Fat Albert Gives the Ride of a Lifetime

Interviews with Five IndyCar Series Drivers and Fat Albert Highlight a Media Event that Attracted More Than Thirty-Five People

Drivers with Fat Albert Crew

IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Mike Conway, EJ Viso, Hideki Mutoh, and Elmira-Corning Regional Airport General Manager Ann Crook pose with the crew of Fat Albert following the flight.

More than thirty-five people gathered at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport on Friday afternoon for an event featuring a flight by Fat Albert of the Navy’s Blue Angels.  The crowd included everyone from IndyCar Series drivers, to photographers, news reporters, radio personalities and PR reps.  The event was highlighted by a special flight in Fat Albert, the C-130 Hercules transporter for the Blue Angels, and an actual practice run for the team’s demonstration in the Binghamton Air Show.  Five IndyCar Series drivers attended the event for the thrill of a Fat Albert flight and to conduct countless interviews with the media.  Drivers in attendance included Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Hideki Mutoh, Mike Conway and EJ Viso.  Fat Albert will be providing the fly-over for Sunday’s Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen on July 6. 

“When you’re driving you know what to expect,” said Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and three-time winner at Watkins Glen International.  “A big piece of machinery moving at this speed is crazy.  It’s a lot of fun to watch everybody on the plane freak out.” 

Fat Albert performed a myriad of thrilling tricks, as it did everything from pulling 3Gs of force, to experiencing negative force giving the passengers a feeling of weightlessness.  The huge C-130 Hercules performed a 270 degree turn to demonstrate the plane’s maneuverability, and a push to land where the plane came in for a landing at a 25 degree nose down angle.  Following the flight demonstration, Fat Albert headed back to the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport.  Before landing, Fat Albert flew over Watkins Glen International as a final practice for Sunday’s fly-over and to give passengers a bird’s eye view of the track. 

“It was amazing,” commented Dario Franchitti, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing and current leader of the IndyCar Series championship points.  “I wish that weightless take off was longer.  The high G-forces, the maneuverability was very cool.” 

Tickets for the entire 2009 season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now!  Celebrate the Fourth of July with the 5th Annual Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen weekend, July 3-5.  On-track action will be headlined by the IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights, F2000 Championship Series and the SCCA SPEED World Challenge.  Weekend tickets begin at just $55, and general admission for kids 12 and under is FREE when accompanied by an adult.  For tickets and information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official Watkins Glen International website at www.TheGlen.com.  Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can be all purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen-Open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4, Closed Sunday; 607-535-2338.

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