Series announces title sponsor program

STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP ANNOUNCES BEGINNING OF 'TITLE SPONSOR' PROGRAM WITH INAUGURAL PIZZA RANCH 100 AT IOWA SPEEDWAY Pacoima, CA (April 15, 2009) -- The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, in collaboration with Pizza Ranch and ...

STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP ANNOUNCES BEGINNING OF 'TITLE SPONSOR' PROGRAM WITH INAUGURAL PIZZA RANCH 100 AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

Pacoima, CA (April 15, 2009) -- The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, in collaboration with Pizza Ranch and Iowa Speedway, today announced that the inaugural Pizza Ranch 100 at Iowa Speedway on July 10 will be the first event in the series' new "Title Sponsor" initiative that presents companies located in or near race venues on the 2009 schedule with a unique, cost-effective promotional opportunity -- to become the high-profile title sponsor of a Star Mazda Championship race.

The Star Mazda Championship Title Sponsor program, available for each of the remaining 9 weekends (11 races) on the 2009 Star Mazda Championship schedule, maximizes return on investment for companies involved in the program. Elements include naming rights to the event, company decals on all the cars in the race, a pre-race public relations program, in-store and/or promotional event appearances by Star Mazda drivers and cars, VIP tours of the Star Mazda paddock for company executives/employees/ vendors/suppliers -- and a variety of other benefits.

"One of the many benefits of partnering with Pizza Ranch is that all of our teams and drivers now know where to go for dinner," says Gary Rodrigues, President and CEO of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. "In addition, this partnership, implemented with the help of the professionals at Iowa Speedway, represents the latest in a series of major steps forward for our series. It's a win-win for us because we get a pro-active partner in promoting the inaugural Pizza Ranch 100, and we get to work with a company that, like Star Mazda, started small with a clear vision, stuck to their core values and created something successful."

Pizza Ranch is the Official Pizza of Iowa Speedway and, starting with a single store in Hull, Iowa, has grown over the last 28 years to become the #1 buffet restaurant chain in the state and the largest regional pizza chain in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

"We are excited to promote Pizza Ranch in a fun new way and to bring Iowa's favorite pizza along with thrilling racing action to the people of Iowa and the Midwest," said Pizza Ranch President, Adrie Groeneweg. "We've also created the "Victory Lane" pizza, a special pizza that we'll serve the winners in Pizza Ranch Victory Lane. I'm sure for any driver who's lucky enough to taste the "Victory Lane" pizza it will be the best they've ever tasted," said Groeneweg.

The Inaugural Pizza Ranch 100, featuring 100 laps of non-stop, wheel-to-wheel Star Mazda Championship racing, will run under the lights beginning at 8:30 PM Friday, July 10, followed by Saturday's Prairie Meadows 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series and IMTA 50 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series races. The Star Mazda Championship Series Presented by Goodyear is one of the top open-wheel driver development series in North America, with graduates that include 2007 ARCA RE/MAX 'Rookie of the Year' Michael McDowell (the 2004 Star Mazda champion) as well as such top Indy Car racers as Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal.

"I'm particularly pleased that our first Title Sponsor event will be at an ARCA RE/MAX," says Rodrigues. "The Star Mazda Championship is a 'gateway' series to many forms of racing, as demonstrated by Michael McDowell's climb up the ladder through Star Mazda, Indy Cars, Prototypes, ARCA and on to NASCAR. Hopefully the ARCA teams at Iowa Speedway will be impressed by the caliber of our drivers and that may lead to future opportunities. In addition, many U.S. companies have learned the value of motorsports sponsorship through involvement with ARCA teams and we plan to show them that the Star Mazda Championship can also be a high-profile, cost-effective tool in helping them achieve their marketing and promotional goals."

The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is now in its 19th year as one of the most prolific, successful and richest open-wheel driver development series in North America. The Star Mazda Championship is the college basketball, the triple-A baseball of auto racing, a high-speed training ground for future stars of the sport and a major step on the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder that reaches all the way from karting to the Atlantic series... and from there to the top levels of auto racing worldwide.

Star Mazda Championship racers are high-tech open-wheel cars powered by Mazda's legendary 'Renesis' rotary; top speed exceed 160 mph and 0 to 60 mph acceleration takes just 2.8 seconds. The series races on major motorsports weekends and the 13-race, 11-weekend 2009 schedule includes races on road courses, street circuits and ovals. Total prizes for 2009 are $1.5 million. A uniquely diverse group of drivers will be part of the Star Mazda Championship series in 2009, including racers from a dozen different U.S. states, as well as Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, England, Ireland and Japan.

For further information about Pizza Ranch, please visit www.pizzaranch.com.

For further information about the Inaugural Pizza Ranch 100 Star Mazda Championship Series event at Iowa Speedway on July 10, please visit www.iowaspeedway.com.

-credit: starmazda

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Graham Rahal , Michael McDowell , Marco Andretti