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Heroes of the Brickyard @ TMS

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CONTACT: Sarona Winfrey

Gary Guehler

-- For Immediate Release


FORT WORTH-DALLAS (September 10, 2003) - The greatest drivers in the history of the Indianapolis 500 will pull on helmets and driving suits to compete one more time in the Firestone Heroes of Indy at Texas Motor Speedway October 12.

The event will showcase past winners and newsmakers of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" competing in Thunder Roadsters on a quarter-mile paved oval prior to the Sunday afternoon Chevy 500k IRL IndyCar Series race, the series' season finale that will determine the season-long point championship.

"The Firestone Heroes of Indy race will be an opportunity to honor the sport's legendary names on the very day we crown the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series champion," said Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Eddie Gossage. "Indy Car racing enjoys a rich heritage that is unparalleled in American motorsports and the drivers competing in this event have written page after page into our sport's history book. These men are giants in the sports world and to get them all together again offers all of us a unique privilege."

The Firestone Heroes of Indy will pit ten of the greatest drivers in the history

of the Indianapolis 500 in a 25-lap showdown driving identically-prepared

Thunder Roadsters. The Texas contingent of drivers introduced at a press

conference held at Texas Motor Speedway were Johnny Rutherford, a three-time Indy 500 winner, Lloyd Ruby and Jim McElreath while fellow Texan, four-time Indianapolis 500 victor A.J. Foyt, will serve as the event's Grand Marshal.

"We've spoken to some of the most famous Indy Car drivers from around the world, but this first set of drivers is special to us because all of them are from

Texas," said Gossage. "We believe the reason our two IRL IndyCar races draw the largest crowds of the season outside of the Indy 500 is because of the rich heritage Texas has in Indy Car racing. In large part, that history and heritage is due to these three men."

"For nearly 100 years Firestone has been involved in competition at the highest levels of motorsports," said Al Speyer, Executive Director Firestone Racing. "More Indy 500 winners have crossed the finish line on Firestone tires than all other tire companies combined. We are proud to be associated with some of the greatest drivers in history and are honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to these men who have contributed so much to the sport."

The Firestone Heroes of Indy will include a full weekend of activities

celebrating the accomplishments of drivers who established much of the history of the Indianapolis 500. In addition to practice and qualifying for the race, the participants will participate in autograph sessions open to the public and a special Heroes reception featuring "Mom" Unser's fabled chili, a longtime tradition with participants at the Indianapolis 500.

The remaining Firestone Heroes of Indy participants will be announced shortly. Rutherford received three Borg-Warner trophies for his Indianapolis 500 victories in 1974, 1976 and 1980. "Lone Star JR" competed in 24 Memorial Day weekend classics and ranks sixth in career "500" mileage at 6,980 miles. Rutherford started from the Indianapolis 500 pole in 1973, 1976 and 1980.

Ruby is considered one of the "hard luck" drivers in Indianapolis 500 history. He finished third in the 1964 "500." Ruby also led the Indianapolis 500 in 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971 but had Lady Luck frown on him each time. He captured seven career Indy Car victories.

McElreath's best Indianapolis 500 finish was third in 1966. The Texan won the inaugural California 500 Indy Car race at Ontario Motor Speedway and finished second in the 1966 United States Auto Club national championship.

Foyt is one of only two four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500, having his image on the Borg-Warner trophy for victories in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977. He led 555 race laps during his 35 consecutive Indy 500 events and logged more "500" miles than any other driver, 12,272.5.

Thunder Roadsters are produced by 600 Racing and resemble the roadsters that dominated the Indianapolis 500 and Indy Car racing through the 1950s and 1960s. The cars are powered by a 1250cc Yamaha engine and will be sporting special Firestone Firehawk tires for the event.

Tickets to the October 12 Chevy 500k and the Firestone Heroes of Indy are available daily at the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com

<http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com> and at Ticketmaster locations.

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