New IndyCar Series Safety Car to be unveiled March 29

The IndyCar Series will unveil its new safety car – a 2008 Honda Accord Coupe – at its season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 29. The Honda Accord Coupe has been redesigned for 2008, giving it a sporty new stance to go with its V-6 engine and independent multi-link rear suspension. The safety car will also sport a new paint scheme this year – the result of a six-week design contest hosted on that saw a team of Indy 500 legends select a red, white and blue design submitted by Ojai, Calif.-based artist Robert Clark.

Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser Jr. and Rick Mears, who have 13 Indy 500 victories between them, unanimously chose Clark’s design from three finalists. Not only will Clark’s safety car design pace the IndyCar Series field all season, but Clark and a guest will be flown to Homestead-Miami Speedway for a VIP race weekend at the IndyCar Series season-opening race, the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 on March 29.

“It was kind of a free-form layout," Clark said. “Then I said let's submit it red, white and blue and show our colors. I've always been a big fan of IndyCars. The competition has been great and it inspired me to make the design as best as possible."

Indy car racing legend and three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will return as the driver of the safety car in 2008. Rutherford has driven the Safety Car since the IndyCar Series’ first race in 1996.

“It looks racy," Rutherford said of Clark’s winning design. “The red, white and blue splash presents the car well."

As part of his VIP trip to Homestead-Miami Speedway, Clark will meet Rutherford prior to the race for an official “handing over the keys" photo opportunity to kick off the new safety car’s 2008 season.

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