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Was IndyCar wooing NY Mayor Bloomberg
Helio Castroneves doesn't recall what exactly was on the menu, which is understandable. He was engrossed in conversations. The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion was among the guests Aug. 18 at the residence of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was hosting a dinner party in honor of Sao Paulo (Brazil) Mayor Gilberto Kassab.

Other guests at the table included model Adriana Lima and her husband, NBA player Marko Jaric; IZOD IndyCar Series commercial division president Terry Angstadt; Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune; Optimer Pharmaceuticals CEO and president Pedro Lightinger; and H. Stern Jewelry CEO Susan Nichols.

"What a great evening and an honor," said Castroneves, who flew to New York earlier in the day after assisting IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard announce the night before the 2011 Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway. "It was great to see Mayor Kassab, who asked for opinions about the (Sao Paulo Indy 300) to improve for next year. He's willing to accept whatever suggestions we drivers have and make whatever improvements are necessary.

"Mayor Bloomberg also was very interested in the racing. To meet the guy who has done so much for New York was just an honor for me."

Mayor Kassab was instrumental in bringing the IZOD IndyCar Series to Brazil for the first time last March on a street circuit that incorporated the Sambadrome (Carnival parade stadium).

"Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Kassab could have not been more engaging," Angstadt said. "Mayor Bloomberg made the mayor of Sao Paulo and his staff feel so welcome. Mayor Kassab invited Mayor Bloomberg to Sao Paulo, and suggested that his goal for Sao Paulo is to make it half as successful as the City of New York under Mayor Bloomberg's leadership.

"It was one of the most special evenings I've ever been a part of." IndyCar.com

[Editor's Note: Randy Bernard said he was eyeing a future race in the NY City Market.  So will what Mayor Bloomberg heard from Mayor Kassab convince him to have an IndyCar race of his own in NY City?  Did the IRL use the opportunity to entice him?]

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