IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2005-04-22

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- April 22, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. ESPN360 To Offer Live Coverage Of Indy Japan 300 2. Kentucky Speedway gets SAFER 3. "Breakfast with Michael Andretti" Program Returns in 2005 1. ESPN360 To Offer Live...


Today's IRL headlines
1. ESPN360 To Offer Live Coverage Of Indy Japan 300
2. Kentucky Speedway gets SAFER
3. "Breakfast with Michael Andretti" Program Returns in 2005

1. ESPN360 To Offer Live Coverage Of Indy Japan 300: IRL IndyCar® Series fans won't have to wait to see the action of the series' only overseas event.

ESPN will offer live coverage of the Indy Japan 300 from Twin Ring Motegi through its free broadband outlet, ESPN360. Coverage of the race will begin at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 29. ESPN's same-day television coverage of the Indy Japan 300 is scheduled for noon (EDT) on April 30.

As part of its commitment to the Indy Racing League, ESPN360 has covered several events this season, featuring a side-by-side simulcast of the traditional and in-car feeds from the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and live coverage of Marco Andretti's win in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The broadband network expects to add live coverage of additional Menards Infiniti Pro Series events throughout the 2005 season.

ESPN360 is available free via a high-speed data connection on Though normally offered only through select high-speed Internet providers, April 27-May 1 is an "All-Access Week" for ESPN360, so all high-speed internet users can watch the Indy Japan 300. The video offered by ESPN360 is encoded at a high bit rate that enables a fast transmission for viewing high-quality video content.

The product's enhancements include a new, customizable interface that offers fans more highlights, live games, inside analysis from ESPN commentators, extended interviews, sneak-previews and premieres of upcoming ESPN original shows, and a growing suite of video games. The expanded service also includes archives of ESPN shows such as "Pardon The Interruption (PTI)."

All content is customizable and can be watched in a variety of screen sizes ranging from full-screen to a compact mode that can be viewed on a small portion of the user's screen. ESPN360 provides users with the capability to add and delete videos from their playlists, arrange the order of viewing, and save favorite clips and playlists in "My ESPN" -- the users own channel within the ESPN360 environment.

For more information on how to obtain ESPN360, go to


2. Kentucky Speedway gets SAFER: Kentucky Speedway will invest $1 million to install the second generation of the Steel And Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier System inside the concrete retaining wall that spans Turns 1 through 2 and Turns 3 through 4 of the 1.5-mile tri-oval track at the facility.

Installation will begin after the season-opening ARCA RE/MAX Series race on May 14 and will be complete before the June 18 NASCAR Busch Series event. Installation will take place at night and will not interrupt frequent race team testing at the speedway.

"Our investor board has delivered again," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "This investment further demonstrates the board's commitment to the success of our independently-owned facility. Our team has always been driven to provide competitors with the latest safety technology and we've followed all aspects of the SAFER Barrier System - installation methods, impact studies, repair procedure and overall effectiveness -- since it's inception. Clearly, the system will ensure Kentucky Speedway remains among the best motorsports facilities in America."

The SAFER Barrier System first was installed on the four outside retaining walls of the 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2002. The track installed the second generation of the system in February. In all, 12 of the 14 oval venues which host Indy Racing League events have installed the SAFER Barrier.


3. "Breakfast with Michael Andretti" Program returns in 2005: For the second consecutive year, the Michael Andretti Foundation will host the "Breakfast with Michael Andretti" program, an opportunity for fans to get an inside look at the activities that take place at Indy Racing League events.

The "Breakfast with Michael Andretti" will debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20. Other 2005 breakfast events will be announced shortly.

As part of the "Breakfast with the Michael Andretti" program, guests are provided a full-service breakfast served at the Team 7-Eleven hospitality area, a question & answer session with Andretti Green Racing co-owner Michael Andretti and other guest speakers; an autograph from Andretti; a short appearance by the AGR drivers and a tour of the garage area where the participants can get up close with an Andretti Green Racing IndyCar Series car.

Cost for the event is $100 per person and space is limited. All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated on behalf of The Michael Andretti Foundation to IRL Ministries and CARA Charities.

Fans can secure a spot at the event by sending an e-mail to


The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Indy Japan 300 on April 30 at Twin Ring Motegi. The race will be telecast by ESPN at noon (EDT) on April 30 with a live simulcast of the race at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 29 by The race will also be broadcast by the IMS Radio Network at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 29. The IMS Radio Network broadcast is available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 "XM Extreme" and webcast on The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Futaba Freedom 100 on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 27.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Marco Andretti