Story posted - Mar 20 2013 1:06 PM


Today's IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:
1. Butler mascots provide March Madness to ECR
2. New partners added for 2013 season
3. Standardized push to pass for road/street circuits
4. Allied to sponsor Pro Mazda, USF2000 events
5. Peninsula Pipeline Provides Title Sponsorship for USF2000 race

1. Butler mascots provide March Madness to ECR: Ed Carpenter Racing got a dose of March Madness at its Indianapolis headquarters in advance of the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Butler University mascots Butler Blue II and Butler Blue III visited the team owned by Butler graduate Ed Carpenter for a preseason pep talk as part of their Big Dawgs Tour.

While Carpenter and the Fuzzy's Vodka racing team heads to St. Petersburg on Thursday, the Butler men's basketball team will be competing in Lexington, Ky., in the second round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament against Bucknell.

"It would be tough to sit out going the NCAA games this weekend with Butler back in the tournament," said Carpenter, a regular at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse during the basketball season. "But it's time to go racing. I'm excited for the season to begin this weekend. It seems like a long time ago since we won that season finale at Fontana (MAVTV500 on Sept. 15). But you know I will be with the Bulldogs in spirit this weekend. I wish Coach (Brad) Stevens, his staff and the team all of the best Thursday afternoon."

2. New partners added for 2013 season: INDYCAR has strengthened its sponsorship portfolio adding Jostens and SOS Global Express as official partners for 2013.

SOS Global Express, which will be INDYCAR's official logistics supplier, is a full-service domestic and international freight forwarder that has served the broadcast industry since 1986. Its primary responsibility will be to handle the transport of the IZOD IndyCar Series' equipment and team cargo to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the event in May.

"SOS is thrilled to work with INDYCAR to handle the Sao Paulo race and appreciates the confidence that they have shown in us," said Fernando Soler, president of SOS Global Express. "Our continued growth in international events is vital to our business."

Jostens will provide championship trophies and rings to the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights champions, as well as the championship ring to the Pro Mazda Championship and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship winners.

In addition, Jostens will provide the trophies for the Fuzzy's Triple Crown and pole awards in the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.

"Jostens is known for providing championship commemorative products for athletes and their fans," said Curt Bruns, vice president of Jostens Motorsports Division. "We couldn't be prouder to provide trophies and championship rings to the IZOD IndyCar Series champion driver as well as the future stars of the sport."

3. Standardized push to pass for road/street circuits: Standardized push-to-pass parameters are among the engineering updates incorporated into the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook.

Push-to-pass, which was introduced to the new engine-chassis package last July on the streets of Toronto, will have parameters for each of the road/street course events, including doubleheader races at Detroit, Toronto and Houston. The option gives drivers a turbocharger boost from 21.7 Psi to 23.2 Psi and additional 200 RPM with the push of a button located on the steering wheel.

There's no delay in activation or refresh time.

"If the driver chooses to use one, they can't cancel it. It's use it or lose it," INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips said. "That in itself makes it more difficult to choose to use as a defense mechanism rather than as an overtaking opportunity. You'll have to be careful because there are only 10 opportunities to use it during a race. The length of each push of the button should cover the longest straight, if that's where they choose to use it, of each circuit."

For the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, drivers will be allowed 10 pushes for a 15-second duration or 150 seconds of total time.

4. Allied to sponsor Pro Mazda, USF2000 events: Allied Building Products has expanded its partnership and title race sponsorship for 2013 with Andersen Promotions, promoters of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, to include the Pro Mazda Series.

A leader in the wholesale building materials industry, Allied will be the title sponsor of five Pro Mazda and USF2000 events encompassing 10 races. The company has added two venues in its third year of support and will kick off with this week's Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a Pro Mazda doubleheader in support of INDYCAR in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"We are absolutely delighted and honored that Allied Building Products has decided to expand its involvement to five events this season and also include Pro Mazda," said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. "They are a tremendous partner and they do an amazing job at utilizing our races as an entertainment platform. I have had the pleasure of being associated with Allied dating back to 2008 when Andersen Racing was operating, and it is personally rewarding to see our relationship continue and for Pro Mazda and USF2000 to be aligned with such a highly respected company."

Allied's two divisions - Interior Building Products and Exterior Building Products - will share the 2013 program. Both divisions will be present at the St. Petersburg Pro Mazda and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca USF2000 rounds, while the Interior Building Products group will headline the Toronto USF2000 and Houston Pro Mazda events and the Exterior Building Products Group the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Pro Mazda venue.

5. Peninsula Pipeline Provides Title Sponsorship for USF2000 race: Dover, Del.-based Peninsula Pipeline, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, will be the title sponsor of the March 24 Peninsula Pipeline Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Peninsula Pipeline plays a significant role in improving Florida's fuel diversity and competitiveness by increasing the availability of natural gas in areas not currently served.

All 31 cars on the USF2000 grid will carry Peninsula Pipeline branding throughout the event.


The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season opens with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 24 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be televised live at noon (ET) by the NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, on SiriusXM (Channel 211) and The 2013 Firestone Indy Lights season begins March 23 on the streets of St. Petersburg. The race will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network at 11 a.m. (ET) on March 24, immediately preceding the IZOD IndyCar Series race broadcast.

If you were a TSO subscriber - you could comment on this article and tell us what YOU think.


Canadian Teenager Hargrove Leads 31-Car USF2000 Entry to St. Petersburg << Home Page >> FAST FACTS: ST. PETERSBURG 100 2013 FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS SEASON STARTS ON STREETS OF ST. PETE