IPS: Prendeville announces Best Friends program

Prendeville Announces 'Racing Laps for Best Friends' Program; Campaign Will Raise Funds For America's Largest No-Kill Animal Sanctuary INDIANAPOLIS, May 21 - Indy Pro Series driver Andrew Prendeville and officials of Best Friends Animal Society...

Prendeville Announces 'Racing Laps for Best Friends' Program; Campaign Will Raise Funds For America's Largest No-Kill Animal Sanctuary

INDIANAPOLIS, May 21 - Indy Pro Series driver Andrew Prendeville and officials of Best Friends Animal Society announced today a major new fund-raising program for the not-for-profit organization. Centered around Prendeville's race car, it is called "Racing Laps for Best Friends."

A special Web site at www.racinglapsforbestfriends.com has been established to accept monetary donations for Best Friends, which operates the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the United States. Donations may also be made by te lephone at (435) 644-2001, extension 4801; by mail; or at the Racing Laps for Best Friends donation centers at Indy Pro Series races.

Best Friends Animal Society supports animal welfare programs throughout the world. At any given time it is caring for approximately 1,500 animals at its sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Best Friends hopes the exposure to racing fans will raise awareness of the organization and gain support for animal welfare.

Prendeville, 25, of Morristown, N.J., will make his first start at the I ndianapolis Motor Speedway in the Freedom 100 Indy Pro Series race on Friday, May 25, during Miller Lite Carb Day.

Mari Hulman George, the chairman of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a life-long animal lover, is helping Prendeville get the Racing Laps for Best Friends program off to a great start. She has given him permission to set up a tent in the parking lot of the Hall of Fame Museum on the Speedway grounds from May 23 through May 27 to accept donations from fans attending the Freedom 100 and the Indianapolis 500. Fans are urged to look for the program's representatives under a red, 10-foot by 20-foot tent.

In addition to making straight donations to Best Friends in any amount, fans can pledge an amount per lap based on the number of laps they predict Prendeville will complete in each Indy Pro Series race remaining this year, starting with the Freedom 100 at IMS. Individuals pledge a set amount for each lap that the Best Friends Animal Society/RLR Andersen Racing No. 5 completes during each race. At $1 per lap for a 40-lap race such as the Freedom 100, the donation would be $40. If the car would only complete 25 laps, then the donation would be $25.

In the 137 laps run in the series' first three races this year, Prendeville has only not completed two.

"Best Friends Animal Society and I are very pleased to announce this program," Prendeville said. "We believe that we have created a very unique sponsorship program with the per-completed-laps calculation. By having amounts ranging from 25 cents to $10 per lap, we feel that we're providing the opportunity for fans of all financial means to donate to Best Friends. We also believe that it is a great way to build awareness for Best Friends, the Indy Pro Series, and open-wheel racing at large.

"After visiting the sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, I have to say that it is one of the most peaceful places I have been to in this country," Prendeville continued. "There is an interesting history to the area dating back to Native American times, and being in the high desert creates a favorable climate for the animals year round. I am very impressed with the scientific approach that Best Friends uses to bring injured and traumatized animals back to good health."

The Freedom 100 is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. Fans unable to attend the race in person can still be part of the action by watching it on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. Eastern time that day.

Donations may be made using MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover credit cards.

Fans may also make donations by mailing checks payable to "Racing Laps for Best Friends" to: Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741-5000.

About the Best Friends Animal Society:

Best Friends works with humane groups all over the world in an effort to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets. The sanctuary, at the heart of Southern Utah's Golden Circle of national parks, is home on any given day to about 1,500 dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds and other animals.

In its home state Best Friends manages a model "No More Homeless Pets" campaign with shelters and humane groups statewide to ensure that every healthy dog or cat that's ever born can be guaranteed a loving home. Best Friends also reaches across the nation, helping humane groups, individual people and entire communities to set up spay/neuter, shelter, foster and adoption programs in their own neighborhoods, cities, and states.

The work of Best Friends is supported entirely through the donations of its members and supporters. Its mission is driven by a simple philosophy: Kindness to animals helps build a better world.

For more information, see bestfriends.org and racinglapsforbestfriends.com.

About Andrew Prendeville:

Andrew Prendeville is currently tenth in the point standings of the Indy Pro Series, the official development series of the Indy Racing League, after three of 16 races. The 25-year-old Morristown, N.J.-based driver is a member of RLR/Andersen Racing of Fairfield, N.J. He will make his first start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Freedom 100 May 25.

Although Prendeville is a rookie in the Indy Pro Series, he is a very accomplished racer and driver coach. He finished second in the 2004 Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 national championship, helping to propel Andersen Racing to the team championship. He finished fifth in that same series in 2003.

Prendeville earned the 2002 SCCA Formula Continental national championship at the prestigious Valvoline Runoffs. He started driving karts at age 10.

Prendeville and his mother, Pat Prendeville of Henderson, Nev., have donated signage for Best Friends on his RLR/Andersen Racing No. 5 for the entire 2007 Indy Pro Series schedule. Andrew Prendeville's older brother, Doug, who races in other series, owns the car.

Pat Prendeville grew up listening to the Indy 500 on the radio every year, and she made sure her children watched it on television as they grew up. A Best Friends member and supporter for several years, she also instilled in her children a respect and love for animals. It was her idea to donate space on the Indy Pro Series car for the organization, an idea that her sons immediately embraced.

Pat Prendeville owns two cats that were adopted from the Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah. Andrew Prendeville made his first visit there this spring, and was greatly impressed with the facility and the beauty and sense of peace that encompasses the area.

For more information see racinglapsforbestfriends.com; prendy.net and andersenracingteam.com.

About the Indy Pro Series:

The Indy Pro Series is one of two series sanctioned by the Indy Racing League (IRL). The Indy Pro Series serves as a stepping-stone for young drivers with aspirations of competing in the IRL's IndyCar Series.

The Indy Pro Series is in its sixth season. The 2007 schedule consists of 16 events on a mixture of ovals, road courses and street courses. Three of the races will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The cars used are open-wheel, open-cockpit, single-seat vehicles powered by normally aspirated, 3.5-liter, V8 engines. Spec Dallara chassis and Firestone Firehawk tires are used by all competitors. The engines generate 420 horsepower at 8,200 RPM and the cars travel at speeds in excess of 190 miles per hour on superspeedways.

The races are broadcast on ESPN2.

For more information, including live timing and scoring during events, see indycar.com/pro.

-credit: restart communications

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville