With brown chow chow Hufflepuff in tow, Simon Pagenaud acknowledges he’s attracted more attention around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I actually talked to about 100 people already this morning, which never happens,” Pagenaud said.
Hufflepuff – aptly named as HP is the primary sponsor of the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car that Pagenaud drives in the IZOD IndyCar Series – is Pagenaud’s foster dog. He’s hoping the added attention raises awareness and funds for the Humane Society of Indianapolis.
“I love dogs, but unfortunately with all the travel I can’t really own a dog,” Pagenaud said. “That wouldn’t be very nice to the dog for its own life, so I foster dogs. The goal is to get those dogs adopted, and hopefully I don’t end up with too many dogs at the end of the year.”
Rutherford among USAC Hall of Fame inductees
Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Johnny Rutherford will be inducted into the United States Auto Club Hall of Fame on May 18 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind.
“That's a neat deal,” Rutherford said. “There is going to be a Silver Crown race and will honor the inductees, and I am really honored.”
Rutherford won the 1965 USAC National Sprint Car Championship and was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1995.
“I get introduced all the time as a three-time Indy winner, and young people will say to me, ‘What years?’ and I will say ‘74, ‘76 and ’80, and they get a blank look on their face and say, ‘I wasn't born until 1983.’ ”
Tony Bettenhausen, Tom Bigelow, Jack Hewitt, Earl Baltes, Henry Banks, Pancho Carter, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, A.J. Watson, Don White and Bob Wilke also will be inducted.
Racing to Recovery Gala to honor Speyer
The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation will host the 14th Racing to Recovery Gala on May 22 at The Crane Bay in Indianapolis.
During the event, SSPF founder Sam Schmidt will present the 2013 Legends of Racing Award to Al Speyer, executive director of Firestone Racing. The Foundation’s Visionary Award will also be presented to both Indiana University Health and Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine.
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Cyclops Gear, a boutique line of recording eyewear, will be the primary sponsor of the Dale Coyne Racing entry in the Indianapolis 500 for driver Pippa Mann. The Honda-powered entry will run this month in association with Stenz Construction, Royal Spa and Bell Helmets. … Team Penske drivers AJ Allmendinger, Helio Castroneves and Will Power will greet shoppers/fans at the Meijer store in Carmel, Ind., from 7:30-8:30 p.m. May 14. They'll be giving away five pair of Race Day tickets, plus rides will be given in the Indy Racing Experience street-legal two-seater in the parking lot. … GEICO will be an associate sponsor on the No. 11 HYDROXYCUT -KV Racing-SH Racing car driven by Tony Kanaan for the Indianapolis 500. It’s the sixth consecutive year that GEICO has sponsored a KV Racing Technology car at Indy.