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IRL: Andretti Green Racing results satifies sponsors

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IRL: Andretti Green Racing results satifies sponsors
Sep 10, 2004, 5:32 AM

Andretti Green Racing will be able to fix their cars using Klein Tools and toast their successes with Jim Beam whiskey for at least two years, according to pacts signed over the past two days. Klein Tools has been part of the Green family's ...

Andretti Green Racing will be able to fix their cars using Klein Tools and toast their successes with Jim Beam whiskey for at least two years, according to pacts signed over the past two days.

Klein Tools has been part of the Green family's racing enterprises for at least ten years, when the firm became an associate sponsor of Jacques Villeneuve's Toyota Atlantic Championship campaign.

The company has remained with Team Green and joined Andretti Green Racing as a major co-sponsor when Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree bought the assets of Team Green and joined the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series for the 2003 season.

Jim Beam came onboard with then-rookie Dan Wheldon as the third Andretti Green Racing driver and were rewarded when the Briton won the Bombardier Rookie of the Year title in 2003. This year Wheldon is one of five contestants for the IndyCar Series championship, currently in second place driving the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone challenger.

Both Klein Tools and Jim Beam, the first distilled spirits sponsor in the open wheel motorsports arena, are active participants in the sport. Klein Tools' aerobatics squad entertains fans and participants prior to races throughout most race weekends.

Jim Beam promotes responsible choices about using alcohol with its Alcohol 101 program, which has donated more than $100,000 since the program's inception in 2003. Both Andretti Green Racing and co-owner Michael Andretti are integral members of the Alcohol 101 program through the Michael Andretti Foundation.

Former driver Andretti holds get-togethers with fans during race weekends that answer questions about responsible alcohol usage and empower users to make choices they won't regret.

The Jim Beam contract extends the partnership through the 2006 racing season; the length of Klein Tools' extension has not been revealed. In addition to Klein Tools' co-major sponsorship of Wheldon's three-race winning Dallara/Honda, the company serves as associate sponsor on the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda of points leader and three-timer Tony Kanaan, the #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda piloted by two-time victor Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta's #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda.

There are three races remaining in the 2004 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season including this weekend's Delphi Indy 300, always a 200-lap heart-wrenching dogfight.

Three of the top five combatants have Klein Tools and/or Jim Beam affiliations: Tony Kanaan leads the point chase with 503, Dan Wheldon lies second at 431 and Dario Franchitti holds fifth with 354.

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