Teen Gets Help From Howard

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IndyCar Series driver Jay Howard will lend his driving expertise to a music-obsessed teen with a less than stellar driving reputation as part of a promotion for MTV.

Howard, who recently signed with Sarah Fisher Racing for the 2010 season, participated in the "The Road to the Woodies" which will air beginning Oct. 28 during MTV's Real World/Road Rules (RW/RR) Challenge: The Ruins. During the challenge, a teen driver named Lauren must pass Howard's four-part driving challenge to earn a trip to the MTVu Woodie Awards in New York.

"When I learned how to drive, I was on a race track and everyone was going the same way," said Howard, the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion who will run a limited schedule in 2010 that includes the 2010 Indianapolis 500. "Sometimes I think driving on the interstate is more dangerous than driving on a race track. There are so many distractions for drivers today. For this lesson, we're focusing on car control and safety. There will be no texting while driving on my watch."

In a four-part, short-form "Road to the Woodies", MTV will document the Lauren's journey where she learns to improve her driving skills with the help of Howard, while her parents evaluate the results of each challenge via in-car camera technology. Each episode ends with a pass/fail report, which provides assistance to new and inexperienced drivers through an inspirational program that rewards safe drivers.

"Teens must overcome significant challenges as beginning drivers," said Lisa Bacus, vice president of marketing for American Family Insurance "The MTV campaign with IndyCar(Series) driver Jay Howard and Mindshare Entertainment illustrates the challenges real teens face and, with the use of the innovative technology of the Teen Safe Driver Program, shows how direct involvement vastly improves driving habits. Thanks to Jay for being the teen's coach throughout the series."

If Lauren completes the challenges with less than 10 points on her report, she will join Howard on the red carpet and attend the 2009 mtvU Woodie Awards in NYC at the Roseland Ballroom in December.

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