Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Indy Racing League News and Notes – March 22, 2005
by Race Author
Nunn, Fernandez partner for Indianapolis 500:
Motorsports veterans Morris Nunn and Adrián Fernández announced a partnership March 22 to contest the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500. The team will be known as Mo Nunn Fernández Racing.
Fernández, a three-time winner in the IRL IndyCar Series in 2004, will drive the No. 5 Honda-powered Panoz with primary sponsorship from Investment Properties of America.
“I am thrilled that this program with Adrián has come to fruition,” said Nunn, whose accomplishments as a race engineer include an Indianapolis 500 victory with Emerson Fittipaldi in 1989. “We are going to one of the most prestigious races in the world with a powerhouse combination that includes the driving talents of Adrián, the proven Honda/Panoz combination and a progressive partner in Investment Properties of America. I don’t think you could put together a better recipe for success.”
Fernández returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2004 after a nine-year absence. He qualified sixth in only his third IRL IndyCar Series career start and finished seventh in the rain-shortened race – the highest finishing position by a Mexican driver in the history of the Indianapolis 500.
“I am more than ready to get back in the saddle,” said Fernández, who has been focusing on his role as an IndyCar Series team owner of late. “This is a great opportunity to be able to partner with Morris, who I have known and respected for a long time, and put together a competitive program with Honda and with the support of Investment Properties of America.
“This team will be run alongside Super Aguri Fernández Racing and Delphi Fernández Racing, and I am really looking forward to working with both Kosuke [Matsuura] and Scott [Sharp] as teammates. Kosuke and I were incredibly strong throughout the month of May last year, and Scott has already proven he knows how to win and did a great job in Phoenix this past weekend. One of my goals has always been to win the Indianapolis 500 – as a driver or as an owner – and between the three of us, I think that goal can be reached this May.”
Indianapolis-based Investment Properties of America (IPofA) is a commercial real estate investment company that acquires commercial income properties and transforms them into stable, income-producing assets for investors of all sizes. The company operates as a 1031 Tenant-in-Common real estate sponsor that offers an alternative to sole ownership of real estate in that investors share in the ownership of an entire property.
“We couldn’t be happier with this opportunity to partner with Morris and Adrián for the Indianapolis 500,” said Edward Okun, President and CEO of Investment Properties of America. “I am passionate about auto racing and am thrilled to align IPofA and our success in real estate with two proven winners. It is an expansion of our involvement within the IndyCar Series and the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing program, and we are looking forward to giving our business associates a lot to cheer about this May.”
Indy Racing League announces official partnership with Argent Mortgage:
The Indy Racing League and Argent Mortgage, a leading national mortgage lender, have announced a partnership that makes the Irvine, Calif.,-based company the Official Mortgage Company of the IRL IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.
“We are pleased to welcome Argent Mortgage to the IRL family of partners,” said Ken Ungar, senior vice president, business affairs for the IRL. “The partnership is an important component of Argent’s comprehensive 2005 involvement with the league that also includes our drivers, teams and tracks.”
Argent is serving as primary sponsor of the No. 16 IndyCar Series entry driven by Danica Patrick and co-primary sponsor of the No. 15 IndyCar Series entry driven by 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice. Also, Argent was the presenting sponsor of last week’s IRL event at Phoenix International Raceway and will also be the title and presenting sponsor for three IndyCar Series races in 2005.
In addition, Argent Mortgage will sponsor the IRL’s year-end Fastest Lap Award, which will present $25,000 to the entrant of the driver who posts the most fastest laps during the 17-race IndyCar Series season. Argent will also offer $2,500 to the driver who posts the fastest lap on each day of practice at Indianapolis during the month of May.
“We are proud to partner with the IRL as their Official Mortgage Company for the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500,” said Wayne Lee, president of Argent Mortgage Company. “At Argent Mortgage, we don’t just sponsor motorsports; we are inspired by the people who bring IndyCar racing to fans every weekend throughout the season. In the same way, we are building the most efficient and smartest company in the business and helping independent mortgage brokers provide the best possible loan products and service to homeowners across America.”
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, April 3 on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Fla. The race, the first non-oval event in IndyCar Series history, will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast by IMS Radio Network at 3:30 p.m. (EST) The race also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel “XM Extreme” (Channel 152). ESPN2’s coverage of the Phoenix 100 will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EST) on March 24. The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on on Sunday, April 3 on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.. ESPN2’s coverage of the race will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EST) on April 8.