HONDA INDY TORONTO RAIN DELAY BUT TV & INDY STARS SHINE BRIGHT!

20140719_123238TV’s SARAH FISHER meets Indy’s SARAH FISHER…. and throw in one of the hottest young Indy drivers, JOSEF NEWGARDEN, and we have a sparkling media opp that blows the rain clouds away here in Toronto….at least for a couple of hours! Yesterday (Saturday), Degrassi tv star Sarah Fisher got to meet her namesake and Google-search “twin”, Indy racing trailblazer Sarah Fisher and although we were rained out after several attempts to start the race (with Josef in the #67 car), we all had a blast at the SFHR team trailer as well as being in the pits and on the grid with the team. As a race fan, I was thrilled and honoured to be a part of this exciting event and even through the rain, I was cheering Josef as he tore past us, hydroplaning and avoiding several spin-outs by other competitors as they at least tried to get a clean start. Hopefully today, Sunday, they can get enough laps in, prior to the main race later this afternoon, and Josef will add a few more points to his standings (and hopefully get a podium finish, too).

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Degrassi’s Sarah Fisher (www.sarahfisher.ca) joined the cast of the critically acclaimed show three seasons ago as a series regular playing Becky BakerDegrassi has featured her singing on the show and will be using two of her original songs in the upcoming season.  A classically trained vocalist, she sings in many varied genres of music including pop, opera, jazz and musical theatre and this past week, she released her debut single/video, “Ceiling” (avail. on iTunes and YouTube)

At just 33-years-old, the other Sarah Fisher has competed in nine Indianapolis 500′s, been voted “Most Popular Driver” four times in two separate Series (IndyCar and NASCAR), been awarded “Indy’s Best & Brightest Leaders Under 40″ and enters her seventh season as an IndyCar team owner – Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (www.sfhracing.com).  Sarah is the first woman to qualify fastest for a major North American open-wheel event, the fastest woman to ever qualify for the Indy 500 and is the youngest woman to compete at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In May 2010, Fisher made her ninth start in the Indy 500, marking the most starts for a woman in the 93-year history of the race. As team owner, Sarah is now helping guide the career of 23yr old Josef Newgarden, a native of Nashville, TN (www.josefnewgarden.com) who joined the two Sarah’s for Saturday’s photo shoot and interviews.

Below are some candid shots of the media scrum and race preparations, plus a cool rock’n’roll photo shoot by my social media friend, Timothy Khan (www.mynameiskhan.ca) who is currently working on a David Bowie documentary project incorporating stunning gold guitars courtesy of designer, Phillip Jarrell.  Scroll down and check out the Sarah’s + Josef striking their best rockstar poses!

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Here’s Timothy with Sarah and a hole lotta shakin’ going on, even Josef tried his best rock star moves much to the delight of fans and onlookers!

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SFHR’s Director of Mkt’g, Drew Coomes, picked up a guitar, too!

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We were thrilled to welcome TV host Shannon Skinner of Extraordinary Women TV (in orange blazer) to the paddock, and Shannon intervied both Sarah’s and even asked me a few quick questions about my book on the history of women auto racers. I’ll link those interviews here once the show airs. http://www.ExtraordinarywomenTV.com

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No Indy race is won without the hard work of the entire team – the mechanics, the techies, the wheel changers, the jackman, the fuel guys and crew chief. They were all so busy working on Josef’s #67 car while all the cameras were rolling, but I got a chance to snap a few shots of the guys….thanks for putting up with all the disruption, fellas.

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Racer Sarah was so kind in allowing TV Sarah to sit in the cockpit of Josef’s car and feel what it’s like in the hot seat.

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Even TV Sarah’s handsome beau, Michael, got the chance of a lifetime to sit in the car and pose with a guitar!

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Soon, it was time for a few autographs for Josef’s fans then off to the grid for driver intro’s and the national anthems of the US and Canada…..

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Race time…so back to the pit box to wait for the start!

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And then down came the rain! At least we got to watch some of the rain-soaked action on the monitor in the pit tent.

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My photographer, Gabriella, and I bailed at about 5:30pm after several false starts & spin-outs and numerous bags of chips that we pinched from the crew snack box!!  TV Sarah’s mum and dad, Laureen and Stuart were also in attendance and it truly was an opportunity of a lifetime to join the SFHR team for the afternoon. I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to team PR goddess BECCA BORNHOST of GRand-Solutions in Indianapolis without whom none of yesterday’s media opps would have taken place. Becca tried to avoided our cameras but here she is (in teal t-shirt) in full-on work mode.

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We also got a chance to meet Josef’s dad, Joey (at right, with Drew – below) who was so enthusiastic for his racing son, and a fountain of race information and tech stuff.

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Lots more cool photos will be posted later as soon as Gabriella downloads all the great pics she snapped. Hope you enjoy today’s races…rain rain go away!!

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