INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 13, 2011) – A victory by Dan Wheldon in the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships presented by Honda will be prosperous for the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion and one fortunate fan.
GoDaddy.com, the world’s largest provider of Web hosting, domain name registrations and new SSL Certificates, will sponsor the Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge as part of the Oct. 16 IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during which Wheldon will attempt to earn a cool $2.5 million for himself and $2.5 million for a fan.
The odds won’t be in Wheldon’s favor as he’ll start the 200-lap race from the rear of the star-studded field in a car jointly entered by Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) and Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) with Curb-Agajanian and sponsors Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia, William Rast, Curb and Big Machine Records. His rivals will include IZOD IndyCar Series championship contenders Dario Franchitti and Will Power, plus Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti and others. If Wheldon wins the race, he and a sweepstakes winner will pick up their bonus checks in Victory Circle.
“We said at the beginning of the season we wanted to offer our fans value, competition and entertainment and hosting the Go Daddy Challenge with a charge through the field will only further heighten the drama around what’s shaping up to be one of our biggest IZOD INDYCAR World Championships presented by Honda,” said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. “We set out to prove that we have the best drivers in the world and putting Dan at the back of a 30-plus-car field to weave his way through traffic at speeds in excess of 215 mph will certainly prove that.”
Beginning Wednesday, fans can enter through the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile App (text INDY to 3406 or go to Android Market to download) or www.IndyCarWorldChampionships.com. In addition to the chance for $2.5 million, one fan will be selected for a trip of a lifetime to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships presented by Honda, which includes airfare, hotel, VIP access on and off track, a Verizon Wireless 4G LTE phone and tablet and more, totaling more than $10,000.
Verizon, the Official Wireless Service Provider for INDYCAR, will offer exclusive behind-the-scenes content documenting Wheldon’s quest for the Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge through its INDYCAR Mobile App. The app allows fans unprecedented race access, including live streaming from race control during the race, live in-car cameras, along with videos, real-time timing and scoring and other driver content.
“We have to thank our partners at Go Daddy and Verizon for stepping up and offering this once-in-a-lifetime experience to our fans,” Bernard said. “Go Daddy is always ready for an exciting challenge and willing to take things to the limit, and they certainly have kept the bar high with this promotion. Verizon continues to find creative ways to engage fans through its mobile app, and this is just another example of how they are providing access like never before. We feel that the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships presented by Honda will have something for everyone and will certainly make for a fun-filled week for our fans.”
Wheldon is more than capable of making his way to the front of the race lineup that is expected to top 30 drivers. The resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., beat the odds to win the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 driving the No. 98 BHA/Curb-Agajanian entry in the team’s second-ever Indy 500 and INDYCAR race. Wheldon qualified sixth in the 33-car field and charged to the checkered flag on the final lap. That entry also represented a partnership between the BHA and SSM teams.
The two-time Indy 500 winner and 2005 series champion has 16 victories and has led 2,865 laps in his 132 IZOD IndyCar Series starts.
“I am really excited to return in the No. 98 entry with SSM and BHA to follow up our success at this year’s Indy 500 and go after another race win, especially with this carrot on the end of the stick,” Wheldon said. “I actually met Go Daddy CEO and founder Bob Parsons the morning of this year’s Indy 500 race, so maybe he’s my lucky charm. We had a first-class program for Indy, and I am confident that we will be a strong contender again in Vegas with William Rast and Curb/Big Machine returning, and now Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia joining us, too. I’m ready for the Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge and, hopefully, myself and one lucky fan will be smiling on Oct. 16.”
The IZOD INDYCAR World Championships presented by Honda, which will be broadcast at 3 p.m. EDT on ABC, is the culmination of the 17-event schedule on the most diverse set of racetracks in motorsports. The eventual champion will have had to consistently rank among the top performers on road and temporary street circuits, along with short ovals and superspeedways. Heading into the final road-course race of the season this weekend at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, three-time series champion Franchitti had a five-point lead over Power.