IRL: Michigan: Chevy Bowtie Bullet Points

* Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 to Debut at MIS Following the Indy Racing League's approval of the new Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 on July 19, driver Sam Hornish Jr. and Pennzoil Panther Racing, the leading Chevrolet team in the entrant points standings, will...

* Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 to Debut at MIS
Following the Indy Racing League's approval of the new Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 on July 19, driver Sam Hornish Jr. and Pennzoil Panther Racing, the leading Chevrolet team in the entrant points standings, will test the new powerplant in Sunday's Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. In accordance with the guidelines announced by Brian Barnhart, senior vice president of racing operations for the IRL, the second highest Chevrolet team in the entrant points standings at the conclusion of the Michigan race will test the Gen IV engine in the Emerson Indy 250 on Aug. 10 at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. The Panther Racing team will revert to the previous Gen III version at GIR.

"The Firestone Indy 400 will be the first test of the Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 under actual race conditions," said Joe Negri, GM Racing IRL program manager. "This program has come together very quickly, and the Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 is still in the early stages of development. While we have great confidence in the engine and we look forward to a performance improvement in the future, we will be in a testing mode at MIS. We have realistic expectations about the first race with a brand-new design. Our primary goals are to accumulate racing miles and to gain experience with the new engine package. If the Panther Racing entry performs well and produces a good result, that would be a bonus.

"The Gen IV engine has less than 1,000 miles of track testing to date, so we are still learning about its performance and durability," Negri continued. "The IRL's decision to allow us to test the engine at two tracks will give us an opportunity to work through any reliability issues before converting all of the Chevrolet teams to Gen IV engines for the race at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 17.

"The 2-mile Michigan oval is one of the most punishing tracks on the IRL circuit in terms of the engine's duty cycle," Negri noted. "While we can simulate the loads in a dyno cell, there is no substitute for running an engine flat-out on a high-banked oval. The test at MIS that will give us the real-world experience that we need to continue the engine's development."

* Firestone Chevy Sweepstakes Winners to Be Decided at MIS
Five finalists will find out if they hold the right key for starting and thereby winning either a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu or 2003 Chevrolet Silverado as the Firehawk Indy 500/Chevrolet Race 2 Win Sweepstakes concludes on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

The five finalists were randomly chosen from more than 300,000 entries submitted through Firestone retail locations across the United States and via the Firestone web site during May and June. The lucky winners will be identified during pre-race activities for the Firestone Indy 400 race.

The finalists competing in the Firehawk Indy 500/Chevrolet Race 2 Win Sweepstakes are: Kim Heise, Parker, Colo.; Clara Farmer, Houston, Texas; Jason Newberry, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Robin Cook, Oakland, Calif.; and Craig McDaniel, Tulsa, Okla.

"Chevy has been making race day memories for fans for generations, and we are excited to be part of a promotion this weekend which will provide a lifelong memory for two lucky people," said John Hughes, Chevrolet marketing manager. "Racing is a key platform for Chevrolet to reach discerning customers targeting quality, performance, and reliability and durability. Partnering with a world-class automotive supplier like Firestone has made this an effective and successful promotion in leveraging Chevy's dominant racing heritage and winning lineup of production vehicles."

"This was a tremendous cross-promotional effort by our company in tandem with the Indy Racing League, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Chevrolet," said Phil Pacsi, executive director, N.A. Consumer Tire Brand Marketing, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. "The combined effort by all of these companies, with the history and involvement in Indy, continues to build upon the legacy of the famous race and our entry-level performance tire the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500."

* Racing Around
Chevrolet achieved another motorsports milestone last Sunday when Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo, won the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, scoring Chevrolet's 400th victory of the modern era (1972-present) in NASCAR Winston Cup competition.

Chevrolet's 400th victory continued the winning tradition that began with Bobby Allison's win at Atlanta International Raceway on March 26, 1972. As the most successful nameplate in professional stock car racing since 1972, Chevrolet has carried more drivers to Winston Cup championships than any other manufacturer and Monte Carlo has won more NASCAR races than any car in history.

"This win is very special because of all the opportunities Chevrolet has given me in the many forms of racing I've been in," said Johnson. "To win a landmark event like this for them really means a lot to me."

Chevrolet drivers are racing in four major motorsports series this weekend: the IRL Firestone Indy 400, the Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race in Long Pond, Pa., the NHRA Carquest Auto Parts Nationals in Seattle, and the American Le Mans Series Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma. Chevrolet is the only manufacturer currently competing in the IRL, NASCAR Winston Cup, NHRA and American Le Mans Series

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Bobby Allison , Brian Barnhart , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing