IRL: Phoenix Sunday notes

By Bob Pullar - Motorsport.com Interested spectators in the garage area today included Johnny and Robby Unser, P.J. Jones, Scott Goodyear, Doug Didero, Zak Marioka, Roberto Guerrero, Jack Miller and Jim Guthrie, the 1997 winner of the Phoenix...

By Bob Pullar - Motorsport.com

Interested spectators in the garage area today included Johnny and Robby Unser, P.J. Jones, Scott Goodyear, Doug Didero, Zak Marioka, Roberto Guerrero, Jack Miller and Jim Guthrie, the 1997 winner of the Phoenix race.

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Four time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears was the spotter for Gil de Ferran today. He is de Ferran's regular spotter in the CART series. Franck Freon spotted for Didier Andre.

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Autobucks, Inc. announced March 16th that two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. will be its national spokesperson. Autobucks, Inc. will also be an associate Sponsor for Galles Racing for 2001. Autobucks offers members an opportunity to earn Autobucks towards the purchase or lease of their next new or used vehicle from participating auto dealers. Members earn Autobucks by using Autobucks Special Services, including real estate/mortgage reference services, travel programs, long distance, and Autobucks Visa. Autobucks is the most comprehensive national membership based consumer loyalty program in the automotive industry. Autobucks will be in most major markets by the end of 2001. Al Unser, Jr. said, "Helping people save money on their next car is a great concept".

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Walker Racing announced that The Kroger Co., the largest retail food company in the U.S., in association with Proctor & Gamble, will be sponsoring the #15 car driven by Sarah Fisher in the 2001 IRNLS. Proctor & Gamble, a long time sponsor of auto racing, will receive recognition on Fisher's car from specific brands: Bounty paper towels, Crest Oral Care, Folgers coffee, Gain laundry detergent, Iams Pet Food, Olay beauty products, Pantene hair care and Always Feminine Care. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Fisher will be featured in advertising and promotion that directs consumers to Kroger and highlights Proctor & Gamble brands. She will also make appearances at Kroger stores across America. The #15 Walker Racing/Kroger Special will carry region specific Kroger-oriented store logos in each race market. Kroger operates approxiamtely 2,289 grocery stores under more than a dozen banners in 31 states. Primary banners include Kroger, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Smiths, Dillons, King Sooper, City Markets and Fry's. Proctor & Gamble was established in 1837 when candle maker William Proctor and soap maker James Gamble partnered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Proctor & Gamble markets over 300 products to more than 5 billion consumers in 140 counties and employs 110,000 worldwide.

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Robbie Buhl and Eddie Cheever used the new Infiniti 35A engine for the first time this weekend, with the decision to run them in the race made the night before qualifying. Robbie qualified 8th and Eddie 12th. The Infiniti engine development program has recently moved from Ed Pink's shop to Tom Walkinshaw.

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Jeff Ward and his old ISM Racing engineer Mitch Davis are now reunited at Heritage Motorsports, and qualified third this weekend. Jeff is a previous pole winner at Phoenix.

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Greg Ray won his 3rd consecutive pole here, the tenth of his career. Felipe Giaffone was the top qualifing rookie, earning a 9th place with a speed of 173.049 MPH.

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Friends of the Fox, a head injury support group, was created by Indy 500 veteran Stan Fox and friend Jack Kerwin. Both suffered head injuries and started the support group to serve those affected by a head injury through support, advocacy, public education, injury prevention, driver support, research and support services. Friends of the Fox is staffed solely by volunteers. Information is available at Friends of the Fox, 6145 Crawfordsville Rd, Ste 500, Speedway, In 46224, or by calling 317-431-7500.

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The official charity of the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series and Phoenix International Raceway is the American Red Cross. It is interesting to note that the American Red Cross is chartered by the U.S. Constitution. They provided emergency vehicles and support for today's event.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Jeff Ward , Didier André , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Gil de Ferran , Franck Freon , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears , Fred Meyer , Tom Walkinshaw , Jack Miller