IRL: Behind the Barriers: Fontana

Honda announced on Saturday afternoon that they will supply engines to the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series through the end of the 2009 racing season. In making the announcement, Robert Clarke said, "Honda originally elected to compete in the IRL...

Honda announced on Saturday afternoon that they will supply engines to the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series through the end of the 2009 racing season. In making the announcement, Robert Clarke said, "Honda originally elected to compete in the IRL because we recognize the series as the pinnacle of open wheel racing in this country. We also recognize the Indianapolis 500 for its tradition and its place in American motorsports."

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Dan Wheldon was presented with Speed Channel Driver of the Year trophy on Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the year, Wheldon was awarded Driver of the Quarter during the second quarter. Wheldon won four of the first five IndyCar Series races this year.

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Target Chip Ganassi Racing is sporting new paint schemes for their race cars competing in the IRL and NASCAR NEXTEL cup this weekend in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Not only are the cars painted pink, Scott Dixon and Jaques Lazier are wearing pink fire suits as well.

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To celebrate Firestone's 10th anniversary as the official tire manufacturer of the Indy Racing League a commemorative poster is being auction on Ebay to benefit CARA Charities and the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. Signed by 31 drivers, the limited edition poster is also signed and numbered by the artist Paul Laguette. The auction will close October 17 at 9:00 p.m. (EDT). For more information visit the auction site at www.ebay.com/indycarposter.

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ESPN360.com will provide live streaming video from Danica Patrick's in-car camera during the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway. Audio choices on the menu include Patrick's radio communications with a mix of natural sound or ESPN's race call. Check with your ISP to see if they offer the ESPN360.com service.

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Bobby Rahal Honda in Mechanicsburg, Pa. was featured in the latest issue of Automotive News (Oct. 10, 2005). In a special section on innovative dealers, the dealership was featured for an assembly line-style service line which cuts a 30,000 mile maintenance from three hours to 28 minutes. The conveyor driven line is 150 feet long and 22 feet wide with five stations. Able to accommodate five cars at once, seven service technicians staff the line. In addition to cutting the time customers have to wait for their car, the line has cut labor costs at the dealership.

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Danica Patrick became the first U.S. "ambassador" for Swiss watchmaker Tissot last week. Patrick will appear in marketing and advertising for the 153-year-old brand of watches starting in November.

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Whiteland Raceway Park will host the Six Hours of Indy kart race to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina on October 29, 2005. The arrive and drive event will feature karts capable of speeds up to 50 mph as well as full hospitality for drivers. For more information visit www.poleposition.biz

IndyCar Series team and sponsor business news

Honda and Toyota were recently noted as receiving Kelley Blue Book's Best Resale Value Awards. The 2006 Honda Accord Hybrid won best resale value in the sedan category while Toyota's most popular hybrid, the Prius, tied with the Mini Cooper in the hatchback category. Toyota won the honors in the pickup category with the Toyota Tacoma PreRunner.

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Panasonic sent along an interesting invitation recently. The sponsor of Kosuke Matsuura's Honda-powered No. 55 invited journalists to a listening event featuring members of the rock band Talking Heads. After a reception with the band at Avatar Studios in Manhattan, journalists were invited to CBGBs, the famous punk rock club located in the Bowery, where cars equipped with Panasonic's new ELS Surround sound system would be available for listening to the band's newly released box set.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jaques Lazier  , Bobby Rahal , Dan Wheldon , Sam Schmidt , Kosuke Matsuura , Chip Ganassi , Robert Clark , Danica Patrick
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing