Indy Day 6 Notebook
PGA Tour legend Fuzzy Zoeller visited the Speedway on Thursday as a guest of Panther Racing. Zoeller's vodka brand, Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, is serving as a sponsor of the No. 20 Panther/Vision/Fuzzy's Vodka entry driven this month by veteran Ed Carpenter.
Zoeller, a native of New Albany, Ind., has won 10 PGA Tour events, including The Masters as a rookie in 1979 and the U.S. Open in 1984. He plays now on the Champions Tour.
FUZZY ZOELLER: (Have you been to the Speedway before?): "Yes, I was here last year, and I have been here for time trials. I'm blessed: I was born and raised in Indiana, so I have had the opportunity to come up here, and it is something to see. It's like the Kentucky Derby of thoroughbred racing; it's the Derby of sports cars." (About wearing a team headset and looking at car telemetry): "I didn't know what the hell I was looking at, but they were explaining it to me, you know what I mean. But at least I could hear, which was great. It's amazing the technology today that goes behind auto racing. I never knew all this stuff was going on. I thought these guys were just gas pumpers, tire changers. But the littlest twitch of a nut here or there can mean that much of a difference." (That's like golf?): "Well, it is. Eddie (Carpenter) was telling them he was fine through Turn 3, and Turn 2 he felt a push. I mean, that's major stuff. To me, if I got a push, oh, man, I would be excited. But for these guys, that's not good. They're trying to fine-tune it. That's what they are trying to do."
The Indiana Section of SAE International will announce the winner of the 44th annual Louis Schwitzer Award sponsored by BorgWarner at a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Economaki Press Conference Room.
The Louis Schwitzer Award, presented by engineers to engineers, recognizes individuals with the courage and conviction to explore and develop new concepts in motorsports technology for use in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The award has been presented annually since 1967 by the Indiana Section of SAE International in honor of early racing pioneer and past Indiana Section Chairman Louis Schwitzer.
Award sponsor BorgWarner provides a $10,000 cash prize to the winner. SAE International also provides a $1,000 scholarship to the engineering school of the winner's choice and doubles the scholarship amount if the winner was a past Formula SAE participant. In addition, the winner's name is added to the permanent trophy on display in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
The 33-driver starting field for the Indianapolis 500 will spend Monday, May 24, on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., as the drivers will appear on multiple ESPN platforms and programs both domestic and international.
ESPN's production of the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC on Sunday, May 30, beginning at noon (ET). The race is on ABC for the 46th consecutive year, one of five IZOD IndyCar Series events on ABC this season.
On American television, drivers will appear on ESPN "SportsCenter" as well as ESPN2's "First Take," "Mike and Mike in the Morning" (simulcast on ESPN Radio) and "SportsNation." ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile, SportsCenter.com, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPNDeportes.com are other U.S. platforms that drivers will appear on, including "RPM Semanal" (in Spanish) on ESPNDeportes.com.
Drivers also will appear on various ESPN International platforms, including segments on "SportsCenter" Australia version, on "Limite," ESPN Brasil's autosports news and information program, and on ESPN360.com, ESPN's localized broadband platforms in Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
International drivers also will appear in their native languages on the ESPN networks in Australia, the UK, Africa, and Latin America and on regional networks ESPN Dos (Mexico) and ESPN Mas (Southern Cone South America).
ESPN International's networks and syndication of the Indianapolis 500 will reach more than 252 million households. In addition, U.S. troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world will watch via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network, bringing the total to 213 countries and territories.
The Honda Indy Edmonton has entered into promotional relationships with Alex Tagliani and FAZZT Race Team and with Paul Tracy and KV Racing Technology to form "Team Oh Canada" for the Indianapolis 500.
The promotion includes prominent Honda Indy Edmonton logo placement on both cars for the 500 Mile Race. Tagliani's No. 77 FAZZT Race Team car also will display the logo for the IZOD IndyCar Series races in Texas, Watkins Glen, Toronto and Edmonton.
The Honda Indy Edmonton will carry out promotional opportunities with Team Oh Canada in other markets, including event promotions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
KEN KNOWLES (President, Northlands, promoter of Honda Indy Edmonton): "Northlands and the Honda Indy Edmonton are absolutely delighted to partner with Canada's two best IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. Our promotional support for Alex and Paul provides us with an incredible opportunity to place our event, and the city of Edmonton, in the international spotlight while reaching a huge international audience."
Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (NYSE: PVH) announced today that the Indianapolis 500, the flagship race of the IZOD IndyCar Series, will take center stage at Macy's this month via "In Pursuit of Fast," a series of exhibits sponsored by its IZOD brand in partnership with Macy's and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to celebrate the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
The focus of the exhibits -- speed, stars and cars, and iconic design fashioned throughout a century of American racing -- will be showcased at Macy's stores in New York, Indianapolis and Chicago. Complementing the exhibit is a collection of limited-edition IZOD IndyCar Series apparel available exclusively at Macy's stores nationwide.
The second annual "In Pursuit of Fast" exhibit comes to life through original photo collections, graphic designs and priceless race cars and memorabilia from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum's collection. The exhibit tells the story of IZOD IndyCar Series racing and the Indianapolis 500. Each store will feature one of a kind priceless cars and custom-built installations showcasing the race's legendary past as it connects to the next generation of high-speed superstars -- along with the limited-edition collection of IZOD/INDY clothing inspired by the museum's archives.
Starting on May 20, Macy's Herald Square, New York's most iconic department store, will host "In Pursuit of Fast" on its floors and in its famous Broadway and 34th Street windows. The exhibited items will feature past Indy 500-winning cars, including the 1964 Sheraton-Thompson Watson/Offy, 1968 Rislone Eagle/Offy, 1972 Sunoco McLaren/Offy, and 1996 Bryant in the Broadway windows, as well as the 1979 Norton Spirit, 1961 Cooper Climax, 1953 Dean Van Lines Special, 1925 Miller Junior 8, and 1960 Kelso Auto Dynamics Special in the Main Aisle and Men's Shop.
At 1 p.m. May 25, just five days before the Indianapolis 500, Macy's and IZOD will welcome the top drivers of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 to Herald Square for interviews and an autograph session. The drivers, who will be dressed in their Race Day uniforms, hail from a multitude of countries -- including three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves of Brazil, 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti of Scotland, current IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power of Australia, two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of New Zealand. From the United States, Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race and 2008 Rookie of the Year Ryan Hunter-Reay, who is sponsored by IZOD, will also appear. Additionally, 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti will attend.
Macy's stores in Indianapolis and its flagship in Chicago will also feature the "In Pursuit of Fast" exhibit and several opportunities for fans to meet their favorite drivers -- both past and present, including legendary Indy 500 winners Al Unser Jr., Rick Mears, Johnny Rutherford and Arie Luyendyk, who have a total of 13 combined Indy 500 wins.
Macy's is also featuring the partnership among these three American icons -- Macy's, IZOD and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - - on a micro-site, www.macys.com/IZOD.
With access to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum's rich archive of original art and design, the IZOD designers have created a track- inspired clothing line to mark this historic celebration and have partnered with Macy's as the exclusive retailer for the collection. The new "Winning Car Series" apparel collection, including vintage-style tees that celebrate the first Indianapolis 500 winner, the 1911 Marmon Wasp, along with the 1939-40 Maserati and the 1948 Novi, is available only at select Macy's nationwide and on macys.com. Additional Indy-inspired graphic tees by IZOD will be available at all Macy's stores and on macys.com. The IZOD IndyCar Series apparel collection is available now with prices ranging from $14.98 to $65 for the graphic tees, vintage tees and golf polos.
Integrated Electrical Services (www.ies-co.com , NASDAQ: IESC) and Andretti Autosport announced today that IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will appear at the WINDPOWER 2010 Conference and Exposition as part of the sponsorship agreement between the two companies. IES is an associate sponsor and the official electrical contractor sponsor for Andretti Autosport.
Hunter-Reay will appear at the IES Booth, #1605 at the Dallas Convention Center, from noon-2 p.m. (CT) Tuesday, May 25.
IES, headquartered in Houston, will showcase its work on renewable energy solutions at the show in Dallas.
An IZOD IndyCar Series Fan Forum featuring Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 29 at North Chalet 6B at IMS.
Gossage will seek fan opinion about the next chassis and engine platform for the IZOD IndyCar Series. He is a member of the ICONIC (Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective) IZOD IndyCar Series Advisory Committee, which is tasked with reviewing, researching and recommending a future IZOD IndyCar Series chassis and engine platform to the Indy Racing League.
Only 250 seats are available for this event. Fans wishing to participate must RSVP to the Indy Racing League by e-mailing Neale Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments will be available at the forum.
Martha C. (Marti) Rompf, 67, a public relations professional in auto racing for more than 25 years, died May 15 at her home in Traverse City, Mich., after a long illness.
Born and raised in Lansing, Mich., Rompf served as director of public relations at Michigan International Speedway (1982-86) and Atlanta Motor Speedway (1986-92) before joining Dearborn, Mich.-based communications agency PCGCampbell in 1992. While with PCGCampbell, she represented Ford Motor Company's race teams in NASCAR, including the Wood Brothers, Bud Moore Engineering and Robert Yates Racing, and drivers that included Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler, Lake Speed and Dick Trickle.
She also worked as Ford Motor Company's public relations manager in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for several years, promoting future NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standouts Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and the late Kenny Irwin.
In 2006, Rompf joined Wood Brothers Racing, from which she retired at the end of the 2007 NASCAR season.
Prior to entering the public relations profession, Rompf worked as a journalist covering local news for both the Albion (Mich.) Evening Recorder and the Coldwater (Mich.) Daily Reporter during the 1970s.
A 1961 graduate of Lansing Eastern High School, she is survived by her daughter, Kathie; her sons, Michael and Mark; and four grandsons.
At her request, no services are planned. Memorials can be made to Munson Hospice MHRF at 210 Beaumont Place, Traverse City, MI 49684 or Victory Junction Gang 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, NC 27317.
Drivers representing four different teams posted the top five speeds of the day today: Andretti Autosport (Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti), Paul Tracy (KV Racing Technology), Newman/Haas Racing (Hideki Mutoh) and Panther Racing (Dan Wheldon).
A total of 44 cars are currently at the Speedway, and 44 have passed technical inspection. Thirty-seven drivers have been on the track to date and turned 1,445 laps today and 7,289 laps this month. Alex Lloyd turned 81 laps today, more than any other driver. There were two cautions for a total of two hours, 35 minutes.
No driver has been in the top five on the speed charts more than four of the five days of on-track activity so far this month. A rundown:
•Four days: #9 Dixon (May 15, 16, 18, 19)
•Three days: #10 Franchitti (May 15, 16, 19); #11/#43 Kanaan (May 15, 16, 20), #4 Wheldon (May 15, 18, 20)
•Two days: #3 Castroneves (May 15, 16); #77 Tagliani (May 18, 19), #26 M. Andretti (May 18, 20), #06 Mutoh (May 19, 20)
Townsend Bell sent a tweet this morning on his Twitter account, www.twitter.com/TownsendBell99, challenging fans to name the Indy Lights team for which he drove. He said he would carry on his helmet the Twitter account of the first person to answer correctly.
Twitter fan @WCPE answered correctly first (Dorricott Racing), and Bell carried @WCPE on his helmet in most of practice today.
Herbalife Ganassi/Schmidt Racing Team engineer Andy Brown talked today about how he and driver Townsend Bell are dealing with the numerous weather setbacks this week.
ANDY BROWN: "It does help having known Townsend from a few years ago in our time together at Panther (Racing). Also, I've been a race engineer now for 28 years, so in that time you learn it doesn't help to get flustered and raising your voice, as it just puts everyone on edge. Things just go downhill very rapidly from there. So I try to keep things calm and level. Things are going to go wrong. They are bound to go wrong, but it's how you react when they do. If you keep things calm, you'll get through the bad times more quickly. It's been a pleasure to work with him (Townsend) again, and I'm really enjoying this month."
As much as Townsend Bell loves the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he is a little eager to get home to Santa Monica, Calif., where a new BMW S 1000 RR motorcycle is waiting for him. Bell, an avid motorcyclist, received the keys to his new motorcycle today at BMW Motorcycles of Indianapolis.
Bell also took delivery today of a new Schuberth racing helmet. He walked the helmet through IZOD IndyCar Series tech himself, where it quickly passed, and wore it in an afternoon practice run. Rookie Bertrand Baguette is the only other driver wearing the German-made Schuberth so far this Month of May at Indy.
Another client of Schuberth is F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher. The Schuberth company prides itself on the aerodynamics and aeroacoustics of its helmets.
Indianapolis 500 veteran PJ Jones was in Gasoline Alley today. Jones, son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, started in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in 2004 and 2006.
PJ JONES: (Are you looking for a ride?): "No, I really didn't work on it too much during the winter, and I think now with the format you really have to work on it out front and be ready to go in January, February or March. To try to put something together with the two weeks, or one-week deal now, I think it is pretty much virtually impossible. If you are a current guy, or a guy who is running consistently, you might be able to stir something up. But a guy for someone like me who doesn't race every weekend with these guys and in these kind of cars anymore, then it would take a proper program to do it. I wouldn't rule that out in the future, but with some of the other things I have going, I just didn't try to put it together." (Do you have your helmet?): "I know Bill Simpson real well."