Many other titles, awards up for grabs at Texas; Kelley duo improving INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2002 ^Ã– While the close race for the series championship between Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves is capturing most of the attention of...
Many other titles, awards up for grabs at Texas; Kelley duo improving
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2002 ^Ö While the close race for the series championship between Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves is capturing most of the attention of Indy Racing League fans this weekend, other titles and awards will be up for grabs during the season-ending Chevy 500 on Sept. 15 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The series champion will earn $1 million, but the winners of more than $120,000 of cash and prizes for other series awards also will be determined during the race.
The most lucrative of those awards is the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award, worth $50,000 to the winner. Laurent Redon is the odds-on favorite to capture that award even though he is second in the series points.
Redon trails Tomas Scheckter, 210-209, in the standings. But Scheckter has not competed in the last two IRL races and is not expected to race at Texas. George Mack also is eligible at 182 points.
The chief mechanic of the IRL championship-winning team will earn a $25,000 bonus. Simon Morley is the chief mechanic of the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Hornish, and Rick Rinaman is the chief mechanic for the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Castroneves.
The driver who completes the most laps during the season will earn the Sony Disc Manufacturing Long Lasting Award and a $25,000 bonus and a Sony big-screen television, DVD player and surround-sound system. Hornish leads at 2,763 laps, with Alex Barron second at 2,759 and Castroneves third at 2,752.
Marlboro will award $10,000 to the winner of the Marlboro Lap Leader Award, presented to the driver who leads the most laps during the season.
Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran leads that category with 601 laps led, but he will not race at Texas due to injuries suffered in a crash during the Delphi Indy 300 on Sept. 8 at Chicagoland Speedway. Hornish is second with 575 laps led, just 26 behind de Ferran.
The driver who ends the season leading the most laps without winning a race will earn the EMCO Gears Out Front Award, a $10,000 bonus. Al Unser Jr. leads that category with 195 laps led without a victory. Eddie Cheever Jr. is second at 65.
The driver who wins the most pole positions during the season will earn the specially designed MBNA Pole Award trophy. de Ferran leads with four poles, while Scheckter is second with three.
Priestley, Hallisky continue to improve: Kelley Racing driver Jason Priestley and crew member Bernie Hallisky continue to improve as they recover from serious injuries received in separate accidents Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway.
Both Priestley and Hallisky are now in intensive physical therapy and rehabilitation programs. Doctors expect Priestley and Hallisky to make complete recoveries.
Priestley has undergone surgery to repair broken feet, a broken vertebra and nasal and facial bones following his accident during the final pre-race practice for the Kentucky 100 Infiniti Pro Series event.
On Sept. 6, Priestley^Òs doctors removed stabilizing hardware from his feet to allow increased bone density as his feet continue to heal. New casts were applied following the simple outpatient procedure to remove the hardware.
It is anticipated these casts will be removed in approximately three weeks and replaced with removal casts that will allow him to begin weight-bearing therapy.
Hallisky is involved in a daily therapy program to rebuild muscles atrophied from inactivity due to the extensive surgery he underwent to repair his broken leg, hip and pelvis. He will work into weight-bearing rehabilitation program. Hallisky received his injuries in a pit accident during the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
Falcon enhances wind-tunnel program: Indy Racing League chassis manufacturer Falcon Cars has hired C&B Aerodynamic Consultants as a technical partner to enhance its wind-tunnel program for the next three years.
Falcon Cars, based in Concord, N.C., is one of three companies that . will build chassis for IRL competition in 2003. The others are Dallara . and G Force C&B already is involved with the IRL, building the airbox . used for General Motors^Ò Chevrolet V8 engine. C&B, formed in 1991, has. worked on wind-tunnel programs for a variety of open- and closed-wheel . race and road cars .
Ken Anderson, Falcon technical director, worked with C&B Aerodynamic Consultants when he was the chief designer of the 1997 G Force, which won the Indianapolis 500 with Arie Luyendyk and the IRL championship with Tony Stewart.
^ÓWe^Òve been working together all summer and have been expanding our relationship,^Ô Anderson said. ^ÓC&B is a great resource for our company, and we^Òve decided to commit to a three-year program. We^Òll be able to utilize their expertise and experience to improve on our own aerodynamic and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) programs.^Ô
Samsung, Radio Shack team up with Treadway Racing: Dallas-based Samsung Telecommunications America and Fort Worth-based RadioShack Corporation have started a joint marketing campaign to leverage the companies^Ò sponsorship of Treadway Racing.
The companies have launched retail sales programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth market that highlight Samsung^Òs newest SPH-a500 and SPH-n400 wireless phones. Through Sept. 14, consumers purchasing a Samsung phone at RadioShack or making a $50 RadioShack purchase will receive two tickets to the Chevy 500 Indy Racing League event Sept. 15 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Rookie Rick Treadway will drive the Samsung/Radio Shack Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone at the Chevy 500, fielded by Bradley Motorsports with cooperation from Treadway-Hubbard Racing.
Hot laps: Indianapolis-area race fans are encouraged to watch the season-ending Chevy 500 live on a big-screen television in the Flag Room of the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort and Inn just outside Turn 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. Indianapolis time ^Å Bombardier Aerospace and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will combine to offer Bombardier Learjet® 40 customers an optional package that includes a unique, race-car inspired interior and VIP access to racing events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the upcoming racing season. The Indy 500 Interior Package will be available for a limited time. Bombardier is an Official Sponsor of the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the title sponsor of the Bombardier Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the sponsor of the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award in the IRL.