IRL: Indy Racing League notebook 2004-10-12

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- 10/12/04 Today's IRL headlines 1. Rahal Letterman Racing Teammates Lead Standings For Tag Heuer Closest Finish Award 2. Manning Will Miss Texas Race 3. Fan Could Drive Away With A Cool Ride 1. Rahal...

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- 10/12/04

Today's IRL headlines
1. Rahal Letterman Racing Teammates Lead Standings For Tag Heuer Closest Finish Award
2. Manning Will Miss Texas Race
3. Fan Could Drive Away With A Cool Ride

1. Rahal Letterman Racing Teammates Lead Standings For TAG Heuer Closest Finish Award: Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice and Rahal Letterman Racing teammate Vitor Meira continue to lead the standings for the TAG Heuer Closest Finish Award heading into the season-ending Chevy 500k.

TAG Heuer, a world leader in prestigious sports watches and chronographs and the Official Timekeeper and Watch of the Indy Racing League and Indianapolis 500, announced in May it would present the "Closest Finish" award for the 2004 IndyCar® Series season.

"Since TAG Heuer has strived for more than 140 years to master the technology of split-second timing -- with current capabilities including measurements to the 1/10,000th of a second -- we believe this award is a perfect tribute to the accuracy and precision of both the world-class IndyCar Series races and our timekeeping technology for the league," Jean-Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer's President and CEO said.

The award goes to the drivers who are part of the closest 1-2 finish during the season, which began in February and concludes on Oct. 17 at Texas Motor Speedway. Both drivers winning the award will receive a Tag Heuer Carrera chronograph, a timepiece that combines sport with elegance in a polished steel case.

The timepiece comes on a black, perforated calfskin strap with steel folding clasp, and black and silver dial. TAG Heuer launched the Carrera in 1964 as a tribute to the "Carrera Panamericana" epic race in 1953. The chronograph is modern, yet reflective of a historic racing era.

Since 1996, the Indy Racing League has featured 46 races with a margin of victory of less than one second. The 2004 season has featured three of the 10 closest finishes in IRL history.

The Argent Mortgage Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on July 4 -- won by Rice by 0.0051 of a second over Meira -- was the second-closest finish in IndyCar Series history and one of 10 races this season with a margin of victory of less than one second.

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2. Manning Will Miss Texas Race: Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Darren Manning will not compete in the season-ending Chevy 500k on Oct. 17 at Texas Motor Speedway due to injuries sustained in a crash during MBNA Pole Qualifying at the Toyota Indy 400 on Oct. 3 at California Speedway, said Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services.

Manning suffered a slight concussion and a minor compression fracture of the thoracic vertebrae in the crash on his second qualifying lap in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

Manning is currently 11th in series points and recorded four top-five finishes in his first season in IndyCar Series competition. He will return to Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005.

"Darren Manning has already proved this season that he has the talent and drive that we expected from him," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "Target Chip Ganassi Racing has the utmost confidence in his abilities and we are very much looking forward to having a very strong 2005 season with him as the driver of the No.10 Toyota (Panoz) G Force. Darren has nothing more to prove this year, and we would certainly not want to take any undo risks with his health. We will not be putting another driver in the No.10 Toyota G Force in his place for this race as we feel that it is unnecessary. Instead, we will concentrate on the task at hand and help Scott Dixon and the No.1 Target car finish the season on a high note for the entire Target team."

Manning will travel to Texas and will join the ABC broadcast by adding insight and commentary from the pits of his teammate Dixon.

"It is a shame to end the season in this manner," Manning said. "I feel really good, but I will certainly abide by the doctor's recommendations. I have learned and gained a vast amount of experience from the Target team, and we improved steadily throughout the year. I feel badly for my crew, who worked so hard this year, and we all would have liked to have had a chance to end the season on a better note. It's a bit of a letdown, but at the same time, I know that I have a lot to look forward to as the Target team prepares for the 2005 IndyCar season."

***

3. Fan Could Drive Away With A Cool Ride: One radio listener will drive away from Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 17 in a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox.

Since Sept. 20, listeners to ABC Radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have registered for the "Race to Win It" contest. Eight finalists will be invited to the Chevy 500k on Oct. 17 for the grand prize giveaway during pre-race activities. The Chevy Equinox will be awarded by process of elimination by drawing a name out of a bag.

The 2005 Chevrolet Equinox AWD has Pioneer electronics, including a 480-watt power amplifier, an XM Digital Satellite tuner, a DVD Navigation system and an overhead DVD player for the rear seats. It has IRL branded 18-inch Victory Wheels, a custom painted dash and door panels from Heritage Customs.

The vehicle will be on display at Service King Collision Repair Centers: from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 13 at 2129 S. Stemmons Freeway in Lewisville, Texas; from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 14 at 10831 Estate Lane in Garland, Texas; from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at 4205 W. Plano Parkway in Plano, Texas.

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The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the Chevy 500k at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 17 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù event is the Texas 100 on Oct. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 17.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Dixon , Buddy Rice , Chip Ganassi , Vitor Meira
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing