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Latest IRL News and Commentary

Inaugural open-wheel summit May 21-22

May 16, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 16, 2002 - High-ranking leaders from the sanctioning body, broadcast, sponsorship and supplier segments of motorsports will meet May 21-22 in Indianapolis for the inaugural Open-Wheel Racing Summit, presented by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal magazine.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Westin Indianapolis will play host to the two-day conference, which takes place in the week leading up to the 86th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on Sunday, May 26.

Key leaders from four open-wheel racing sanctioning bodies, including Indy Racing League President Tony George and representatives from Formula One, Championship Auto Racing Teams and the United States Auto Club, will join high-ranking motorsports marketing, branding, broadcasting, and supplier executives, along with Wall Street motorsports analysts, to discuss and plan the future course of open-wheel racing in the United States.

"This landmark summit among the leaders of open-wheel racing sanctioning, promotion, sponsorship and marketing will provide a golden opportunity to present a vision for the future of open-wheel racing and the challenges and many opportunities that lie within," George said. "We at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway live by a motto of providing 'International Leadership in Motorsports Entertainment,' and we are proud to host this gathering of the sport's visionaries."

Featured broadcasting, sponsorship and supplier presenters include: Howard Katz, president of ABC Sports; Steve Shannon, executive director, marketing services, vehicle sales service and marketing for General Motors; Todd Gatzulis, senior brand manager, Dial Corporation; Les Ungar, national motorsports manager, Toyota; Andy Deas, program manager, WorldCom Sports Marketing; Al Speyer, motorsports director for Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.; Chip Ganassi, owner, Chip Ganassi Racing; Eddie Cheever Jr., owner/driver, Red Bull Cheever Racing; and many others representing sponsor, marketing and financial organizations such as Delphi Automotive Systems, Philip Morris, Champion Group, CSS-Stellar, CMG Worldwide and Bear Stearns.

The conference will conclude with a "behind the scenes" tour of how ABC Sports produces the broadcast for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Highlights of the Open-Wheel Summit event schedule are as follows:

Tuesday, May 21 (at the Westin Indianapolis, all times local):

8:45 a.m.
Chairperson's welcome and opening remarks

9 a.m.
Keynote presentation: Eddie Cheever Jr., "The driver's perspective on Formula One and the Indy Racing League"

9:30 a.m.
Indy Racing League presentation and roundtable discussion
IRL Participants: Tony George, Kes Ungar and Bill Long

11:30 a.m.
CART presentation and roundtable discussion
CART Participants: Steve Fusek, Starke Taylor and John Lopes

1 p.m.
Summit participants depart for Indianapolis Motor Speedway

3:30 p.m.
"Showcasing Brand Attributes with Formula One."
Participants: Bill Wohl, SAP America; Andy Deas, WorldCom; Mike Johnson, Miller Brewing Company

4:30 p.m.
"The Analyst Perspective: Where is Open-Wheel Racing Really Headed in the U.S.?" Featuring Marc Falcone, motorsports analyst, Bear Stearns

5 p.m.
"Building and Developing Young Talent and Enhancing the Brand"
Participants: Roger Bailey, Infiniti Pro Series; Rollie Helmling, USAC; Donn Gurney, Racename.com, Inc., Doug Sellars, SPEED Channel

6 p.m. Networking Reception
Host: Tony George

Wednesday, May 22

8:45 a.m.
Bus departs the Westin Indianapolis for the Speedway

9:30 a.m.
Keynote Address: Howard Katz, president of ABC Sports, "Building Upon Tradition in Motorsports Coverage"

10:15 a.m.
"Brand Building: Product Development and Creating Brand Awareness Through Open-Wheel Racing," with Bill Lafontaine, Delphi Automotive Systems

11:30 a.m.
"Getting the Most Out of Open-Wheel Racing: Cost Containment, Rules Stability and Increased Entertainment and Marketing Value"
Participants: Steve Shannon, General Motors; Les Ungar, Toyota; Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone

2 p.m.
"Building an Industrious Business Model with Retail Partners," with Todd Gatzulis, Dial Corporation

2:30 p.m.
"The Owners' Perspective: Controlling Budgets, Technology and Talent"
Moderator: Mark Richards, Ice Miller; Participants: Tom Kelley, Kelley Racing; J. Douglas Boles, Panther Racing; Larry Blair, Blair Racing

3:15 p.m.
"Assessing the Economics of Mutually Beneficial Team Sponsorships"
Moderator: Michelle Molin, Ice Miller; Participants: Ina Broeman, Philip Morris; Brad Stout, Delphi Automotive Systems; Pat Milan, Fallon Intersect; Derek Daly, Derek Daly Performance Driving Academy

4:15 p.m.
"Lessons Learned from Stock Car and Other Racing Formats."
Participants: Cary J.C. Agajanian, Motorsports Management International; Eric DeBord, PROtential; Ardy Arani, Championship Group; Chip Ganassi, Chip Ganassi Racing; Jeff LaClaire, CSS-Stellar Management

5 p.m. "Technology for the Fan's Sake."
Participants: Mark Reilly, ESPN International; Brian Sikorski, ABC Sports; Bob Goodrich, ABC Sports; Bob Jenkins, ABC Sports; Sam McCleery, Princeton Video Image; Fred Nation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Buddy McAtee, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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