IRL: Indy Racing League Notebook 2004-04-27

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- April 27, 2004 Today's IRL headlines Argent Mortgage To Sponsor Kansas IndyCar® Series Event SAFER Barrier To Be In Place At Texas By June AGR Co-Owner Honors Brother By Sharing Success With Hometown Wheldon...

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- April 27, 2004

Today's IRL headlines
Argent Mortgage To Sponsor Kansas IndyCar® Series Event
SAFER Barrier To Be In Place At Texas By June
AGR Co-Owner Honors Brother By Sharing Success With Hometown
Wheldon Fourth In First-Quarter Driver Of The Year Balloting

Argent Mortgage To Sponsor Kansas IndyCar® Series Event

Argent Mortgage Company LLC announced April 27 it will serve as the title sponsor for the IRL IndyCar® Series race at Kansas Speedway on July 4.

The Fourth of July weekend race will be known as the ARGENT MORTGAGE INDY 300, and will mark the fourth consecutive year the IndyCar Series will compete on the fast 1.5-mile high-banked tri-oval.

"We're excited to team up with Argent Mortgage for our Indy Racing League event," Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger said. "Argent has proven time and again that they understand motorsports, and their involvement with the IRL certainly proves that. Kansas Speedway has had some exciting IndyCar events over the past three years, and this year's ARGENT MORTGAGE INDY 300 will prove to be no exception."

Argent Mortgage Company is co-primary sponsor with Pioneer Electronics on Team Rahal's IndyCar Series entry driven by Buddy Rice and was the primary sponsor on Team Rahal's second Indy 500 entry in 2003 with driver Jimmy Vasser.

"We are pleased to be working with Team Rahal and to be the title sponsor of this exciting Kansas Speedway IRL event," said Wayne Lee, president of Argent Mortgage Company. "Our auto racing programs with Team Rahal have allowed us to showcase the traits of a winner. Teamwork, determination and performance under pressure are essential both on the track and when working with the independent mortgage brokers we serve. I can think of no better place for Argent to celebrate the Fourth of July than at Kansas Speedway."

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SAFER Barrier To Be In Place At Texas By June

Installation of the SAFER Barrier at Texas Motor Speedway will be completed in time for the June 12 Bombardier 500k IndyCar Series event.

The project is set to begin the week of May 10 at Texas Motor Speedway, and is scheduled to take two to three weeks.

About 6,300 feet will be installed around portions of the 1.5-mile track. The work will be done at night to avoid conflicts with the speedway's full schedule of on track events.

"We are pleased the SAFER Barriers will be in place before the IRL race," said speedway president Eddie Gossage. "It's unfortunate that it couldn't happen before our NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event back in April, but the engineers that developed the SAFER Barriers only recently completed their survey. This is certainly a big step in the right direction where safety is concerned."

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AGR Co-Owner Honors Brother By Sharing Success With Hometown

Kevin Savoree is enjoying Andretti Green Racing's success thus far in 2004. But he is making sure many others in his hometown of Paris, Ill., enjoy the benefits of that success, as well.

Savoree, who co-owns Andretti Green with partners Michael Andretti and Kim Green, is donating $1,000 to the Paris YMCA in memory of his late brother, Jim, each time an Andretti Green Racing entry wins an IRL IndyCar® Series event.

Thanks to Andretti Green driver Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon, who scored wins in Phoenix and Motegi, Japan, respectively, Savoree has already committed $2,000 to the campaign.

"My mom and dad both passed away by the time I was 15 and Jim basically raised me after that," Savoree said. "When he died, I wanted to do something to honor his memory and also continue his effort to give something back to the Paris community."

Jim Savoree, an avid racing fan, served as executive director of the Paris YMCA for many years before health problems forced him to step down. He died Feb. 23, six days before the start of the IndyCar Series season.

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Wheldon Fourth In First-Quarter Driver Of The Year Balloting

Despite not being on the 12-person ballot, Andretti Green Racing driver Dan Wheldon was fourth in voting for the first-quarter SpeedChannel presents Driver of the Year 2004.

Wheldon, who leads the IndyCar Series point standings, is coming off a victory and two third-place finishes in the first three races this season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who leads the NASCAR Nextel Cup point standings, is the first-quarter leader. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the United States and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis.

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The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Noon (EDT) on May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series Futaba Freedom 100 will take place at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live by ESPN2.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kim Green