Saturday IndyCar Notebook
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay was recently announced as the newest member of LIVESTRONG's Global Envoy program. As a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy, Hunter-Reay serves as a committed cancer advocate who connects with constituents and demonstrates extraordinary leadership in the global fight against cancer. Hunter-Reay gives a voice to the diagnosed who suffer in silence. He takes a stand against cultural stigma attached to cancer and helps to spur grassroots mobilization.
LIVESTRONG is the brand of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, created in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action. Hunter-Reay joins a distinguished ensemble of cancer crusaders who have been invited to participate in the LIVESTRONG Global Envoy program. His fellow Envoy's include: Lillian Dube, Ryan Dungey, Carly Fiorina, Evan Handler, Dhani Jones, Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, Lorena Rojas, Eric Shanteau, Graham Tatters, Kenechi Udeze and Ethan Zohn
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda): "It is such an amazing honor to be selected as a Global Envoy for LIVESTRONG. My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2008 and the horrifying fight she waged made a huge impact on my life in so many ways. I was there with her every moment I wasn't on the race track and the LIVESTRONG organization of counselors and cancer survivors were a constant guiding light, which gave us comfort in our darkest hours. It was during this time that I realized LIVESTRONG is so much more than a charity. My mother ultimately lost her fight against cancer in November of 2009 however her tenacity, compassion, and fight lives on through me and today I have an amazing opportunity to help make a difference in her honor. One of the cornerstones of my message as a Global Envoy for LIVESTRONG will be early detection and awareness. I have been a loyal supporter of LIVESTRONG for just over 7 years now, and wearing the iconic LIVESTRONG yellow band reminds me, and others, on a daily basis of the 28 million individuals fighting cancer. As an IndyCar driver my car number will be the No.# 28 in recognition of those 28 million people. I can't emphasize how proud I am to represent one of the greatest humanitarian and influential organizations in the world".
Driver Townsend Bell was in the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins pit Friday with a team headset on listening to the communications between the Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) team members and driver Alex Tagliani. Bell, who lives in nearby Santa Monica, Calif., will be Tagliani's SSM teammate in May for the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race as driver of the No. 99 Herbalife Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in May. He will be in the Tagliani's pits today and race day.
TOWNSEND BELL: "I'm just getting a feel of faces and names and what the dynamics are for May. I'm also just trying to listen in a little bit to see what Alex' feedback is like with his engineer in hopes that gives us a little head start working together and understanding what their dealing with, although this (LBGP) is an entirely different type of track. It's interesting just to observe, and you're always trying to learn something."
When the green flag falls on Sunday's Firestone Indy Lights race, there will be a very excited father standing in the pits. Derek Daly, from Noblesville, Ind., will be watching his son, Conor Daly, race for the first time during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. As a driver, Derek Daly raced at Long Beach both in Formula 1 and in IndyCar, from 1978 to 1984 and won the Toyota Pro Celebrity race in 2000.
"My love of America started with Long Beach in 1987 when I came to race in Formula One," said the elder Daly, a native of Ireland. "In 1984 it became an Indy Car race, and I started on the front row with Mario. The race poster the following year was me leading Mario Andretti into turn one on the final warm up lap. I always thought that Long Beach on race weekend is what the rest of the world imagines southern California to be every day - fun, sun and smiles. To see my son compete on the same streets with the same enthusiasm is a real kick for me."