The pit area was pretty quiet early except for crew members like these who are out prepping their equipment and getting ready for the big event.
It’s early at the track but eventhough I left my hotel at 5:20am it still took me an 1 1/2 hours to get here. I guess multiple marching bands for entertainment on the track is a tradition. This Navy band from Illinois was the first in a long line of bands that are still marching out here.
One of the sponsors of Team Ethanol this year is the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. Representing them at the media event on Friday was Bryan Fogerson, board member and corn grower from Tuscola, IL. Bryan allowed me to interview him about his organization’s sponsorship and he talks about what the increased use of ethanol will mean to farmers and consumers.
Just walking downtown near the parade I saw a parked Indy 500 Chevy Suburban and it was displaying the E85 sticker.
I made it to the parade today. I wasn’t ready when Hemelgarn racing driver Jimmy Kite came by but here he is, just looking the other way. Huge crowd downtown. The parade took just under 2 hours start to finish.
I’ve got pictures of Tony Danza and Cheech Marin too. Now why were they in the parade? Inquiring minds want to know.
With all the excitement about the ethanol car you may wonder if that’s the only way ethanol is being promoted here at the Indy Speedway. Nope. Chevrolet has a huge display area inside the track and featured in the middle of it is one of their Avalanche E85 trucks. All in all ethanol is getting some great publicity here.
As I was leaving the track yesterday they had the Black Crowes playing on the big stage. I avoided that crowd but found another band playing over in the Chevrolet display area. I have no idea who they are but they sounded great.
There’s just an immense amount of activity going on here and throughout the city. I’m probably going to miss the parade if I stay on this computer much longer so I better get going. More to come.
It’s a relaxing day in Indianapolis. I’m sure you’d be interested to know about my morning jog along the Canal Walk and that I’m having to work out of a Starbucks to get high speed access since the hotel I’m in only has dial-up! But a little capuccino and some good blues music and high speed and I’m happy.
The picture’s from yesterday’s preparations at the Hemelgarn garage as the Ethanol car was readied for its historic laps around the track. We’ve got to build up some excitement for the race tomorrow!!
By the way, in the interests of transparency I want to make sure you know that I’m doing work here for Integer Group and EPIC. That resulted in the Talking News Release we distributed nationally yesterday afternoon. Of course I’m also reporting on things here on AgriMarketing Pros!
Today’s running of car #91, Hemelgarn Racing, around the Indianapolis Speedway was the subject of a Talking News Release for the Ethanol Promotion & Information Council. The release was distributed as soon after the car made its historic laps as possible to radio reporters nationwide. The release was structured a little differently than normal. It contains links to 5 full interviews that reporters (or you) can download and listen to and use on the air. Additionally, there’s links to photos that can also be easily downloaded for media use (or yours). It’s a very complete media package. Maybe next time we’ll include video!
Jimmy Kite drove the car today instead of the injured Paul Dana. However, I was able to interview Paul and his interview is one of the ones available through the links within the release.
ETHANOL-POWERED INDYCAR SERIES CAR MAKES HISTORY
DURING MILLER LITE CARB DAY ACTIVITIES
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., FRIDAY, May 27, 2005 – Jimmy Kite, replacement driver of the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone entry in the Indianapolis 500, today made history as he drove an Ethanol-powered IndyCar for the first time in over 50 years during Miller Lite Carb Day Activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kite, who is substituting for injured driver Paul Dana, drove the Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara fueled with a 50/50 ethanol and methanol blend. During the 10-lap demo, Kite got the car up to speeds over 220 mph. The last time a car competed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway running on ethanol was 1927 with driver Leon Duray.
“It was exciting to be a part of this historic moment in IRL history. It was great that we could show people today that this car can run strong and get up to speed.”
The IndyCar Series has announced that it will switch to ethanol as its fuel source beginning with a 10% blend in 2006 and moving to 100% fuel-grade Ethanol in 2007. full release (Word doc)
For more information contact Joanna Schroeder.
I tried to take a picture like this today from trackside but I wasn’t prepared and you need to practice. In one photo I got the front tires, another the rear tires and in a couple I got zipidy-do-da. When the car’s moving at 220 mph and you’re standing still it just isn’t easy. Thanks to IMS Photo for the picture!
The organization that put together the media event today at the Indianapolis Speedway that featured Team Ethanol’s #91 car making laps fueled by a 50-50 ethanol/methanol blend is the Ethanol Promotion & Information Council (EPIC). EPIC is headed by executive director, Tom Slunecka. Tom works with great folks like Joanna Schroeder, at the Integer Group, who help coordinate all the details. Besides the media invitation and registration work, there’s a bunch of detail work with the track itself and the Indy Racing League. While the car was making laps today the track announcer was describing the car and talking about all the benefits of ethanol for the crowd that was already here.