IRL: Texas John Paul to Return, Doug Didero to Debut

PAUL TO RETURN, DIDERO TO DEBUT AT MALL.COM 500 FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 12, 1999 - John Paul Jr., winner of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League event last September at Texas Motor Speedway, will return to Indy Racing for the first time since...

PAUL TO RETURN, DIDERO TO DEBUT AT MALL.COM 500

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 12, 1999 - John Paul Jr., winner of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League event last September at Texas Motor Speedway, will return to Indy Racing for the first time since March at the Mall.com 500 on Oct. 17 at TMS. Rookie Doug Didero also passed his league rookie test Oct. 7 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and will make his Indy Racing debut this weekend at Texas. Paul will drive the #30 Big Daddy's BBQ Beef Jerky-Cole Bros. Water G Force/Aurora/Firestone fielded by McCormack Motorsports at Texas. "I am obviously very excited about the opportunity to drive for McCormack Motorsports," Paul said. "Getting to compete in the Indy Racing League again and defend my victory at Texas is a dream come true. I've been looking forward to having something to sink my teeth into, and I can't wait to get started." Said team owner Dennis McCormack: "We are pleased to have put together a program for John Paul, Jr. It is exciting to be working with Big Daddy's BBQ Beef Jerky and heading to Texas Motor Speedway with the reigning Mall.com 500 champion. John Paul is one of the nicest guys in motorsports." Paul competed in the first two races of this season with the Jonathan Byrd-Cunningham Racing before the team suspended operations. Paul's popular victory last September at Texas was his first in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. Didero, from Ancaster, Ontario, will drive the #43 Mid America Freight Systems-Western Star Trucks Dallara/Aurora fielded by Mid America Motorsports, a new team. Veteran Mark Harlan is the crew chief. Didero's cousin, David Didero, is team manager. "Driving the Indy Racing League car was like falling in love all over again," Didero said about his rookie test. "It was absolutely amazing. At around 203 mph, the downforce really kicked in, and it was like guiding a missile around the track. The car could do no wrong." Didero, 39, climbs to the Pep Boys Indy Racing League after an outstanding short-track career, including numerous victories and season championships in supermodifieds in the Northeast. He also drove in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series and in USAC open-wheel competition.

MALL.COM 500 NOTEBOOK

Schedule: The Mall.com 500 starts at 1 p.m. (CDT) Oct. 17. Dallas Morning News qualifying for the PPG Pole starts at noon (CDT) Oct. 16. Practice sessions start at 2 and 5 p.m. (CDT) Oct. 15, and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (CDT) Oct. 16. On the air: The Mall.com 500 will be televised on a same-day, delayed basis at 4 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 17 on ABC. SpeedVision will televise PPG Pole qualifying live at 1 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 16. The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 17, followed by the live race broadcast at 2 p.m. A qualifying highlights show will be broadcast from 5:30-6 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 16. The area IRRN affiliate is WBAP-AM 820, Arlington, Texas. The IRRN race broadcast also will be available live on the Internet at www.indyracingleague.com as part of a partnership between Indy Racing Online and broadcast.com, the world's leading Web broadcast site.

On the satellite: A Video News Release of highlights and interviews from the Mall.com 500 will be available Oct. 16-17. The Oct. 16 feed will feature Dallas Morning News qualifying for the PPG Pole, while the Oct. 17 feed will feature the race. Feeds will include video with sound and driver interviews. The dates, times and coordinates: *Oct. 16: 4:30-4:45 p.m. (EDT), SBS 6, Transponder 4 *Oct. 17: 8:30-8:45 p.m. (EDT), SBS 6, Transponder 15

Tickets: Tickets are available for the Mall.com 500 on Oct. 17. Call (817) 215-8500 for more information. Ticket information also is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com .

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Series IndyCar
Drivers John Paul