At speeds of up to 200 mph, race fans will see one of the most diverse starting line-ups in the world when the IZOD IndyCar Series stars race into New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the MoveThatBlock.com INDY 225 on Sunday.
The series’ drivers represent 13 different countries and today Brazilian racers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Ana Beatriz joined NHMS executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens for some Brazilian style dining at the Muqueca Restaurant in Cambridge, Mass.
“One of the greatest things about the IZOD IndyCar Series is the diversity,” said Gappens. “Not only do they have the traditional American motorsport names like Andretti and Rahal, they have an international flair for the fans. It really shows the tremendous growth of the series.”
Behind the wheel of the No. 3 Team Penske machine, Castroneves boasts 226 career INDYCAR starts which includes 25 wins and 35 pole positions. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner also was crowned champion on ABC televisions’ hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” He will look to capture his first lobster this weekend at “The Magic Mile.”
“I am really excited to be racing up here,” said Castroneves. “This is a new place for us. This area seems to be a real big NASCAR area so we hope people really enjoy the IZOD IndyCar Series. It’s going to be a challenge but it’s always exciting to have a new challenge.”
Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 82 Geico KV Racing Technology-Lotus became the first driver to complete every lap of every race for an entire season on his way to winning his 2004 series championship. Kannan is one of the few drivers who have tested at NHMS.
“I tested here last year and I expect a great race,” said Kanaan. “It is going to be very competitive and I think we are definitely going to see everyone fighting for position.”
Driver of the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing machine, Ana Beatriz is in her first full IZOD IndyCar Series season, after two years of success in the Firestone Indy Lights Series in 2008 and 2009. This weekend’s race will be the 26-year-old rookie’s first visit to the Granite State.
“It is going to be a new experience for everyone,” she said. “The passing will be hard but I think it will be a great show for the fans. I know my team has a great car for me, so I hope we will do well.”
The MoveThatBlock.com INDY 225 weekend is jam-packed with excitement that includes the IZOD IndyCar Series, the Firestone Indy Lights Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the American-Canadian Tour. Tickets can be purchased by calling the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting www.nhms.com.