injuries sustained in a racing accident at Chicagolasnd Speedway last month.

Briscoe, who suffered several fractures, is being treated at the Formula Medicine clinic in Viareggio, Italy under the care of Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli and his staff. Briscoe has been treated with an intensive eight hours per day therapy regime, which includes light activity work in the gym.

"Our aim is to reduce as much as possible the rehabilitation time," Dr. Ceccarelli told Autosport.com. "We are trying to have Ryan in top form to be able to drive a racing car again by November."


4. Menards Infiniti Pro Series adds two awards: A $5,000 payout to the driver who leads the most laps in 2005 is among two new awards in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. The series also will offer a "hard charger" award for the California 100.

The Oxley Financial Advisory Group of Raymond James & Associates Lap Leader Award will pay the driver who leads the most laps in the 2005 season $5,000 and also will offer a trophy. Heading into the Oct. 16 50-lap finale on the 2-mile California Speedway, Travis Gregg, driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil Products/Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, holds a 222-174 advantage over Jeff Simmons.

The FedEx Hard Charger Award will pay $1,000 to the driver who advances the most positions during the California 100. Chris Festa won the Hard Charger Award at the Liberty Challenge in June.


5. Patrick to serve as Tissot's First U.S. Female Ambassador: Danica Patrick has joined forces with premier Swiss watchmaker, Tissot, as the new face of the brand. As the first female U.S. "Ambassador" for the 153-year-old brand, Patrick will appear in marketing and advertising beginning in November, and her face will grace materials at all of the brand's points of sale.

"As an IRL driver, keeping track of time is a big part of my life - it's what I race against and race for," Patrick said "Even when I'm not on the track, I keep track of time, and the first high-quality watch I bought when I started racing professionally was a Tissot. My familiarity with the brand makes this partnership feel natural."

Patrick's image will appear in all stores that carry Tissot products starting in December and also will begin appearing in print ads and billboards beginning in November.

Tissot's models include sports watches, fashionable watches and high-tech pieces. Tissot embodies over 150 years of innovation and Swiss watch making tradition. World leader in the traditional Swiss watch segment, its mission is to offer a wide public a range of high quality timepieces at an affordable price. As official timekeeper for the world championships in cycling, motorcycling, fencing and ice hockey, Tissot underlines the sporting values of quest for performance, precision and pushing oneself to the limit. Based in Le Locle, Switzerland and present in more than 150 countries around the world, Tissot has been a member of the Swatch Group, the biggest watch producer and distributor in the world, since 1983.


The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Toyota Indy 400 at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast also will be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the California 100 on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The ESPN2 race telecast will also be available live on ESPN360.com. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 20.


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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Jimmy Kite , Patrick Carpentier , Sam Schmidt , Ryan Briscoe , Jeff Simmons , Paul Dana , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Danica Patrick