INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 29, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Jaques Lazier join Target Chip Ganassi Racing for Michigan: 2. Sales of CARA Charities 'racelet' top 30,000 3. IndyCar Series on the road 1. Jaques Lazier join Target...
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 29, 2005
Today's IRL headlines
1. Jaques Lazier join Target Chip Ganassi Racing for Michigan:
2. Sales of CARA Charities 'racelet' top 30,000
3. IndyCar Series on the road
1. Jaques Lazier join Target Chip Ganassi Racing for Michigan: Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced that IRL IndyCar® Series veteran Jaques Lazier to drive the No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota-powered Panoz in the Firestone Indy 400 on July 31 at Michigan International Speedway.
"We were very glad that a driver of Jaques Lazier's caliber was available to the Target team this weekend," Target Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi said. "We look forward to working with him on a race-to-race basis and getting him to the front."
Lazier, who has made 45 career IndyCar Series starts, finished 16th in the Indianapolis 500 in May. Lazier, who won in the series at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001, is the younger brother of 2000 IndyCar Series champion and 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, who also entered in this weekend's event.
"Being given the chance to drive for Target Chip Ganassi Racing is obviously a dream come true," said Lazier. "Since the first day they joined the Indy Racing League, it was a team you looked at with a degree of envy. I'd always wanted to be part of a team like this, and I feel like the first 45 races of my career have been the testing ground for this kind of opportunity. It's not often that I have been in a situation to be able to share information with teammates and be part of something bigger. I look forward to being a team player and hopefully I can help ignite a spark to get momentum back on the team's side. I hope to make the best of this chance the team has given me here at Michigan."
Lazier is not new to the Panoz-Toyota combination. The Vail, Colo., native also competed with the Toyota engine and Panoz chassis earlier this season at Indianapolis should make for an easy transition into the Target team-prepared machine.
"We're happy to be able to add an American driver with a wealth of oval racing experience to our arsenal," said team Managing Director Mike Hull. "The Target team is looking forward and we hope the introduction of Jaques into our racing program will help stimulate our team's performance."
Lazier will be available to the media following the first practice session on July 30 at MIS.
2. Sales of CARA Charities 'racelet' top 30,000 mark: CARA Charities, one of motorsports most charitable groups, has sold more than 30,000 checkered "Buckle Up Bacelets" since introducing them earlier this year.
Toyota, Bridgestone/Firestone and CARA combined in April to produce the bracelet, or 'racelet' as they have become known in racing community. The bands, which are sold for $2 at most major open-wheel racing events, supports CARA Charities' "Buckle Up Baby" program.
"We are thrilled with the reception of the 'Buckle Up Bracelet' throughout the racing community," said Barbara Butz, president of CARA Charities. "With the popularlity of the silicone bracelets around the world, we felt a checkered 'racelet' would be a great addition for racing fans, as well as creating more revenue for our successful Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund Buckle Up Baby program. We're excited to give more money to needy families."
Since 1993, CARA Charities and the Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund have donated more $700,000 worth of child safety seats to needy families across the U.S. through the "Buckle Up Baby" program. The program donates safety seats to hospitals, medical centers and clinics across North America.
3. IndyCar Series on the road: A Meijer IndyCar Series car will be on display on July 30 at Kentucky Speedway during the "Jammin' In The Bluegrass" concert, featuring Billy Dean, Trick Pony and Tim McGraw.
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Firestone Indy 400 on July 31 at Michigan International Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). ESPN2's telecast of the Milwaukee 100 is scheduled for 3 p.m. (EDT) on July 28. The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Courier-Journal 100 on Aug. 13 at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be telecast on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 18. The next episode of "The Fast Life," ESPN2's behind-the-scenes series about the IndyCar Series, airs at noon (EDT) on Aug. 7.