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$5 Million Prize On Wheldon’s Shoulders

Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon will be gunning for another big prize next month in Las Vegas. Photo by IMS Photo A victory by Dan Wheldon in the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships will be prosperous for the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion and one fortunate fan.

GoDaddy.com, the world's largest provider of Web hosting, domain name registrations and net new SSL Certificates, will sponsor The Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge as part of the Oct. 16 IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during which Wheldon will attempt to earn a cool $2.5 million for himself and $2.5 million for a fan.

The odds won't be in Wheldon's favor as he'll start the 200-lap race from the rear of the star-studded fieldof more than 30 cars in the No. 98 car jointly entered by Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian and sponsors Bowers & Wilkins, William Rast, Curb and Big Machine Records.

But if Wheldon takes the checkered flag, he and the sweepstakes winner will pick up their checks in Victory Circle.

“We said at the beginning of the season we wanted to offer our fans value, competition and entertainment, and hosting The Go Daddy Challenge with a charge through the field will only further heighten the drama around what’s shaping up to be one of our biggest season finales,” INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said. “We set out to prove that we have the best drivers in the world and putting Dan at the back of a 30-plus car field to weave his way through traffic at speeds in excess of 215 mph will certainly prove that.”

Beginning Sept. 14, fans can enter through the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile App (text INDY to 3406 or go to Android Market to download) or www.IndyCarWorldChampionships.com

The sweepstakes winner also will will receive the trip of a lifetime to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships, which includes airfare, hotel, VIP access at the Kickoff Party and racetrack and more totaling more than $10,000. They'll cheer on Wheldon at the racetrack.

Wheldon, a resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., beat the odds to win the 100th  anniversary Indianapolis 500 in the No. 98 BHA/Curb-Agajanian entry in the team’s second-ever Indy 500. He qualified sixth in the 33-car field and charged to the checkered flag on the final lap. That entry also represented a partnership between the BHA and SSM teams.

The two-time Indy 500 winner and 2005 series champion has 16 victories in his 132 IZOD IndyCar Series starts.

“I am really excited to return in the No. 98 entry with SSM and BHA to follow-up our success at this year’s Indy 500 and go after another race win, especially with this carrot on the end of the stick,” said Wheldon, the 2012 car test driver who put in three days on the Sebring International course last week. “I actually met Go Daddy CEO and founder Bob Parsons the morning of this year’s Indy 500 race, so maybe he’s my lucky charm. We had a first-class program for Indy, and I am confident that we will be a strong contender again in Vegas.

"Hopefully, myself and one lucky fan will be smiling on Oct. 16.”

The IZOD INDYCAR World Championships, which will be broadcast at 3 p.m. (ET) on ABC, is the culmination of the 17-event schedule on the most diverse set of racetracks in motorsports. The eventual champion will have had to consistently rank among the top performers on road and temporary street circuits along with short ovals and superspeedways.

Heading into the final road course race of the season – at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan – this weekend, three-time series champion Dario Franchitti had a five-point lead over Will Power. It's likely that the title duel will flow into the season finale for the sixth consecutive year.

Verizon, the Official Wireless Service Provider for INDYCAR, will create exclusive behind-the-scenes content documenting Wheldon’s quest for The Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge through its INDYCAR Mobile app, which allows users to access exclusive content, including a camera in Race Control during events, along with videos, real-time Timing & Scoring and other content.

“We have to thank are partners at Go Daddy and Verizon for stepping up and offering this once-in-a-lifetime experience to our fans," Bernard added. "Go Daddy is always ready for an exciting challenge and willing to take things to the limits, and they certainly have kept the bar high with this promotion. Verizon continues to find creative ways to engage fans through its mobile app, and this just another example of how they are providing access like never before.”

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