INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2001 - In another sign of the growing popularity of Indy Racing, an Indy Racing League fan parking sign was featured in a scene in the Nov. 12 episode of the hit CBS-TV comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond." During...
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2001 - In another sign of the growing popularity of Indy Racing, an Indy Racing League fan parking sign was featured in a scene in the Nov. 12 episode of the hit CBS-TV comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond."
During the scene, lead character Ray Barone (played by Ray Romano) spent time in his son's bedroom talking with his son. Hanging on the wall of his son's bedroom was a sign with a large Indy Racing League logo with the words "RESERVED PARKING" above the logo and "FANS ONLY" below it.
That episode of the hit show, consistently ranked in the top five in the weekly Nielsen network TV ratings, was viewed in more than 14 million American households.
The appearance of the sign was part of an ongoing partnership between the Indy Racing League and Aim Productions, a New York-based product-placement firm. Aim has helped place Indy Racing items in television shows including "Felicity" on WB, "Undeclared" on Fox and "Roswell" on UPN.
Indy Racing items also appeared in the motion picture "The Family Man" starring Nicolas Cage.
*** J. Lazier welcomes baby son: Rising Indy Racing star Jaques Lazier and his wife, Angelique, welcomed the birth of their first child, a son named Cayden Chance Lazier, on Nov. 21. Cayden weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.
*** Ray gets kicks: 1999 Indy Racing champion Greg Ray has a second sport he participates in to relax him from the rigors of driving a 200-mph race car. With both of his sons involved in soccer, he's playing, too, on a fathers' team.
Ray's son Winston will be 9 next May 22 and son Simon turns 4 in January. Ray helps out as a "semi official coach."
JR on Oldtimers board: Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Johnny Rutherford has been voted onto the board of the Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club.
Rutherford replaces former driver Duke Nalon, a longtime board member who died last March. Other drivers on the 18-member board are Larry Rice and Bill Puterbaugh.
Howard Moore, a former chief mechanic, assumes the board presidency from Bob Cassaday in January.
By the numbers: Sam Hornish Jr.'s winning margin of 105 points over Buddy Lazier in the battle for the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship was the widest in the league's history. Hornish topped Lazier by a 503-398 count.
In the inaugural three-race series in 1996, Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp tied for the title with 246 points, six more than Robbie Buhl. All three finished in the top 10 in 2001.
Tony Stewart edged Davey Hamilton, 278-272, in 1996-97. The 1998 season saw Kenny Brack win by 40 points over Hamilton. Ray then beat Brack by 37 in 1999. Buddy Lazier outscored Scott Goodyear by 18 points in 2000. In 2002, Hornish will attempt to become the first repeat champion.
Hot laps: 2001 Indy Racing champion Sam Hornish Jr. is a candidate for the Al Holbert Memorial Driver of the Year Award presented annually by the Eastern Motorsports Press Association. The award will be presented at the 31st annual EMPA Annual Convention on Jan. 19-20 in Trevose, Pa. ... Indy Racing standout Billy Boat finished a disappointing 25th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix USAC National/Western Midget Car Series race Nov. 22 at Irwindale, Calif., ending his streak of three consecutive victories in his last three starts in the annual event ...