IRL: Homestead-Miami Friday notes

David Reininger - Motorsport.com Homestead, Fla (April 6, 2001) - Notes from the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway Al Unser Jr. will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Atlanta Braves - Florida Marlins baseball...

David Reininger - Motorsport.com

Homestead, Fla (April 6, 2001) - Notes from the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Al Unser Jr. will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Atlanta Braves - Florida Marlins baseball game Saturday night at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. The game starts at 7:05 p.m.

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Mario Andretti and Anthony Edwards will be the special guests at the Hats Off To High Hopes fund-raiser as part of their continuing involvement with the Nashville-based Firestone Racing program. Signed memorabilia from Andretti and Edwards will be auctioned the Wild Horse Salon in Nashville on April 22 to benefit High Hopes, a non-profit therapeutic center serving children with special needs.

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Eliseo Salazar, currently second in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship, speaks five languages including his native Spanish. Salazar is back behind the microphone, working as a color commentator for PanAmerican Sports Network for selected Formula One races. He was in Brazil this past weekend for the Brazilian Grand Prix where he predicted Juan Pablo Montoya's pass on Michael Schumacher. "I knew from running against him at Indy last year how he would react in that situation and when he did as I predicted, I looked like a genius," Salazar said.

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NHRA team owner Darrell Gwynn is a guest of Sam Schmidt Motorsports this weekend. Both Schmidt and Gwynn will spend time at the Miami Project to meet with doctors and specialists. Gwynn was injjured in a top fuel accident in 1990 in England. Schmidt was injured while testing at Orlando in January of 2000.

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Five rookies are entered in Sunday's 300 mile race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Joining the four rookies from the first round at Phoenix is Jon Herb, driver of the Tri Star Motorsports No. 6 Dallara. Felipe Giaffone leads the rookie standings after the first round of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, followed by Brandon Irwin, Casey Mears and Didier Andre.

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Brandon Irwin, 25, from Denton, Texas, who will start in his second Indy racing event this weekend, is fresh from a victory at his home track, Devil's Bowl in Mesquite, Texas. Last Saturday night, Irwin won both his heat race and the sprint car feature on the high banked half-mile track.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Brandon Irwin , Felipe Giaffone , Al Unser Jr. , Jon Herb , Casey Mears , Eliseo Salazar , Didier André , Sam Schmidt , Mario Andretti , Darrell Gwynn