IRL: Indy 500: Playa Del Racing honors War Vet

IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WAR VET ARTHUR FLORU PART OF PLAYA DEL RACING TEAM FOR INDY 500 - Recently Returned Major Will Present Team With Flag Flown In Their Honor During His Last Iraqi Mission - INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Major Arthur Floru,...

IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WAR VET ARTHUR FLORU PART OF PLAYA DEL RACING TEAM FOR INDY 500

- Recently Returned Major Will Present Team With Flag Flown In Their Honor During His Last Iraqi Mission -

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Major Arthur Floru, Woonsocket, RI, a C-130 Aircraft Commander in both combat sortees in Afghanistan and Iraq, returned from battle five weeks ago and will be taking on a more enjoyable competition when he takes his place as Assistant Fueler for the Playa Del Racing IndyCar Team and driver Jaques Lazier for the 89th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on Sunday, May 29th.

"I have been to Indy before, and wanted to return to support Susan (Schafer, co-owner, Playa Del Racing) and Gary (Sallee, co-owner, Playa Del Racing) at Indy this year. I have been friends with Sue for years," he explained from his home.

Schafer is just as thrilled to have Floru on their team as he is to be at the Indy 500. "Arthur Floru is one of the most enthusiastic, decent men I know," said Schafer. "He has defended our country, led our nation's youth and has been a great friend of mine. I am honored and excited to share this experience with such a fine man."

Floru, also a member of the Rhode Island Air National Guard, is grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Memorial Day weekend activities by serving in a different capacity.

"I am a military member, and Susan and Gary are big supporters of the military -- very patriotic. I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the team," Floru said of his new duties. "The Indy 500 is the pinnacle of motorsports. The Indy race is very exciting, in fact, the most exciting race. It is an absolute celebration of American freedom, and has a very patriotic fan base. It's very exciting to be going to Indy after serving overseas because that's what the whole effort (war) is about -- to maintain freedom and, in particular, America. To let this country be free forever."

Floru will be trackside at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 27th for Carb Day activities, which include the final hour of practice (11:00 am-noon) for the IndyCar Series before they take to the track on Sunday (1:00 pm EST, ABC).

He will present the Playa Del Racing team with an American Flag he flew specifically in their honor on his last mission in Iraq. This presentation will take place at 3:00 pm in front of the Playa Del Racing garage #B7 (or just after the completion of the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge). Nancy George, Board of Directors member for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Linda Vaughn, "The First Lady of Motorsports," will also be attending the presentation and available for photos.

-jv-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jaques Lazier