Verizon IndyCar Series team owner and recent Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Rahal will be the grand marshal of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers this weekend.

His son, Graham, drives the No. 15 National Guard car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The second doubleheader of the season features 90-lap races on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn circuit at NRG Park at 2 p.m. (Central) June 28 and 29.

Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Will Power of Team Penske won the races last October.

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On June 25 (11:30 a.m.), a parade of Verizon IndyCar Series transporters will fill city streets in conjunction with a kickoff event at One Shell Plaza, featuring an autograph session with Verizon IndyCar Series drivers.

Sato's race-worn helmet earns $31,350 for charity

Takuma Sato and A.J. FoytWith you Japan, the program founded by Takuma Sato in 2011 to assist families following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country's northeastern coast, will receive $31,350 thanks to the auction of the helmet Sato wore in the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile race on May 25.

A longtime supporter of Sato who lives in Japan submitted the winning bid for the helmet, which was signed by Sato and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Verizon IndyCar Series team owner A.J. Foyt. Another donor matched the winning bid for the grand total.

"It is great news that this auction raised a huge amount for With you Japan," Sato said. "A big congratulations to the successful bidder, and I really appreciate all donors who put in extra contributions. Japan is still struggling from the effects of the tsunami so with your help, we will continue to support children in a way to have some fun activities and encourage their dreams.”

Yellow Party Houston features unique auction items

Ryan and Beccy Hunter-Reay will host The Yellow Party, the official kickoff to the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers, on June 26 at AutoNation’s Mercedes Benz Greenway in River Oaks.

The event, with proceeds benefiting The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Racing for Cancer, will include an auction with items such as the opportunity to present the third-place trophy following either the June 28 or June 29 race, an autographed Johnny Manziel football and race-worn Verizon IndyCar Series gear. To purchase tickets, visit

Of note

The No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car driven by Carlos Huertas won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. Firestone awards $10,000 to the entrant of the car in pit lane the shortest amount of accumulated time during the race. The entry must complete 95 percent of the race laps. ... Garth Rickards, 21, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., who leads the F1600 championship standings through six races, will make his USF2000 debut with JDC Motorsports in the July 19-20 doubleheader on the streets of Toronto.