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NHMS Notebook

TV deal finalized

ABC and IndyCar Series partnered through 2018

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / August 11, 2011

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A new car. A new engine manufacturer. And now, a new TV deal.

Izod IndyCar Series officials, who have unveiled the new Dallara chassis for next year and welcomed Chevrolet back to the sport, yesterday announced an agreement with ABC to continue as the series’s exclusive broadcast partner through 2018.

ABC will televise five races each year, including the Indianapolis 500.

ABC is televising Sunday’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, in addition to the season-ending Izod World Championship Oct. 16 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“IndyCar is very excited about our continued relationship with ABC,’’ said IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard in a statement. “This new contract also helps us expand our presence around the world with ESPN representing our international rights.

“This deal will help our series, team owners, sponsors and fans for the long term with a much more solid foundation.’’

Taste of Brazil Brazilian drivers Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, and Ana Beatriz attended a press function yesterday at the Muqueca Restaurant in Cambridge, where they were treated to some of their favorite Brazilian dishes and posed for photographs with clientele, wait staff, kitchen staff, and owners of the establishment.

Kanaan said he was aware of the strong Brazilian contingent in Boston and attempted to get some of them out to a test session last summer at NHMS by circulating fliers in Portugese among the community.

“Look at this little restaurant,’’ said Kanaan. “It was built by two couples, and you see all the Brazilians coming here for lunch. Motor racing is huge in Brazil, but wherever we go, there are Brazilians everywhere.

“At Mid-Ohio [last week] we saw some, but here in Boston there’s a huge community. It’ll be nice to see some of them come out to the racetrack.’’

Visiting hours Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay visited Children’s Hospital in Boston yesterday as a representative of Racing for Kids . . . Robbie Buhl, a 1985 graduate of New England College in Henniker, N.H., was at the forefront of the Racing for Kids initiative when he was a driver. Now a co-owner with the two-car Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team, Buhl will return to NHMS, where he recorded the first of his two career IndyCar wins in 1997 . . . Kanaan said he would squeeze some special events into his schedule in October. After the IndyCar Series event at Kentucky Speedway Oct. 2, which comes on the heels of a race at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan, Sept. 17, Kanaan will travel to Hawaii to compete in the Ironman Triathlon. He is an avid triathlete but has never competed in an Ironman event. “I’ll be doing the Indianapolis 500 of triathlons,’’ he said. He will fly from Hawaii to Las Vegas for the Izod World Championship, then head out to Australia to compete in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercar event at Surfer’s Paradise Oct. 21-23.

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.