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IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-09-19

IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-09-19

INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- Sept. 19, 2007 Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. Indy Racing League names John Lewis Vice President, Marketing & League Development 2. ABC Supply Co., to back A.J. Foyt 225 at Milwaukee 3.


Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Indy Racing League names John Lewis Vice President, Marketing & League Development
2. ABC Supply Co., to back A.J. Foyt 225 at Milwaukee
3. Testing 1-2-3: Unlimited testing kicks off for Indy Pro Series teams
4. Of note

1. Indy Racing League names John Lewis Vice President, Marketing & League Development: John Lewis, who has nearly 15 years of experience with both the Indy Racing League and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will expand his current duties to include the league's marketing initiatives and has been named Vice President, Marketing & League Development for the Indy Racing League. The announcement was made today by Terry Angstadt, president of the sanctioning body's commercial division.

Since 2006, Lewis has served as Vice President, League Development where he served as a liaison to all tracks, was responsible for developing the IndyCar® Series and Indy Pro Series^Ù schedule, served as an internal liaison between the League's operations and business affairs units while also responsible for planning and implementation of all operational procedures and the League's budget.

"We've watched John develop from the beginning, starting with facilities work at the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway right out of college to becoming an effective executive with the Indy Racing League," said Brian Barnhart, president, competition and operations for the Indy Racing League. "His new role is well-deserved, and I am confident he will continue to do great work for the League and all of its constituents."

In his expanded role, Lewis will also be responsible for the marketing staff and implementation of the Indy Racing League's brand positioning and ensure activities within the League support the positioning.

In addition, Lewis will work with League partners to develop customized synergistic promotional programs to leverage the collective assets while providing leadership for department functions including brand marketing, driver marketing, consumer marketing, event marketing, licensing and retail operations.

"John has been a loyal, enthusiastic and integral employee dating back to before the Indy Racing League was even formed," Angstadt said. "He brings a passion to the sport, and he wants to see the IndyCar Series grow. We look forward to him enhancing our marketing initiatives."

Lewis will work with the League's various departments to develop marketing and strategic initiatives for business development, television production, broadcast relations, public relations and operations groups.

"I am eager for the opportunity to promote the sport to current and potential fans," Lewis said. "I look forward to working with all of our drivers, teams, tracks and partners to develop marketing strategies and programs that will enhance the value of the League for all of our constituents."

Lewis joined the Indy Racing League full-time in 2001 as Director of Operations after serving previously at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in various track management roles.

He is a native of Seymour, Ind., and played volleyball at Ball State University where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated in 1994 with a degree in sports administration and a minor in business with a focus on economics.

He and his wife Kristin reside in Indianapolis and are the parents of a daughter, Taylor, and are expecting their second child later this year.

2. ABC Supply Co., to back A.J. Foyt 225 at Milwaukee: A.J. Foyt Enterprises and ABC Supply Co., Inc. have announced a renewal of the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225 IndyCar Series race entitlement at the The Milwaukee Mile.

Since the inaugural IndyCar Series race was held at The Mile in 2004, Foyt has granted the track permission to use his name in the race entitlement. Foyt has driven in more races at The Milwaukee Mile than at any other track in his storied career.

"I am honored to be part of the IndyCar Series race at The Milwaukee Mile in such a significant way and am grateful for my sponsor ABC Supply's continued support of the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225," Foyt said. "Together I hope we can make the 2008 race the best one ever."

The ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225 will be held on June 1, 2008, the Sunday following the Indianapolis 500. The 2008 event marks the fourth straight year ABC Supply Co., Inc. will serve as the title sponsor of the event.

"The tradition continues of having A.J. Foyt and ABC Supply Company involved with our IndyCar Series event on what will be the 51st occasion of The Milwaukee Mile hosting the IndyCar Series stars the Sunday following the Indy 500," said Craig Stoehr, Milwaukee Mile chairman. "We couldn't be happier for our fans."

3. Testing 1-2-3: Unlimited testing kicks off for Indy Pro Series teams: Indy Pro Series teams are preparing for a period of unlimited testing to prepare themselves for 2008. From the end of the 2007 season until the first Open Test in 2008, teams are permitted to test as much as they want.

Brian Stewart Racing and Apex Racing have the first scheduled test dates. Wade Cunningham, the 2005 series champion, and Brad Jaeger will test for Brian Stewart Racing at the Milwaukee Mile on Sept. 24 while Ken Losch and Mike Potekhen will test at Firebird Raceway near Phoenix on the same date.

Andersen Racing, which partnered with Rahal Letterman Racing in its inaugural season in the Indy Pro Series in 2007, announced a comprehensive testing schedule for drivers in the three series in which it fields cars.

Among the test dates are opportunities for Andrew Prendeville, who finished 11th in championship points in 2007, to gain more seat time as well as providing the team's Star Mazda drivers, Jonathan Goring and Jonny Baker, a chance to test the faster and more powerful Indy Pro Series machine.

"Andersen Racing has scheduled these testing opportunities to allow potential drivers on all three levels a chance to experience the way we do things," team owner Dan Andersen said. "We're searching for the right drivers for 2008 and hope to finalize our lineups by early December. Engineering personnel from our Indy Pro Series team and occasionally from Rahal Letterman Racing will be in attendance to assist in our driver selection for 2008. We have the cars, technical knowledge and the crews to win races and championships, and we intend to do so."

Tests are scheduled for the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 16-17, the road course at Sebring International Raceway on Oct. 22-23 and Jan. 24-25, and Homestead's road course on Nov. 1.

4. Of note: With the success of the IndyCar Series team during the 2007 season, Target Chip Ganassi Racing was able to make another sizable donation to Target House at St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The $55,450 donation raised by TCGR was highlighted by six $5,000 victories, four by Scott Dixon and two by Dan Wheldon, as well as three $1,000 pole positions. Since 1997, Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) has raised more than $440,000 for St. Jude Hospital and Target House by donating $5,000 for each victory, $1,000 for each pole position and $25 for each lap led--2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan has joined the fatherhood club. Kanaan's wife, Dani, gave birth to their first child, Leonardo, a 19 ¾-inch, 6.8-pound boy, on Sept. 18.


The 2008 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, features races on 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ABC Sports/ ESPN.

-credit: irl

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