INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 18, 2006 Today's IRL headlines 1. President lauds IndyCar Series' use of ethanol 2. Bussell trades shots with tennis stars 3. Simmons to brew IRL Lager at Miller Brewery 4. Yount, Rice form friendship ...
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 18, 2006
Today's IRL headlines
1. President lauds IndyCar Series' use of ethanol
2. Bussell trades shots with tennis stars
3. Simmons to brew IRL Lager at Miller Brewery
4. Yount, Rice form friendship #5. Foyt plans to be at namesake race:
1. President lauds IndyCar Series' use of ethanol: President George W. Bush praised the IndyCar Series for its leadership in bringing alternative fuel sources such as ethanol to motorsports.
The President and IRL founder and CEO Tony George shared a brief exchange about ethanol during Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr.'s visit to the White House on July 18.
The IndyCar Series, which is using a 10 percent ethanol/ 90 percent methanol blend to fuel IndyCar Series cars this season, will covert to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol for all races in 2007, including the 91st Indianapolis 500 on May 27, 2007.
"You're leading edge, leading edge," said Bush, who has touted exploration and support of alternative fuel sources in his State of the Union address for the past two years.
Ethanol industry officials hope that fueling the IndyCar Series will help spread the word about ethanol's benefits as a motor fuel, not only in high-dollar Indy cars, but also in everyday sedans, minivans and SUVs.
"The IndyCar Series always has been recognized for its technical leadership in automobile racing and now it is the industry's leader in renewable and environmentally responsible energy," said Brian Barnhart, president and COO of the Indy Racing League. "We are proud to partner with the ethanol industry to showcase a great American fuel source. We feel a commitment to the environment and our country's energy security is consistent with our sport's legacy of race-bred innovation and leadership."
As a clean-burning and renewable fuel that is non-toxic and 100 percent biodegradable, it reduces air pollution (a 10 percent blend reduces carbon monoxide better than any other reformulated gasoline by as much a 30 percent and shows a 35-46 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions) and improves racing's environmental footprint. The highest commercial octane rated fuel delivers strong engine performance by helping engines resist detonation so they can run higher compression ratios.
"Our partnership with the IndyCar Series has helped to demonstrate that fuel enriched with ethanol can help a race car achieve its maximum performance, and it will help your car as well," said Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). "We appreciate the sentiments of the Bush administration, which has been a long-time supporter of ethanol, and together with its efforts to bring more ethanol to the consumer, we believe ethanol can take our country a long, long way."
2. Bussell trades shots with tennis stars: Indy Pro Series driver Nick Bussell already had the tennis bug before he was asked to participate in a promotional event with two ATP tennis players on July 18.
"I saw that the tournament was coming to town, and I was hoping to be able to get a chance to go," said Bussell, who ranks fourth in the Indy Pro Series driving the No. 52 Cheever Racing car. The tournament is sandwiched between the Indy Pro Series race at Nashville Superspeedway on July 15 and the Milwaukee Mile on July 22.
The Ionia, Mich., native, who has relocated to Indianapolis, got more than he bargained for, playing an exhibition with two of the tournament's top players.
Bussell joined eighth-seeded Paradorn Srichaphan and 12th-seeded Gilles Muller at City Market in downtown Indianapolis for some tennis in front of a lunchtime crowd.
"I haven't picked up a racket in nine years, since I was a freshman in high school," Bussell said. "This is a lot of fun, though. I can't imagine returning a 120-mph serve."
The three professional athletes played a few points and signed autographs before exchanging gifts. Bussell also scored two tickets to the evening match on July 18 featuring second seed Andy Roddick.
3. Simmons to brew IRL Lager at Miller Brewery: IndyCar Series driver Jeff Simmons will go behind the scenes of Miller Brewery to help create a special "IRL Lager" with the Miller brewmasters on July 19.
Simmons, driver of the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone, will take a behind the scenes tour of the brewery before adding his own hops to create a special brew celebrating this weekend's Indy Racing League events at The Milwaukee Mile.
4. Yount, Rice form friendship: Buddy Rice enjoys visiting Milwaukee for more than just racing at the Milwaukee Mile.
Rice met Milwaukee Brewers great Robin Yount at a Phoenix go-kart track several years ago and formed a friendship with the baseball Hall of Famer, who is a member of the Brewers coaching staff.
"I have always enjoyed racing at Milwaukee," Rice said. "Usually, it's a chance to see my friend Robin Yount, who is a legend in town. He helped me in the early parts of my racing career since we met at the go-kart track in Phoenix in the winter months. I wish he could come to the races, but this year, the team is out of town. I hope to see him the day after the race."
5. Foyt plans to be at namesake race: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt plans to attend the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile after missing the last two IndyCar Series events due to his recovery from knee replacement surgery. Foyt was a four-time winner at Milwaukee as a driver.
The next IndyCar Series event is the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Indy 225 at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) on July 23 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. 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 Milwaukee 100 on July 22 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be telecast by ESPN2 at 2 p.m. on July 27. ESPN2's coverage of the Sunbelt Rentals 100 will be telecast at 2 p.m. on July 20.