Series news and notes 2011-10-15

IndyCar Series press release

Series news and notes 2011-10-15

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines:
1. Contenders talk championship at Live & Global event
2. A Good sign?: Scout teams with Bell to win pinewood derby
3. Indy car history in Vegas dates to 1954

2011 championship contenders Will Power, Team Penske and Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
2011 championship contenders Will Power, Team Penske and Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Photo by: IndyCar Series

1. Contenders talk championship at Live & Global event: INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard had a little fun with IZOD IndyCar Series championship contenders Dario Franchitti and Will Power when "Randy from Indianapolis" posed a question from the audience during the INDYCAR Live & Global event.

"I want to know who is going to win the World Championship?" Bernard asked.

"I was going to say everyone needs to show up at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and find out," answered Franchitti, the three-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion who leads the point standings. "I know Will thinks it's going to be him and I think it's going to be me. That's why we're running this race tomorrow."

The Q & A with media and fans from around the world was part live video streaming and interactive media event is powered by Ortsbo's Guinness World Record-holding platform, Live & Global. The drivers took questions from as far away as Russia, American Samoa, France, Sweden and Spain among other countries well as from fans and media on site. All were instantly translated into English --were fielded by the title contenders. Such as for Franchitti: "You're of Italian decent but grew up in Scotland. How have the cultures shaped who you are?" And "How fast have you driven in a race car?"

BTW: The answer to the second query is 256 mph in Turn 3 at then-California Speedway.

The first Ortsbo Live & Global event with the IZOD IndyCar Series was held at Infineon Raceway in August and featured three generations of Andrettis.

Both Power and Franchitti will start deep in the field for the Las Vegas Indy 300, the headline event of the first IZOD INDYCAR World Championships, sharing the ninth row in the 34-car field. But both drivers said they won't be in a hurry to get to the front, unless that's what the race presents to the drivers.

"Obviously, Dario and myself are starting way back in the back and next to each other, and the two rookies going for that championship (JR Hildebrand and James Hinchcliffe) are starting next to each other in front of us," Power said.

"I think you have to run a smart race all together. Last year, at halfway, my spotter started pushing me. Saying, 'Come on. Let's get up there.' And I ended up scraping the wall. I don't think that's right approach. You have to understand how the car is and just react accordingly."

2. A Good sign?: Scout teams with Bell to win pinewood derby: Townsend Bell was expecting the national anthem of the United States of America to begin as he and the Cub Scout who built the winning car in the INDYCAR Pinewood Derby were presented their gold medals.

"I've been talking to my man here for months about the setup," joked Bell, who's driving the No. 22 Dad's Root Beer car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the Las Vegas Indy 300 - the marquee event of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda - on Oct. 16.

The elimination-style derby was among the flowing events Oct. 15 in the Fan Zone at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. An autograph session with IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers augmented the second Ortsbo Live & Global event, in which individuals around the globe could watch Dan Wheldon host IZOD IndyCar Series title contenders Dario Franchitti and Will Power on stage and ask questions in 53 different languages.

Rock climbing walls, race car simulators, a concert by the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, a serpentine karting track and other displays all received heavy traffic, while a mid-afternoon concert by Good Charlotte also enticed hundreds from the nearby hotel pools to continue their sun-bathing in the parking lot.

Thirty-six scouts of the Las Vegas Area Council represented each driver who will start the race on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval, plus INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and the National Guard's "Hometown Hero." The 5-ounce IndyCar-shaped vehicles were assembled and painted by each scout, and they were returned following the race signed by the driver.

The Boy Scouts of America is represented on the No. 19 car driven by Alex Lloyd (a former scout in England) for Dale Coyne Racing, and is closing out its first year as an INDYCAR partner.

"Dale has been great and gracious in helping us along the way evolve our brand and integrate our brand into what he's doing. A lot of what we've done with Dale has allowed us to move into a larger footprint with INDYCAR," said Eric B. Moore, manager of National Corporate Alliances for the Boy Scouts of America.

"This entire program is built on STEM - science, technology, engineering and math. IndyCar, from our perspective, is the ultimate Pinewood Derby. So having the ability to have a Pinewood Derby here today is an outstanding opportunity, especially with the support of the league and the drivers. To have the drivers be paired with a Boy Scout, with a Cub Scout is a life-changed experience.

"We see a lot of smiles out here today, and that's what it's about. It's about attracting new fans to Indy, scouting membership to Indy and creating an environment that is supportive of Indy's growth market. The kids out here today will be the ticket-purchasers and the fans of tomorrow."

3. ARMA Energy to sponsor Tracy in Las Vegas: ARMA Energy SNX announced today it will serve as the co-primary sponsor ofthe Paul Tracy's No. 8 Dragon Racing entry, in this weekend's IZOD INDYCAR World Championships at the Las VegasSpeedway.

Tracy will pilot the No. 8 Motegi Racing / ARMA Energy / Dragon Racing entry, in a return to the Las Vegas Speedway sinceracing there last in 2005 in the Champ Car World Series. At 42 years of age, Paul Tracy has had a long and successfulracing career, leading all current drivers with 31 victories (7th all-time), 25 poles (9th all-time) and captured the 2003 ChampCar World Series Championship. Paul is one of the top fan favorites in North American open wheel racing.

"I'm really excited to have ARMA with us at the final race of the season and especially in Las Vegas," said Tracy. "ARMA Energy is part of my daily training routine, supplying my body with ammunition to fight the battle of fatigue. The folks at ARMA like to say you can 'EAT YOUR ENERGY' with their great tasting line of nut and fruit mixes, plus a spicy hot snack called Hellfire.....perfect for me. I'm proud to be a part of helping build the ARMA Energy brand and look forward to driving the best looking car on the track this weekend."

***

The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Las Vegas Indy 300, the headline event of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championship Presented by Honda, on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race will be televised live by ABC at 3 p.m. The race will be broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on XM 94. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Las Vegas 100 on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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