IRL: Indy Racing Northern Light Series notebook 2001-01-11

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2001 - Pennzoil Panther Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. spoke to Northeastern journalists Jan. 6 at the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Convention in Trevose, Pa. Hornish, 21, brought laughter from the more...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2001 - Pennzoil Panther Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. spoke to Northeastern journalists Jan. 6 at the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Convention in Trevose, Pa.

Hornish, 21, brought laughter from the more than 100 attendees when he explained how one of his early-career sponsors required him to sell 2,500 Harley-Davidson telephones to finance the race team.

"You don't think 2,500 phones is much until you start counting," said Hornish. "If you start with one, two, three ... by the time you get to 1,000 you realize you have a lot of phones to sell."

In addition to presentations from numerous sanctioning bodies, awards were presented to top drivers and journalists. This year's Driver of the Year was awarded to NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte, who accepted by video. The EMPA Newsmaker of the Year Award went to the Petty family, and EMPA Hall of Fame inductees were Jerry Cook, Mario Andretti, the late Larry Nuber and Bill Wimble.

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IMS Productions taking spin with 'Wheel': The unlikely combination of IMS Productions, the television production arm of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and America's most popular game show have joined forces to entertain television game show fans in February. IMS Productions has the unique opportunity of assisting "Wheel of Fortune" in taping 10 shows Jan. 12-14 in Honolulu. IMS' digital production truck, clad with the famous "wing and wheel" logo of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was shipped across the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles via boat, along with several other trucks and cargo containers full of equipment required for the tapings. "The Wheel of Fortune people knew we have a first-class digital production truck, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to fulfill their needs," said David Gass, IMS Productions director of remote engineering, who is traveling to Hawaii with the truck. IMS Productions also assisted in the taping of "An Evening of Stars," a fundraising event for the United Negro College Fund, in October. The company 's digital production truck was once again sent to Los Angeles for a week to participate in that event. "While our business is motorsports, and our priority is the Indianapolis 500 and Indy Racing Northern Light Series, we are pursuing other high-end broadcast entertainment production ventures," said Buddy McAtee, Indianapolis Motor Speedway assistant vice president, broadcast communications and business development. "With our 100-percent digital production truck, we have one of the finest mobile television production facilities in the world."

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Five drivers to represent Indy Racing at dinner: Five Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers will attend the 25th National Driving Championship Recognition Dinner on Jan. 12 in Chicago, with all benefits going to the Daniel A. Cotter Boys & Girls Club.

2000 Northern Light Cup champion Buddy Lazier, 1999 series champion Greg Ray, 1997 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward, Sarah Fisher and Tyce Carlson will represent Indy Racing at the dinner. Lazier will receive special honors for his championship this season, and his Delta Faucet/Coors Light/Tae-Bo/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone will be on display.

*** Tragedy strikes Indy Racing family: The son of Tri Star Motorsports team co-owner Larry Curry and the son of former Team Cheever assistant transporter driver Don Bullock were killed last weekend in separate traffic accidents in Indianapolis. Dane Curry, 21, died in a one-car accident early Jan. 7 on the north side of Indianapolis. Curry's funeral was Jan. 11 in Indianapolis. Donny Bullock, 14, died when he was struck by a pickup truck the evening of Jan. 6 while skateboarding near his home.

*** Hot laps: The Indy Racing car fielded by Dick Simon Racing for driver Stephan Gregoire is on display this week at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, the second largest auto show in the country. More than 1 million visitors will be exposed to the Mexmil/Tokheim/Viking Air Tools/Cigarette/NADA Guides G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone ... A Delphi Indy Racing car will be on display at the "Big Boy Toy Show" Jan. 12-13 at Richmond International Raceway ... A Pennzoil Indy Racing car will be on display next to the Richmond International Raceway booth at the Pennzoil Motorsports Show on Jan. 12-14 in Fort Washington, Pa. Indy Racing standout Jeret Schroeder will sign autographs at Richmond's booth from 3-5 p.m. Jan. 12.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Sarah Fisher , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Jeret Schroeder , Mario Andretti , Tyce Carlson , Dick Simon , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing