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Rock Island Grand Prix's King of the Streets

2/22/2011

INDIANAPOLIS – Since 1994, some of karting’s biggest names have gathered each Labor Day weekend in Rock Island, Ill., with an eye on being crowned “King of the Streets.” In 2011, winning that title will come with an added bonus.

The Mazda Road to Indy and INDYCAR have announced it will award a test day in a Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda car to the driver that wins King of Streets at the Rock Island Grand Prix presented by AT&T.

The test drive is just part of a multi-year partnership between the Rock Island Grand Prix and INDYCAR.

“The Mazda Road to Indy was created to develop Formula car drivers, but linking it to karting events such as the Rock Island Grand Prix is essential in growing the program,” said Jason Penix, manager of grassroots marketing for INDYCAR. “Karting is the foundation of the Mazda Road to Indy and we are looking forward to building a link with the young drivers that want to further their career.

“I know the important role karting plays in the career of a young driver. Hopefully, those young drivers find that the Mazda Road to Indy is the best proving ground for them when they are ready to progress into cars. We’re looking forward to seeing who will win the title King of the Streets this year and to working with them during their test day.”

The winner’s USF2000 test day will be part of a program that the Mazda Road to Indy will announced at a later date. King of the Streets participants will have the option to opt in for the test drive or not, but the drive will be awarded.

“As a premier kart racing event in North America, we have seen top drivers come through Rock Island on their way to higher forms of racing. We know it is possible. The INDYCAR administration under Randy Bernard has made a clear statement in support of these opportunities though its Mazda Road to Indy program and a commitment to help top drivers at each level move up,” said Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix presented by AT&T.

“The timing is perfect for us to work closely with INDYCAR to assure that karting’s top competitors are aware of the Mazda Road to Indy opportunities and for INDYCAR to be more visible in all levels including karting. Both organizations will benefit from planned cross promotion. We would like to thank Ruthie Forbes from GRand Solutions for facilitating this deal and we look forward to working with Jason Penix and the staff at INDYCAR on this program from which both organizations should benefit for years to come.”

The Rock Island Grand Prix - recognized as the world’s largest karting street race - will be celebrating its 17th anniversary on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-4, 2011. It routinely draws entries from throughout the United States and Canada, competing for one of karting’s largest purses. It has also hosted racers from Italy, France, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, Argentina, Bermuda, the Philippines and Mexico. It includes 15 feature races in 4-cycle, 2-cycle, TAG and shifter classes.

Race details are available on the Grand Prix website at rockislandgrandprix.com or ridistrict.com .

Additional information on the USF200 program can be found at usf2000.com .

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AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the United States and one of the largest in the world. AT&T is the recognized world leader in providing IP-based communications services to business and the U.S. leader in providing wireless, high speed Internet access, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. It also has the nation’s fastest 3G network and largest international coverage of any U.S. wireless carrier. As part of its "three screen" integration strategy, AT&T is expanding video entertainment offerings to include such next-generation television services as AT&T U-verse TV. AT&T provides international voice services to virtually every country and territory in the world and has the largest number of high speed Internet access subscribers in the U.S. It is a global company that sets the industry standard for a new era of integrated communications and entertainment services. In domestic markets, Yellow Pages and yellowpages.com are leaders in directory publishing and advertising sales. The AT&T Foundation has contributed more than $1.9 billion to nonprofit organizations around the country, including $169 million in 2008. www.att.com

The Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District hosts The Rock Island Grand Prix. It features retail shops, excellent restaurants, live entertainment, dinner theater, art galleries and comedy clubs all within walking distance of the host hotel. Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is just a short drive away. Rock Island is located on the Mississippi River three hours west of Chicago in an area known as the Quad-Cities which straddles the river and the Illinois/Iowa border. It is at the intersection of Interstate highways 74, 88 and 80 and is served by Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill. ridistrict.com

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