IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League notebook 2003-03-12

Indy Racing League Notebook George speaks at major conference; 'Bachelor' host to be Phoenix grand marshal INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 12, 2003 -- Indy Racing League and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Tony George was one of ...

Indy Racing League Notebook
George speaks at major conference; 'Bachelor' host to be Phoenix grand marshal

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 12, 2003 -- Indy Racing League and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Tony George was one of six influential sports leaders on a panel March 12 as part of the first day of the prestigious 2003 World Congress of Sports in New York.

George represented the motorsports industry on "The Powers That Be" panel. As president and CEO of IMS, he presides over three of the largest single-day sporting events in the world, the Indianapolis 500 IRL IndyCarTM Series race, Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race and the United States Grand Prix Formula One race.

Joining George on the panel at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York were Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks; Jerry Colangelo, owner of the NBA's Phoenix Suns and Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks; Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL's New England Patriots; Bob DuPay, president and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball; and Robert Johnson, owner of the NBA's new franchise in Charlotte, N.C.

George said he was bullish on the future of motorsports. He cited how NASCAR has grown the market for racing, which will benefit the Indy Racing League because of new facilities and new racing fans.

While George admitted the economy is a problem now for motorsports, he sees optimism for the future.

"A rising tide lifts all boats, and we expect the future to be brighter," George said.

More than 600 influential leaders from the sports industry are attending the conference.

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'Bachelor' host to be Phoenix grand marshal: Chris Harrison, host of ABC's popular romance-reality series "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," has been named grand marshal for the Purex Dial Indy 200 on March 23 at Phoenix International Raceway.

"We are very pleased and honored that Chris has accepted our invitation to be grand marshal," PIR President Bryan R. Sperber said. "Chris has overseen several selection processes that have resulted in one winner -- this time it won't be true love, but a true champion."

In addition to his role as host for ABC's innovative romance-reality series, Dallas native Harrison is also host for HGTV's popular primetime series, "Designers' Challenge." He also has played a reporter in several feature films and television series, including "The Practice," "Bounce," starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck, and "Showtime," starring Robert DeNiro and Eddie Murphy.

"As an avid sports fan, it is an honor to serve as grand marshal for such a great event at such a historic sports venue," Harrison said. "I think it's every sports fan's dream to be the one to say those magic words, 'Drivers, start your engines.' It will quickly be put atop my list of greatest sports moments of my life."

Tickets for the Purex Dial Indy 200 IRL IndyCar Series race and the Phoenix 100 Infiniti Pro Series race are available by calling (602) 252-2227 or logging on to www.phoenixraceway.com.

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Glick honored: Longtime Los Angeles Times motorsports writer Shav Glick received the "Jim Murray Outstanding Sports Writer Award" March 11 at the All-American Football Foundation Banquet of Champions in Pasadena, Calif.

Glick received the award from Linda McCoy-Murray, the widow of Jim Murray, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

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Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Tony George , Chris Harris , Eddie M