IRL: Indy Racing League notebook 2004-07-13

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- July 13, 2004 Today's IRL headlines 1. Reigning IRL Champ To Attend ESPY Awards 2. Kanaan To Be Interviewed On CNN 3. Hornish "Cruises" Into Hometown Event 4. Indy Racing League Visits Music City 1....

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- July 13, 2004

Today's IRL headlines
1. Reigning IRL Champ To Attend ESPY Awards
2. Kanaan To Be Interviewed On CNN
3. Hornish "Cruises" Into Hometown Event
4. Indy Racing League Visits Music City

1. Reigning IRL Champ To Attend ESPY Awards: Scott Dixon continues to reap rewards from his 2003 IRL IndyCar® Series championship.

Dixon and team owner Chip Ganassi will be at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on July 14 for the 12th annual ESPY Awards. Dixon is a nominee in the Best Driver category.

Dixon, who drives the No. 1 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone, won three races and totaled 11 top-10 finishes and five MBNA Pole Awards in 2003. He also led the most race laps (748) during the season and was first in earnings ($2,531,265).

"It really is something special to be included as a nominee along with other drivers and athletes I respect," Dixon said. "You always get a kick out of seeing the highlights of your race weekend or your achievements making the ESPN highlight reel, but to be part of a whole evening of the best sports highlights of the year is even better."

The 2004 ESPY Awards will bring together athletes and entertainment celebrities to recognize top achievements in sports, relive the memorable moments and salute the best performers and performances. Nominees were announced in 36 categories, and winners were chosen by fan voting on www.indyracing.com and www.espn.com through July 9.

"The fact that this year it's solely the fans' votes that decide the winners makes it that much more interesting because that's what it's all about. Without the fans we don't get to do what we love to do," Dixon said.

Other Best Driver nominees are Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth of NASCAR, Michael Schumacher of Formula One and NHRA Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon. Tony Stewart won the award last year. Recently retired IndyCar Series driver Al Unser Jr. won in 1995.

The awards will be broadcast at 9 p.m. (EDT) July 18 on ESPN. Actor and comedian Jamie Foxx will be the host.

***

2. Kanaan To Be Interviewed On CNN: IndyCar Series points leader Tony Kanaan will be interviewed on CNN's "Live From --" July 14.

Kanaan will be featured with Andrea Braun, the teenager Kanaan met during a visit to Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital on May 20.

Braun, 15, was hospitalized because of a defect which caused cerebral hemorrhage. She was in a medically induced coma when Kanaan visited the hospital, but he was so touched by his visit to her room that he sent her a letter and his good luck charm, a medallion he had worn in races for the last five years.

Braun emerged from her coma shortly after Kanaan's visit and had surgery to repair the defect on May 27. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery after she completes her rehabilitation.

The interview with Kanaan and Braun is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. (EDT).

***

3. Hornish "Cruises" Into Hometown Event: Two-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. will participate in the "Summer Cruise In," an annual car rally organized to benefit a charity in his hometown of Defiance, Ohio.

Defiance-area residents display their cars, trucks and motorcycles at Northtowne Mall for the event, which benefits "Neighbors in Need," an organization that raises non-perishable food and monetary donations for local food banks.

Hornish will attend the event and sign autographs from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Penske Merchandise Trailer.

The event is open to anyone who would like to show off a vehicle, and each person in attendance is asked to bring a non-perishable food item for "Neighbors in Need."

***

4. Indy Racing League Visits Music City: Several IndyCar Series drivers will make appearances in Middle Tennessee in support of the July 17 Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Felipe Giaffone and team co-owner Robbie Buhl will visit T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital in Chattanooga July 15 as part of the Racing for Kids program.

Giaffone and Buhl visit hospitalized children in each Indy Racing League market as part of Buhl's role as national spokesperson for the organization.

That same day, several IndyCar Series drivers, including series points leader Tony Kanaan and Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, will visit Bridgestone/Firestone's national headquarters in Nashville for the company's annual Firestone Fun Day.

Drivers will sign autographs and meet Firestone employees at the cookout, which raises funds for Habitat for Humanity.

IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers also will sign autographs at Nashville Superspeedway's FanWalk July 16. The popular event begins at 8 p.m.

***

The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the Firestone Indy 200 at 7 p.m. (EDT) on July 17 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series Cleanevent 100 will take place at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on July 17. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 at noon on July 18.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Michael Schumacher , Tony Pedregon , Felipe Giaffone , Al Unser Jr. , Robbie Buhl , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Buddy Rice , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing