Grand Prix of Indianapolis

IndyCar: GP of Indy picks up Angie’s List as title sponsor

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Last month’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis may have messed with our heads (it was strange seeing the IndyCars going the wrong way down the Indianapolis Motor Speedway front stretch at first) and it was far from a tidy affair (see the nasty start-line crash involving pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra and others).

But it did feature lots of on-track action, a compelling finish, and most importantly for both IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a healthy crowd to take it all in.

And now, it has a title sponsor.

Local service review website Angie’s List has signed up to back the GP of Indy for the next two seasons.

The second running of the newly christened “Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis” will take place on May 9, 2015.

“The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis was a great success and provided an ideal way to begin the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said in a statement.

“The event exceeded our attendance expectations and drivers and fans alike seemed to really enjoy the challenge that the road course here at IMS provided. We’ve created significant momentum moving forward and with the help of our new partner Angie’s List, 2015 should be even more exciting.”

Along with the sponsorship, Indianapolis-based Angie’s List will use the Grand Prix to host 5,000 of the country’s top service providers in a special “Festival of Service” to reward them for their hard work.

“There’s no better place in the world to be than Indianapolis in the Month of May,” company founder Angie Hicks said in her thoughts. “Angie’s List has long sponsored race cars in the Indianapolis 500, but getting involved with the Grand Prix brings a new kind of excitement.

“This is a world-class race, and we’ll bring in world-class service companies, not just to reward them, but to work hand-in-hand to change the way local service is delivered. Our ‘Festival of Service’ will celebrate companies that are working alongside us on this mission.”

In addition to those aforementioned ‘500’ sponsorships, Angie’s List was spotted in multiple other IndyCar races last season as a backer for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and then-driver Tristan Vautier (see below).

source: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

NHRA: Alexis DeJoria brings free mammograms to Texas, Las Vegas races

DeJoria pink race car for breast cancer awareness month
(Photo courtesy Alexis DeJoria Racing)
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Some drivers see red when they’re behind the wheel of a 300-mph Funny Car.

But NHRA Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria is seeing pink in the month of October – and she’s proud of it.

DeJoria, who owns Alexis DeJoria Racing and drives the Tequila Patron Toyota for Kalitta Racing, is using the color pink to call attention to breast cancer awareness month in October.

DeJoria has partnered with Baylor Healthcare Systems to offer free mammograms to race fans attending this weekend’s AAA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex (Friday and Saturday) in Ennis, Texas.

She’ll reprise that role, partnering with Nevada Health Centers for the Toyota Nationals at The Strip in Las Vegas Oct. 30-31.

According to a media release, ‘”Mammovans’ (mobile mammography units) will be parked in the nitro pits of the racetracks, and free mammograms will be available on-site during both weekends to female ticketholders over the age of 40, regardless of whether or not they have health insurance.”

Those who seek to be screened do not need an appointment or referral. If you have health insurance, bring your insurance information to the race. Test results will be sent via mail approximately ten days after the event.

This year’s initiative continues a program DeJoria began three years ago when she launched the “Free Mammograms for the Fans” program.

Also, DeJoria will drive a hot pink race car in both events.

“I really want to thank the Patrón Spirits Company and Toyota for their support, as well as Kalitta Motorsports, everyone who bought items on our eBay fundraising page, purchased our pink Fight Like a Girl bracelets and made donations,” said DeJoria. “It all goes toward this very wonderful life-saving cause and we would not be able to provide this service to our fans without their support.”

Added Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales USA, “If we are able to save the life of so much as one mother, daughter, sister, wife or friend, it will be well worth our additional investment in our partners at DeJoria (Alexis DeJoria Racing). It truly is rewarding to be able to assist one of our race teams on a program that is so meaningful to so many people.”

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Sir Stirling Moss: Enclosed cockpits in open-wheel racing ‘ridiculous’

Sir Stirling Moss Getty
(Getty Images)
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While IndyCar mulls some type of enclosed cockpits or canopies in their race cars as early as 2017 to enhance driver safety, one racing legend scoffs at the notion that open-wheel racing should go down that path.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Sir Stirling Moss told Road and Track at the recent Lime Rock Historic Festival. “Motor racing is dangerous. And one does it – some of us do it – because it is dangerous. I was one of those. And I think to go and put forward things like that is absolutely ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.”

MORE: IndyCar CEO: No safety changes for 2016 car, despite Wilson death

It’s the opinion of the 85-year-old Moss that safety elements in one form of open-wheel racing – namely, Formula 1 – are as good as they can be at the moment.

“I think quite honestly, most events have good flag marshaling, which is very important,” Moss said. “The drivers know what they can do and they usually stick within their realistic limits.

“But of course, obviously, the sort of racing and etiquette you have on a circuit like this, or, a club circuit, is necessarily pretty different when you start talking Formula One.

“But, I think (danger) is part of the sport. I don’t think anybody wants to get hurt, but they’re all going to push themselves up to their limit, and that’s pretty good.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski