IRL: Greg Ray Receives Special Indy Send-off at Texas Motor Speedway

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (May 10, 2000) - Nearly 150 well-wishers were in attendance for a special "Indy 500 Send-Off" for Plano, Texas native Greg Ray, driver of the ...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (May 10, 2000) - Nearly 150 well-wishers were in attendance for a special "Indy 500 Send-Off" for Plano, Texas native Greg Ray, driver of the #1 Conseco/Menards Dallara in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series.

The event, which was held at The Speedway Club, was not without a few surprises for the defending series champion.

In addition to a video re-cap of his bid for the series championship, guests were treated to some outtakes from Ray's recent commercial shoot for the speedway.

"This is why I race cars for a living," said a laughing Ray.

Ray also had a visit from Officer Larry Fischer of the Trophy Club Police Department who entered the room on his police motorcycle, complete with sirens and lights. Ray was on his way home last October 16 after winning the 1999 Indy Racing League championship at the speedway when he was pulled over for speeding through Trophy Club just a couple of miles away.

"I was one of four cars going that speed and I was the only one pulled over," said Ray. "Of course, after going 220 mph all night, it didn't really seem like I was speeding."

Although Officer Fischer was not the arresting officer that night, he was happy to present Ray with a "Jr. Badge" on behalf of the department.

"Maybe you should hang onto this and keep it handy anytime you need to drive through Trophy Club," joked Fischer.

Speedway general manager Eddie Gossage, who emceed the event, says he thinks Ray has a good shot at winning Indianapolis as well as the June 10 Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

"So far, his season has been similar to last year," said Gossage. "He started slow last year as well, but made the run at the end to win the championship. Although I have to remain objective, I know Greg has the potential to get to Victory Lane at both Indy and Texas."

Ray, who took the day's good-natured jabs in stride, says he is focused and ready to compete at Indy.

"I try to think about what I'm doing and not too much about the other teams," said Ray. "I just concentrate on doing my job and doing the best I can do. There's nobody who prepares more than I do and no one who expects more than I do of myself.

"I drive race cars because I love to drive race cars. It's all about doing what I love to do."

Ray, who will arrive in Indianapolis Thursday night to begin activities for the upcoming Indy 500, received a good luck card signed by the luncheon attendees.

"I hope to come back to Texas as the defending Indy 500 champion," said Ray.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray