IRL: Indy Racing League News & Notes 2005-04-26

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- April 26, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Leibel, Quiroga pass Menards Infiniti Pro Series rookie tests 2. Fan Experience visits Saginaw Valley State University 1. Leibel, Quiroga pass Menards Infiniti Pro ...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- April 26, 2005

Today's IRL headlines
1. Leibel, Quiroga pass Menards Infiniti Pro Series rookie tests
2. Fan Experience visits Saginaw Valley State University

1. Leibel, Quiroga pass Menards Infiniti Pro Series rookie tests: Cody Leibel, the owner of C-Note Records whose Australian Formula 3 car boasts sponsorship from Paris Hilton, was one of two drivers to pass the Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù rookie test April 25 at Kentucky Speedway.

Leibel, 25, plans to compete in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in the future, perhaps as soon as the latter half of this season.

"Cody was a pleasure to work with," said Michael Crawford, team manager for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. "He comes from a different background, but you could tell he is a natural athlete."

Leibel, a Toronto native, played professional hockey until a knee injury ended his career. He began racing cars in the fall of 2004.

Also passing the rookie test was German Quiroga Jr., 24.

"German looked like a fish taking to water," Crawford said. "He looked at home in the race car. He's very, very talented and has a likeable personality."

Quiroga competes in Formula Renault 2000 and also has competed in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the Fran-Am Series.

Menards Infiniti Pro Series regulars Wade Cunningham and Jeff Simmons also tested at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Cunningham, who finished second in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, ranks second in the point standings after three races. Simmons, the 2003 series runner-up, ranks 12th.

Leibel and Cunningham are scheduled to test again on April 28 at Nashville Superspeedway.

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2. Fan Experience visits Saginaw Valley State University: The Indy Racing League Fan Experience is sending a show car and the interactive Pit Stop Challenge to Saginaw (Mich.) Valley State University April 27 as part of continuing efforts to form a professional race team in the Saginaw Valley to compete in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series as soon as 2006.

The public is invited to see an IRL show car, meet driver Dave Wilcox and compete in simulated pit stops during the Saginaw Valley Community Auto Racing Fan Fest and Expo.

Visitors will have a chance to win tickets to the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 Michigan Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

The fan fest and expo will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in SVSU's Ryder Center.

In the Pit Stop Challenge, teams of five will experience what it is like to be in the pits and find out how quickly they can re-fuel and change the tires on a race car, as all participants will be timed.

Safety demonstrations also will be held, as visitors learn what it takes to protect race car drivers and what they can do to protect themselves and their families during everyday activities. Saginaw Township Police and the Field Neurosciences Institute of Saginaw are among the organizations taking part.

"This event gives race fans something to enjoy and gives us a chance to explain what we're trying to do and gain their support for starting a local community race team," said Brooks Byam, SVSU associate professor of mechanical engineering.

SVSU, the Saginaw Valley Manufacturers Association and the IRL hosted area businesses and community leaders February 17 to introduce the concept of a community race team.

"We're currently in negotiations with several potential sponsors," Byam said. "The business community is very intrigued by this unique opportunity to build their business and enhance the reputation of this region."

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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 ESPN360.com. 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 indycar.com. 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 Sam Schmidt , German Quiroga , Jeff Simmons , Wade Cunningham