HORNISH COMPLETES INDY 500 'PUZZLE' BY ACCEPTING 'BABY BORG' INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007 -- Over the past few months, Sam Hornish Jr. occasionally would pause in front of the trophy case in his home to decide where the "Baby Borg"...
HORNISH COMPLETES INDY 500 'PUZZLE' BY ACCEPTING 'BABY BORG'
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007 -- Over the past few months, Sam Hornish Jr. occasionally would pause in front of the trophy case in his home to decide where the "Baby Borg" would reside.
Of course, a prominent place was envisioned for the sterling-silver replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy that Hornish hoisted over his head after winning the 90th Indianapolis 500 with a scintillating frontstretch pass of IndyCar Series rookie Marco Andretti last May.
It was a no-brainer for Hornish, who dreamed of winning "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" since he can remember. Paired with his winner's ring, the trophy will be front and center.
"(In the display case), I have trophies from all my IndyCar Series wins, my Olympic torch, and the Baby Borg will be nestled in between my three IndyCar Series championship cups," said Hornish, who received the BorgWarner Championship Driver's Trophy on Jan. 17 during the 2007 Automotive News World Congress Gala Dinner in Dearborn, Mich.
Standing a few feet from the 5-foot-5 Borg-Warner Trophy and Team Penske owner Roger Penske, Hornish said receiving the Baby Borg from BorgWarner Chairman and CEO Tim Manganello "completed the puzzle." Last week, Hornish accepted the Champion of Champions' ring from Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George and saw his likeness on the art-deco trophy that is one of the most recognized in sports.
"It's another piece of the puzzle that makes it a reality," said Hornish, the 2006 IndyCar Series champion. "Unveiling my picture on the (2007) ticket, or receiving my ring, or seeing my face on the Borg-Warner Trophy all have been parts. Being able to get the Baby Borg is the final piece of the puzzle.
"It started out as a childhood dream just to some day be able to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I didn't know if that would ever happen, let alone to one day be celebrating in Victory Lane. While I can't remember a lot of what I was thinking at that time, tonight really brings back a lot of great memories. I want to thank BorgWarner for being a great supporter of the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
The Baby Borg rests on a 4-inch by 8-inch beveled black marble base that includes space for a hand-crafted, three-dimensional sterling silver image of the winning driver's face and an inscription of the winning driver and year. BorgWarner established the trophy so that each winner of the Indianapolis 500 would have a keepsake of the Speedway victory. The Borg-Warner Trophy is on permanent display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
Manganello also presented Penske, a 14-time Indianapolis 500-winning team owner, with the BorgWarner Team Owner's Trophy. A companion to the Championship Driver's Trophy, it was established in 1998 to mark the company's 70th year as an innovator in the automotive industry.
"I go back to 1951 when my dad took me to Indianapolis for the first time, and I never knew that I would be here to say we won 14 times," Penske said. "But it takes great people and a great team, and (Hornish) did a great job."
The Team Owner's Trophy also is a replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy with a band of art-deco racing cars accentuated in gold to symbolize the importance of teamwork in auto racing and the automotive business.
"BorgWarner is extremely proud to have been associated with this legendary racing event since 1936," Manganello said. "We congratulate Sam Hornish Jr. and Roger Penske for their 2006 victory."
2007 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 91st Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 27, 2007.
Tickets can be purchased at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Web site, www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by phone or at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office. The IMS Ticket Office can be contacted at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally. Ticket Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Parking and camping permits for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" also can be purchased online, by phone or at the Ticket Office.