• UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Sherwin-Williams announced a multi-year agreement to be the official paint and finishing partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar series, and related properties. It puts an official end to the time when Fred Rhue and Jim Chapman made PPG Industries the largest corporate contributor to the Indy 500 prize fund. Rhue was PPG's refinishing division VP and PR legend Chapman's late-night negotiation with then IMS President Joe Cloutier made the Indy 500 a points-paying event in CART's PPG Indy Car World Series.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

PRUETT: GRAND-AM WITH NASCAR or I-500?

Scott Pruett, who I consider to be one of America's most under-appreciated racers despite all his wins and championships, was the Newsmaker of the Week guest on Wednesday night's The Race Reporters on PowerUpChannel.com. He and Telmex Lexus-Riley co-driver Memo Rojas are five points out of the championship lead with two Grand-Am events to go. Next up is Utah's Miller Motorsports Park Sept. 19. John Oreovicz, of ESPN.com, and Jim Pedley, managing editor of RacinToday.com, joined me in questioning Pruett. Mark Armijo also was on the journalists' roundtable. I addressed the John Force-Tony Pedregon controversy head-on in my opening commentary and we had a lively discussion about it during the roundtable.

I asked Pruett about last week's historic Grand-Am test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I asked him if there would be a race at IMS, and, if so, when, and sprint or enduro? His answer surprised me and, I think, made some news:

"We can put on a show there like they've never seen before . . . I'm thinking something like six hours or 12 hours where we start in daytime and go into night . . . Everybody's really excited about the opportunity . . . The biggest question mark is when do we go? Do we try to do something with the Indy 500, say on a Friday, or Thursday? Do we try to do something with the Brickyard (400) on Friday or Saturday? Or do we do a stand-alone race? . . . I think that opportunity is out there. I'm hopeful for 2010."

Listen to the entire show using this link:

http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=40919

Upcoming guests:

September 16 -- Newsmaker: Lee White. Panelists: Matt Yocum, Peter De Lorenzo.

September 23 -- Newsmaker: Jeg Coughlin Jr. Panelists: Alan Reinhart, Mike Kerchner, Jeff Burk.

Sept. 30 -- John Daly (editor, The Daly Planet.) Panelists: Lewis Franck, Jonathan Ingram.

October 7 -- Gil de Ferran. Panelists: Mike Harris, Gordon Kirby.

[ more next Tuesday. . . ]