IIRNLS Briefs:/I Panther In The Desert

He’s been Panther Racing’s driver for just more than a month, but Sam Hornish Jr. will finally get behind the wheel of his new ride next week when he participates in a test in the West with the team.

Hornish and the Panther team will head to Phoenix International Raceway’s 1-mile oval on Dec. 3 and 4 for some of their first laps together. In the process, Hornish could get a sneak preview of the 2001 season, which opens at Phoenix on March 18.

Hornish inherited the Panther ride formerly held by Scott Goodyear, who won’t be rejoining the team in 2001 and looks headed to Team Cheever as Eddie Cheever Jr.’s teammate.

Hornish, 21, finished fourth in the IRNLS rookie of the year standings with PDM Racing.

Hornish’s replacement at PDM has not been announced nor his teammate at Panther, which is expected to field a two-car team next year.

Panther’s appearance at Phoenix is part of a private test, not an IRNLS open test.

Sponsor Announcement Planned: The IRNLS’s inaugural race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will get a "major corporate sponsor" next week.

The title sponsor will unveiled at 1:15 p.m. Monday at a press conference at Monty’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach.

Eddie Cheever Jr. and Robbie Buhl will be a part of the announcement when they drive their Infiniti-powered cars to Monty’s. The IRNLS veterans will make the 2.6-mile journey from Watson Island across the MacArthur Causeway to Monty's Stone Crab. Their publicity stunt will take approximately one hour.

The inaugural IRNLS event at the 1-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway is April 8.

Lazier, Cheever Up for Awards: 2000 IRNLS champion Buddy Lazier and 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. have been nominated for the 2000 Auto Racing All-America team, which is selected by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association.

The other nominees in the open-wheel category are CART champion Gil de Ferran, 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Montoya and CART drivers Roberto Moreno and Adrian Fernandez.

Two drivers from each category -- open-wheel racing, road racing, short-track racing, stock-car racing, drag racing and at-large -- will be named to the 12-person All-America team. The team will be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet on Jan. 13 in Pomona, Calif.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
TV Start:
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