IRL: Indy 500: IMS Notebook 2006-05-19

90TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 NOTEBOOK Great value for fans Saturday, May 20 at track; Penske engineers win Schwitzer Award INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 19, 2006 -- 90th Indianapolis 500 activity on Saturday, May 20 offers fans one of the best values of...

90TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 NOTEBOOK

Great value for fans Saturday, May 20 at track; Penske engineers win Schwitzer Award

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 19, 2006 -- 90th Indianapolis 500 activity on Saturday, May 20 offers fans one of the best values of the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Admission for The Run for the WorldPoints Visa Card Pole on Coca-Cola Throwback Day is just $5, with children under 6 free. Gates open at 7 a.m.

Qualifying for all 33 positions in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" will take place from noon-6 p.m., preceded by practice from 9:30-11 a.m.

There are plenty of free promotions for fans, too.

A free commemorative Indy 500 Fan Photo presented by Meijer is available beginning at 8 a.m. in Formula One garage No. 34. A free Indy 500 Great Moments DVD will be given to everyone, while supplies last, who enters the 2007 Indy 500 FANtasy Getaway Sweepstakes in the Pagoda Plaza. Free face painting for all ages will take place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza.

Free Coca-Cola limited-edition collectible trading pins will be distributed starting at 11 a.m. at Formula One garage No. 35, just south of Bombardier Pagoda, and will continue while limited supplies last.

Forever The Tribute will play live on the Coca-Cola State in the Pagoda Plaza from 2-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.

And to celebrate Coca-Cola Throwback Day, fans can purchase ham sandwiches, peanuts, Coca-Cola, apples and ice cream for just 25 cents each, while quantities last, at three 90th Running "Shacks" in front of Formula One garages 30 and 31 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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Penske engineers win Schwitzer Award: Penske Racing Inc. engineers Thomas German, Justin Horning and Tom Janiczek received the 40th annual BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award on May 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for their design of a tool to quickly adjust the rear-wing angle on an IndyCar® Series car during a pit stop.

A mechanism to permit movement of the wing was designed, as well as a novel, battery-operated power tool that allows the left-rear tire changer to make the adjustment within two seconds during a pit stop. The wing can be adjusted anywhere from one-half to 3 degrees with the tool, German said.

The Indianapolis 500 is the only event in which rear-wing angle changes during the race are allowed by Indy Racing League rules.

"We're always looking to make changes to the car to compensate for changes during the race," German said. "In the past, we had the same amount of downforce at the start and finish of the race. Now we can adjust the downforce during the race and hopefully extend our lead.

"The key difference is that in the past you would not make wing adjustments because you'd lose too much time."

The tool functions much like a cordless nut driver. The device is a straight power tool, about 15.7 inches (400 mm) long, and includes commercially available components housed in a billet aluminum body with a carbon-fiber battery case.

"When I came to Penske Racing, you see all of the things they do above and beyond the other teams," Penske driver Sam Hornish Jr. said. "That's Penske Racing. Roger (Penske) gives you all the tools you need. And when he doesn't give you the tools, he gives you the people who can make the tools."

It's the fourth time that Penske engineers or designers have won the prestigious annual award, as the company won in 1980, 1982 and 1993 for chassis designs.

"Penske Racing is honored to accept the 2006 Louis Schwitzer Award," German said. "This award has a long history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and we're honored to accept it for the fourth time."

This prestigious award is sponsored by BorgWarner and presented by the Indiana Section of SAE International in honor of early racing pioneer and past Indiana Section Chairman Louis Schwitzer. This year BorgWarner has doubled the winner's cash prize to $10,000.

German announced that Rose-Hulman Institute in Terre Haute, Ind., will receive a $2,000 scholarship from SAE International. The $1,000 scholarship was doubled because German is a past participant in the Formula SAE program.

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Operation Gratitude: Checkers/Rally's, the Official Burger of the Indianapolis 500, has partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to raise money and awareness for Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization dedicated to sending care packages to U.S. troops deployed overseas.

Operation Gratitude pins will be on sale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 90th Indianapolis 500 on Armed Forces Day, Sunday, May 21; Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 26; and Race Day, Sunday, May 28 (if available) in the Pagoda Plaza with all proceeds benefiting Operation Gratitude.

There also will be "Support Our Troops" T-shirts sold at the Official Trackside Gift Shops located in the Hall of Fame Museum, the Official Trackside Gift Shop merchandise tent located in the Museum parking lot and the Official Trackside Gift Shop located in the Plaza. The T-shirts are $10. Proceeds from the sale of these shirts will also be donated to Operation Gratitude.

Race fans can write a personal message of support to be included in the care packages on postcards distributed at Checkers/Rally's restaurants throughout the Speedway on Carb Day and Race Day. In addition, the double drive-thru chain will host members of the military at the Checkers/Rally's hospitality events on race weekend.

To date, Operation Gratitude (www.operationgratitude.com) has sent more than 100,000 care packages addressed to individual service members, and plans to send more than 40,000 additional packages during their Patriotic Drive for delivery by the Fourth of July. Checkers/Rally's restaurants in Indianapolis and across the country are collecting gift donations now through June 14 to help support Operation Gratitude's Patriotic Drive.

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Smokin': Emprise Cigars has announced the introduction of the "Indianapolis 500®" Cigar.

The officially licensed "Indianapolis 500®"Cigar is a premium cigar handmade in the Dominican Republic, using the finest 5-year old long-leaf tobacco, grown from Cuban seed and finished with a Sumatra wrapper. Each cigar is sealed in a tube to preserve its freshness -- perfect as a collectible or to enjoy at a later date. The cigars are available individually and in a wooden commemorative three-pack box.

Emprise Cigars also has utilized the same popular blend for the new "Brickyard 400®" Cigar and "Indianapolis Motor Speedway®" Cigar.

The cigars will be available at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® (IMS) throughout Indy 500® qualifications and race day, and during the Allstate® 400 at the Brickyard®. Emprise Cigars is also making the cigars available through its regular distribution channels, and the initial demand has exceeded expectations.

"A branded cigar for the home of the 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing®' is a natural," said Terry Angstadt, vice president, IMS Marketing. "We have long considered branding the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a cigar. In our search for a manufacturer, Emprise Cigars was the clear choice. Their experience with branding and dynamic packaging solutions is very impressive."

Emprise Cigars, based in Louisville, Ky., is considered the leading manufacturer and distributor of premium handmade, branded cigars.

"We are thrilled to have our cigar associated with the tradition-steeped Indianapolis Motor Speedway brands," said Ted Jackson, founder of Emprise Cigars. "Combining the top brands in motor racing with the finest cigar is a team that's hard to beat."

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Pole Day coverage on air: The IMS Radio Network will provide live coverage of The Run for the WorldPoints Visa Card Pole on Coca-Cola Throwback Day from noon-6 p.m. (ET) Saturday, May 20 on www.indycar.com.

IMS Radio Network affiliates and XM Satellite Radio channel 145 (IndyCar Racing) will provide live coverage from noon-1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. Saturday.

ESPN will provide TV coverage from 5-6 p.m. (ET) and 7-10 p.m. Saturday, while ESPN360 will provide live coverage online from noon-5 p.m.

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Armstrong, Ray to lead parade: Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and superstar celebrity chef Rachael Ray will lead the IPL 500 Festival Parade, scheduled for noon, Saturday, May 27 in downtown Indianapolis.

Armstrong will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Pace Car at the 90th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28.

Ray, who will serve as the Parade's grand marshal, is an Emmy Award-winning television chef best known for her Food Network shows, including "30-Minute Meals" and "$40 a Day." Last fall she launched her own magazine, "Everyday with Rachael Ray," and recently signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey and King World to host a syndicated daytime talk show that will begin airing this fall.

The 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500 will again serve as honorary grand marshals.

More than 300,000 spectators are expected to line the 2-mile parade route to catch a glimpse of the 33 starting drivers of the 90th Indianapolis 500, more than 80 units, spectacular floats, marching bands and entertainment groups, giant inflatable balloons and costumed characters.

Among celebrities and VIPs joining Armstrong and Ray in the IPL 500 Festival Parade lineup include: actor Jorge Garcia, television host Pat O'Brien, musician Harry Wayne Casey of KC & the Sunshine Band, musician Richard Marx, actor Luke Perry, actor Don Diamont and six ABC soap opera stars, and other celebrities to be announced. Celebrity guests are subject to change. In addition, a very special featured guest, Lt. General Russel L. Honore will be part of a special tribute to the military. Honore is coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast.

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Indy 500 tickets on sale: Tickets are on sale for the 2006 Indianapolis 500, the 90th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.

Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (ET) Monday-Sunday during May, with special hours of 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Day and 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Race Day. Online orders can be made at any time.

Ticket prices start at just $20.

-ims

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske