IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy headlines

1. Foyt prepares for milestone birthday

2. Kanaan celebrates birth of son "Deco"

3. Hunter-Reay receives Baby Borg

4. Rahal celebrates Ohio State football national championship

5. Ganassi first Verizon IndyCar Series cars on track at NOLA

6. Of note:

Power helps introduce Verizon vehicle technologySt. Pete tickets on saleHistoric Indy cars available for auctionTeams turn laps in new Indy Lights carMann rubs elbows with business connoisseur Trump at Komen event

1. Foyt prepares for milestone birthday: A.J. Foyt will have a low-key 80th birthday on Jan. 16 at his Houston home, which suits him just fine.

The iconic motorsports figure continues to recover from complications following a triple bypass heart surgery Nov. 12. He is expected to make a full recovery. Among "Super-Tex's" birthday festivities will include a celebratory call from Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott.

Foyt has been spending most of his time at his home but is hoping to make a visit to his ABC Supply Racing team's shop in nearby Waller, Texas -- maybe even on his birthday.

Send him a birthday greeting via Twitter here.

2. Kanaan celebrates birth of son "Deco": The Kanaans welcomed a new addition to kick off the new year. Tony Kanaan and wife, Lauren, celebrated the birth of their son, Deco.

"The family is getting bigger ... Deco has arrived. #2035indy500champ," the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner predicted on Twitter.

This is the first child for the couple, who were married in 2013. Kanaan also has an older son, Leonardo.

3. Hunter-Reay receives Baby Borg: Ryan Hunter-Reay envisioned the perfect location for his "Baby Borg" before winning the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in May 2014.

Preparation has always been key for the 34-year-old Verizon IndyCar Series driver from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who earned the series drivers' title in 2012.

"It's (going) front and center on a shelf by itself in my office at home. That and the championship trophy go together, but the Indy 500 is the one I'm most proud of," said Hunter-Reay, who was presented the BorgWarner Championship Driver's Trophy by BorgWarner CEO James Verrier during a dinner Jan. 14 as part of the Automotive News World Congress. Read more about the priceless moment at the event here.

"Winning the Indy 500 is a dream come true," said Hunter-Reay. "And just to have my name on the Borg-Warner Trophy amongst all the legends of the sport means the most to me. To finally bring something home now is great."

Hunter-Reay held off three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves by .600 of a second - the second-closest finish in race history - following a six-lap duel to the checkered flag as hundreds of thousands of spectators and millions of TV viewers stood and cheered.

Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti was also presented his third BorgWarner Championship Team Owner's Trophy. He also won in 2005 (Dan Wheldon) and 2007 (Dario Franchitti). Read the full story on IndyCar.com.

4. Rahal celebrates Ohio State football national championship: A highlight of Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal's holiday break has been the success of his home team, the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Big Ten football champions took to the national stage on Monday, Jan. 12, and defeated the Oregon Ducks in the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

"What an experience," Rahal said. "I had to be politically correct and say that other than the night that I got engaged, this was the second best night of my life. It was so cool to be at the game and be part of it as a die-hard Ohio State fan. These are the type of days that you don't get to see too often and to be there and experience it was incredible.

"I would be shocked if that was the last time I saw that in my life, but with the coaching staff at Ohio State, you feel like it could happen every year. We were at the game against Virginia Tech that they lost and just seeing the team change from that team to the team that they were at the end of the season, the team that won the championship, shows their willpower and how that can affect people. Because the team that showed up at the end was simply unstoppable and it was incredibly impressive, really cool to see."

5. Ganassi first Verizon IndyCar Series cars on track at NOLA: Former Verizon IndyCar Series champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, race winner Charlie Kimball and development driver Sage Karam participated in an all-day test session around the 13-turn, 2.67-mile NOLA Motorsports Park which will make its debut on the 2015 schedule April 10-12.

"The facility is very good and once you get the grandstands up and there's a little prep to be done to the track, it will be too," Dixon said. "Right now I think the track layout is going to be really good.

"It's exciting for us to come to New Orleans. You're never really sure for the first time how (a new track) will be received. Looking at other places that are similar in the south, like Barber (Motorsports Park), the fans are fantastic. I think the crowds will be very good. Even talking to the people at the hotel last night, they know the race is coming. They're looking forward to it. I hope we can put on a good show and we can definitely build on it."

6. Of note: St. Pete tickets on sale: Tickets to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the North American opener for the Verizon IndyCar Series and all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy, are available for purchase here. Power helps introduce Verizon vehicle technology: Will Power says that passenger car drivers with the diagnostic technology offered through Verizon Vehicle is like having a pit crew at the ready. Read more here.Historic Indy cars available for auction: The only turbine Lotus in private hands - the STP-sponsored No. 70 Lotus 56-3 driven by Graham Hill that set the Indianapolis 500 four-lap qualifying record of 171.208 mph in 1968 - is a featured item Jan. 17 during the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more details on additional items and broadcast information, click here.Teams turn laps in new Indy Lights car: Eight drivers representing five teams took part in the two-day test at the 2.034-mile Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla., and all were ecstatic about the pace, consistency and reliability of the car, which will make its race debut on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., March 28-29. Driver comments available on IndyCar.com.Mann rubs elbows with business connoisseur Trump at Komen event: Verizon IndyCar Series driver Pippa Mann rubbed elbows with business magnate and reality television star Donald Trump last weekend in Palm Beach, Fla. Because she drove the pink Susan G. Komen car last year in the Indianapolis 500 and her work with the organization, Mann was on the guest list for the 5th Anniversary Perfect Pink Party, which was on Jan. 10 at Trump's exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. Mann shared her thoughts from the event on the Verizon IndyCar Series blog.


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