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Gordon and Montoya to Swap Race Cars at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (April 18, 2003) – Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced April 17 that four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula One superstar Juan Pablo Montoya will participate in speed demonstration laps in their cars on Wednesday, June 11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Gordon and Montoya will trade places at the speedway when they take turns driving laps around the 2.606-mile road course in Gordon’s No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet and Montoya’s BMW WilliamsF1 BMW FW25.

This will be the first time that Gordon and Montoya will be behind the wheel of a Formula One car and Winston Cup car, respectively.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff is excited to play host to such an event,” said Joie Chitwood, senior vice president of IMS business affairs. “Jeff and Juan are race car drivers who love to drive cars—fast. So it’s going to be fun to watch them experiment in different cars on the road course.”

Gordon will attempt to win his fourth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, Aug. 3 at the speedway. He has competed in 12 events on the oval: nine Winston Cup races and three IROC events. The demonstration laps will be his first laps on the IMS road course.

“There are a lot of things to coordinate to make this happen,” said Gordon. “I’m just excited about this opportunity. It’s something I’ve dreamed of, just getting behind the wheel of an F1 car and seeing what it was like.

“I don’t plan on going F1 racing, but I would love to just get that experience.”

Montoya, who won the 2000 Indianapolis 500, will attempt to become the first driver in Speedway history to win on both the famed 2.5-mile oval and road course when he competes in the fourth United States Grand Prix on Sept. 28. He is in his third season with BMW WilliamsF1 and has one career win, 10 pole positions and is sixth in the 2003 FIA Driver’s Championship.

“The experience will be very interesting, and driving a big, heavy NASCAR car will certainly be different,” said Montoya. “I don’t think Jeff should be concerned that I will take away his job, but I will enjoy the opportunity of driving his Chevrolet and letting him take my BMW WilliamsF1 Team car for a drive on Indy’s road course.”

In addition to the demonstration laps, Montoya and Gordon will participate in a media luncheon and press conference. Fans will have free access to IMS’s South Terrace grandstands for viewing.

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