IRL: Indy 500: Notebook 2003-05-24

87th Indianapolis 500 notebook AOL Broadband to sponsor Fisher at Indy; Hungry, thirsty fans keep IMS busy. INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 24, 2003 -- America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, announced May 24 that ...

87th Indianapolis 500 notebook
AOL Broadband to sponsor Fisher at Indy; Hungry, thirsty fans keep IMS busy.

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 24, 2003 -- America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, announced May 24 that AOL for Broadband is a primary sponsor of IRL IndyCar Series standout Sarah Fisher and will support her in the 87th Indianapolis 500 on May 25.

"I'm so excited to be associated with AOL for Broadband," Fisher said. "AOL is reshaping the online world, and we're both defining the limits of new ideas for a whole new generation."

Fisher's #23 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone fielded by Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will bear the AOL for Broadband logo, representing America Online's high-speed Internet service, along with AOL's Running Man icon. In addition, Fisher will provide trackside updates for AOL for Broadband members, offering racing fans an intimate view of Indianapolis 500 preparations, practices and pit stops. AOL for Broadband members will be able to access her video updates at AOL Keyword: Indy 500.

"We're thrilled to support Sarah's drive to victory in the Indy 500," said Tom Richardson, VP, AOL Sports. "Sarah is competing against some of the best drivers in the world, in a position few women before have ever achieved. AOL Sports is focused on delivering this kind of unique and compelling on-demand programming to our members that lets them experience first-hand the thrill of major sports like this.

"Now our members will be able to enjoy exclusive updates and race insights from one of the most exciting IRL drivers whenever they want."

Said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold: "We're extremely grateful for the support of AOL for Broadband, and we welcome them to the DRR family. AOL is an innovative organization with a commitment to motorsports, and we believe we can create an exciting relationship for everyone involved."

This is AOL's second auto racing sponsorship. The company is the title sponsor of Richard Childress Racing's #30 car on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, driven by Steve Park.

"Sarah Fisher is an excellent match for AOL for Broadband -- her winning spirit will drive her to success, and her inspiration and motivation will lead to achievement," said Richard Taylor, senior vice president, AOL Brand Promotions.

Fisher has been voted the IndyCar Series' most popular driver by fans for the last two seasons and is the only woman to win a pole position for a major North American open-wheel race, in August 2002 at Kentucky Speedway. Fisher, 22, also is the fastest female qualifier in Indianapolis 500 history.

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Fun Indy food facts: The Indianapolis 500 is the world's largest spectator sporting event, so there are hundreds of thousands of hungry and thirsty race fans. Here are a few facts about the food served by IMS Food & Beverage on Race Day:

*Enough Indy Dogs that if you laid them end to end, they would nearly circle the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval two times.

*More than four tons of french fries.

*More than 600 pounds of chicken tenders.

*More than 2,700 gallons of Coca-Cola products.

*Enough beer to fill three 42-foot trailers with kegs.

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Firestone logs miles: While the IRL IndyCar Series has multiple chassis and engine manufacturers, Firestone tires are the only tires on each car during the grueling month of May schedule of practice and qualifying leading up to the 87th Indianapolis 500.

A total of 15,561 laps were turned during practice and qualifying this month on Firestone tires. That's 38,902.5 miles.

"The Firehawks have performed tremendously this month in our minds and in the eyes of those teams and drivers who put them to the test each day here," said Al Speyer, executive director of Firestone Racing. "That is a source of great pride and anticipation for what many believe will be a most exciting race.

"Racing is our most visible technological laboratory. Anyone can witness your triumphs and setbacks. Firestone thrives on that challenge, and we take full advantage of the vast amount of data we gather here. And it is an incredible amount.

"There have been nearly 39,000 miles run here so far but if you think about it, since we have four measuring points on each car -- for each of the four tires -- we have really collected more than 155,000 miles of highly valuable data already. And that's before we amass another 50,000 or so miles of data on Race Day itself."

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Milk is best with --: The traditional bottle of milk for the winner is one of the most time-honored traditions of the Indianapolis 500.

But the American Dairy Association recently surveyed Indianapolis 500 drivers to ask what is their favorite food to eat along with a glass of milk. A few sample responses:

A.J. Foyt IV, Sam Hornish Jr., Buddy Rice, Roger Yasukawa: cookies

Buddy Lazier, Jaques Lazier, Tora Takagi: cereal

Felipe Giaffone: 2 percent milk with cappuccino

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Kite fans go online: Jimmy Kite is one of the more popular starters in the 87th Indianapolis 500, as a group of his most loyal fans has started a Web site devoted to the driver: www.jimmykitefans.com.

IndyCar Series fan Jill Pochik created the site and is the Web master.

"This is a great honor," Kite said. "When Jill asked me about doing the site, I was really surprised and excited. To have someone take such an interest in your career and offer to put up a site like this is a really, really big honor. She has done a great job with it, and I am proud to tell people to go and check it out.

"The fans are what this job is all about and what this site is all about. This is one of the biggest compliments I've gotten since I started racing. People don't do this unless they really believe in you."

Said Pochik: "We have been fans of Jimmy's since he started in the IRL. I felt a driver of Jimmy's talent really deserved a site where his fans could go out and learn all about him, keep up with his schedule and more. Jimmy is one of the most popular drivers in the IRL not just because he is so talented but also because he is so open to his fans. We hope that this site will help people follow all that he is racing from Indy cars to sprint cars to the Silver Crown."

USAC short-track standout Kite will start 32nd in the No. 18 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone fielded by PDM Racing.

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Honors: Indianapolis 500 veteran John Paul Jr., veteran Indianapolis 500 and USAC official Bill Marvel and longtime racing journalist and writer Dick Mittman received the Angelo Angelopolous Award at the annual American Automobile Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association breakfast May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's the top award presented by the group.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Steve Park , Sarah Fisher , Felipe Giaffone , Buddy Lazier , A.J. Foyt IV , Jaques Lazier  , Jimmy Kite , Tora Takagi , Roger Yasukawa , Buddy Rice , John Paul , Richard Taylor , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Richard Childress Racing