Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines: 1. Rahal joins Dreyer & Reinbold for Iowa 2. Kanaan has 'Dream' night at Eldora 3. World Cup draws interest in IZOD IndyCar Series paddock 1. Rahal joins Dreyer & ...
Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines:
1. Rahal joins Dreyer & Reinbold for Iowa
2. Kanaan has 'Dream' night at Eldora
3. World Cup draws interest in IZOD IndyCar Series paddock
1. Rahal joins Dreyer & Reinbold for Iowa: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced that Graham Rahal will replace the injured Mike Conway in the No. 24 Dad's Root Beer custom-designed HOT WHEELS entry for the Iowa Corn 250 at Iowa Speedway on June 20.
Rahal, 21, most recently started seventh and finished 12th in the Indianapolis 500 for Rahal Letterman Racing. In two races on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway, Rahal has finished 11th and 10th with Newman/Haas Racing. He will be reunited with Justin Wilson, who drives the No. 22 Z-Line Designs car. They were teammates in 2008 at Newman/Haas Racing.
"We are thrilled to have Graham drive for us this weekend," team co-owner Robbie Buhl said. "We obviously wish that Mike could be with us, but we just want him to have a quick recovery. Iowa will be big weekend for DRR as we unveil the Dad's Root Beer one-off paint scheme designed by HOT WHEELS on Father's Day. Graham was a perfect fit and we couldn't be happier to have him behind the wheel."
For the Father's Day race weekend, Hot Wheels, Dad's Root Beer and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing wanted to create something special for fans. Conceived as a 1:64 scale model in the Hot Wheels 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series product line, the Hot Wheels designers brought Dad's Root Beer race car to the racetrack.
Rahal won in his debut on the streets of St. Petersburg in 2008, becoming the youngest winner in series history. In 2009, Rahal finished seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings with five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He also became the youngest pole winner in IZOD IndyCar Series history at St. Petersburg.
"Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has clearly done an impressive job this season and I really have to thank Robbie, Dennis (Reinbold), the team, and Dad's Root Beer for this opportunity to compete in Iowa," Rahal said. "I also want to wish Mike Conway a quick recovery and hopefully we can bring home a good result for him. I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Dad's Root Beer custom-designed HOT WHEELS No. 24 car and hopefully contribute more success to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing."
2. Kanaan has 'Dream' night at Eldora: Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson stood in Victory Circle and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan finished 24th in his dirt Late Model debut, but the real winners were four children's hospitals.
Johnson led all 30 laps of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream charity race June 9 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
"By far, this is the craziest thing I have ever done," Kanaan said after climbing out of the 7-Eleven car. "I had a lot of fun. I can't describe it.
"I definitely put myself in a very difficult spot, not testing and never being on dirt in my life. In 35 years, I've never driven a car like this or on a surface like this. I really have to thank Tony Stewart. I hope the fans enjoyed it. I'm definitely going to practice and I hope to be back next year.
"The biggest thing I learned is that, while we think our racetrack changes a lot -- this is completely another world. I can drive with the brakes and the throttle at the same time, which I can't do in my IndyCar."
The event was presented live on HBO Pay-Per-View, with net proceeds from the telecast supporting four children's hospitals. The race was a team event with the field broken up into four groups, each representing a children's hospital:
* Team Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis: Clint Bowyer (captain), Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, A.J. Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Kenny Wallace and Ron Capps.
* Team Cincinnati Children's: Kasey Kahne (captain), Joey Logano, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Bill Elliott and Cruz Pedregon.
* Team Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.: Kyle Busch (captain), Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, David Reutimann, Dave Blaney, Marcos Ambrose and Travis Pastrana.
* Team St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.: Denny Hamlin (captain), Carl Edwards, Ken Schrader, Aric Almirola, Ricky Carmichael, Ray Evernham and Tony Kanaan.
The finishing positions of the top-five drivers from each team were added together with the lowest team score winning 45 percent of the net money raised. Team St. Jude finished second with 48 points and will receive 25 percent.
3. World Cup draws interest in IZOD IndyCar Series paddock: Tomas Scheckter is hopeful of watching one or more FIFA World Cup matches in person. But even if he can't get back to his homeland, the IZOD IndyCar Series driver will be cheering for the South African squad and citizens.
It's the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation.
"It's exciting times for South Africa," Scheckter said. "South Africa has been through so much for so long. We hosted the hosted the Rugby World Cup (1995) and now host the World Cup of soccer. It's super for the economy and people."
With an international collection of drivers and team personnel, the quadrennial tournament is a hot topic of discussion. Matches begin June 11 at 10 sites, with the championship decided July 11 in Johannesburg. The June 12 Group C opener between the United States and England has drawn particular attention.
"I'll definitely be following the World Cup; it's going to be quite interesting," said Dale Coyne Racing driver Alex Lloyd, a native of Manchester, England. "It kind of sounds strange being from the UK, but I'd probably root for the USA over the UK. I've become a little fonder of the U.S. living here for a few years, so perhaps I'll be a little bit torn."
Added Mike Conway, the second-year Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver from Bromley, England: "England is going to be one of the favorites. They come on strong and they've got some great players. I think I'll stick with the UK winning (against the U.S.) but I don't think it will be easy."
It is the 19th FIFA World Cup -- the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 national teams - matches the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations. Italy is the defending champion.
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues June 20 with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1:30 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the AvoidTheStork.com 100 on June 19 at the Iowa Speedway.