IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League news and notes 2006-03-27

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- March 27, 2006 Today's IRL headlines 1. Carpenter released from hospital 2. Dana memorial scheduled 3. Wheldon continues "perfect start" with Ganassi 4. Wheldon, Hornish share post-race rewards 1. Carpenter...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- March 27, 2006

Today's IRL headlines
1. Carpenter released from hospital
2. Dana memorial scheduled
3. Wheldon continues "perfect start" with Ganassi
4. Wheldon, Hornish share post-race rewards

1. Carpenter released from hospital: IRL IndyCar® Series driver Ed Carpenter, was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on March 27, according to Dr. Henry Bock, senior director of medical services for the Indy Racing League. Carpenter remains under the care of Dr. Steve Olvey.

According to Bock, Carpenter, driver of the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, is in good condition with a bruised lung following the March 26 incident during the final warm-up session prior to the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Carpenter has not been cleared to drive in Sunday's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, according to Bock.

2. Dana memorial scheduled: A memorial service for IndyCar Series driver Paul Dana will be held at 5:15 p.m., on March 30. The service will take place at Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Dana, a rookie who competed in three IndyCar Series events in 2005, was fatally injured in an accident March 26 minutes into the final practice session for the Toyota Indy 300.

Dana, a 30-year-old native of St. Louis, was pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital just before noon (EST). It was the first driver death during a sanctioned race weekend in the 11 years of the Indy Racing League (121 races and more than 400 practice and qualifying sessions).

3. Wheldon continues "perfect start" with Ganassi: Shortly after Dan Wheldon won the Toyota Indy 300 on March 26, his new boss, Chip Ganassi said "How about this guy? He's two-for-two."

Wheldon, the reigning IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, teamed with Casey Mears and Scott Dixon to give Ganassi his first victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year. With his win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he joined Michael Andretti as the only Ganassi drivers to win his debut race with the team. Scott Dixon won his IndyCar Series debut with the team in 2003.

"It's obviously a fantastic team," Wheldon said following the win. "Fortunately, so far the first two races I've done for him I've won. I think right now I'm on the honeymoon period."

Wheldon outdueled Marlboro Team Penske's preseason championship contenders, Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves, to record his second consecutive win in Miami.

He said he hopes to repeat the past success of Miami race winners -- who have won four of the last five IndyCar Series championships -- but knows the competition will be tough.

"If anybody asked me if there was going to be a rivalry, I think it would be a Penske/Ganassi rivalry, because we've seen that before in the CART series," he said. "I think now that element of the series kind of maintains close competition or gives that you close competition, brought those teams together. I do think Andretti Green will be strong. I think there will be some others that are strong along the way."

Wheldon's seamless transition from Andretti Green Racing to the Target Chip Ganassi organization has him confident as he heads to St. Petersburg for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, his adopted home race.

"Everybody at Target Chip Ganassi Racing has been very welcoming," he said. It's very different when you go to a team as the Indy 500 champion, IndyCar Series champion, not as a rookie. It's been good. I just hope it continues."

4. Wheldon, Hornish share post-race rewards: Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dan Wheldon and Sam Hornish Jr. shared the benefits from the Toyota Indy 300.

As the race winner, Wheldon was presented with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT Camera and an engraved Aquaracer Automatic timepiece from TAG Heuer, the official timekeeper and watch of the Indy Racing League. TAG Heuer presents an engraved Aquaracer Automatic timepiece to the winner of each IndyCar Series event.

Hornish, who claimed the $10,000 for winning the Marlboro Pole Award, also collected the Firestone Performance Award and its $10,000 prize for leading Lap 121 of the race.

-irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Casey Mears , Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Paul Dana , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing