IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2006-05

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- May 22, 2006 Today's IRL headlines 1. Indianapolis 500 field takes bite of Big Apple 2. James Chesson lands ride in Freedom 100 3. Hornish reaps reward prior to Indianapolis 500 1. Indianapolis 500 field ...


Today's IRL headlines
1. Indianapolis 500 field takes bite of Big Apple
2. James Chesson lands ride in Freedom 100
3. Hornish reaps reward prior to Indianapolis 500

1. Indianapolis 500 field takes bite of Big Apple: Flanked by the Borg-Warner Trophy, unveiled in New York in 1935, and an IndyCar Series show car, and with the familiar midtown Manhattan skyline as the backdrop, the 33 drivers that will comprise the starting lineup for the 90th Indianapolis 500 lined up in the traditional 11 rows of three for a formal photo on the flight deck of SS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the floating museum moored on the Hudson River.

In proclaiming it "Indianapolis 500 Day in New York City," New York City Sports Commission commissioner Ken Podziba said "it truly is an honor to welcome the great and heroic drivers who will compete in the 90th Indianapolis 500 to our city. It, like this ship, is truly an American classic."

Indy Racing League founder and Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George presented Podziba an IndyCar Series replica front wing/nose assembly signed by all the drivers.

"I don't know if I should show Mayor Bloomberg; he would want to hang it in his office," Podziba said.

George also presented a signed wing/nose replica to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum executive director Susan Marenoff.

"Since 1911, we have run the race on Memorial Day Weekend, and we always take time to honor and celebrate the men and women who serve our country," George said. "This ship is a place of honor for those who have served and are serving our country."

Earlier in the day, George rang the bell to open the New York Stock Exchange. Laura George, Michael and Marco Andretti and the front row for the 500-Mile Race of Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon joined him on the platform.

Drivers toured the trading floor, and posed for a formal photo outside the Wall Street institution with an Indianapolis 500 Pace Car and Marco Andretti's No. 26 NYSE Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Jerry Putnam, president of the NYSE Group, presented each driver and Tony and Laura George with a commemorative medallion. Tony George presented Putnam and Catherine Kinney, co-chief operating officer of the NYSE Group with a replica nose/wing assembly signed by all the drivers.

"I can't wait for the race," Putnam said. "I'll be there Friday ready to kick off the weekend in style."

Race week already has begun that way.


2. James Chesson lands ride in Freedom 100: James Chesson, brother of IndyCar® Series rookie P.J. Chesson, will compete in the Indy Pro Series Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26. He will drive the No. 76 PSI entry for Part Sourcing International, a new team formed by Steve Eppard.

Eppard, who also owns SWE Race Car Parts, which provides gearbox services to Indy Racing League teams, formed the team recently and acquired a Dallara chassis from Hemelgarn Racing.

"I'm jumping in feet first," Eppard said. "It's the same car that Aaron Fike won with at Chicagoland in 2003 and that Paul Dana put on the pole at Homestead in 2004. I've brought on the same group of guys that worked on the car for Hemelgarn, so we think that we'll be fast."

Eppard describes Chesson as having a lot of common sense with a winning spirit.

Chesson, 25, made three Indy Pro Series starts for Mo Nunn Racing in 2004, winning from the ninth starting position at Chicagoland.

"I'm looking forward to running here, especially on Carb Day," Chesson said. "There's a lot of people here. It's just a special, special race -- the Freedom 100. It just sounds bad ass.

"I think Steve has a reputation of knowing his way around these things, and I think he's going to do everything he can to make it fast. Matt (Dove), the crew chief, is real good too. I think with everything put together, we'll be fast."

The car will display sponsorship from 360 Brakes in the Freedom 100. Practice and qualifying for the 40-lap race on the historic 2.5-mile oval are scheduled for May 25.


3. Hornish reaps reward prior to Indianapolis 500: Sam Hornish Jr.'s speed in the preparations for the Indianapolis 500 has already paid off.

In addition to the $100,000 prize awarded to the WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Award winner, Hornish claimed $10,000 from Ethanol for the "Ethanol Fast Lap" on May 10, 11, 17 and 18, and $15,000 from Cholula Hot Sauce for posting the "Chulula Hot Lap Award" on May 19 and May 20.

Hornish also earned the $5,000 Mi-Jack "Top Performance" Award for posting the fastest single lap in qualifications and was one of 11 drivers to win the $1,500 Miller Lite Inside Track Award for starting on the inside of each row.

In addition, Matt Jonsson, the chief mechanic for Hornish's pole-winning No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Honda-powered Dallara, earned $10,000 for winning the FreedomRoads Chief Mechanic award.


The 2006 IRL IndyCar Series continues with the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 at 1 p.m. (EDT) on May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ABC will broadcast the race live beginning at noon (EDT). A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. Live coverage on the IMS Radio Network begins at noon (EDT). The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Freedom 100 at 12:30 p.m. on May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast as part of ESPN2's Carb Day coverage on May 26. Live coverage on the IMS Radio Network begins at 12:15 p.m. (EDT).


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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dan Wheldon , James Chesson , Marco Andretti , Paul Dana , Tony George , P.J. Chesson , Sam Hornish Jr. , Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske