Matt Brabham joined the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) today to take the covers off his #61 PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet that will start his Verizon IndyCar Series career this Saturday with the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The 22-year-old rookie was joined at IFD Station 7 by team owner, Brett Murray along with Battalion Chief Rita Reith and Firefighter Ross Meyer, both of whom will join the CK Crew for the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Challenge on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday May 27.
The CK Crew has been formed by the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (CKFF) in association with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to bring a unique feature to the nationally televised pit crew contest.
The CK Crew is bringing together seven military veterans and first responders from key markets around the country. While knowledgeable in their own fields of experience, they have never done a pit stop before. They will stay in Indianapolis during the lead up to the contest and train together with renowned IndyCar trainer, Jim Leo who has been working with Matt Brabham to prepare him for his two race program.
Third generation star Brabham was thrilled to have the chance to see a Verizon IndyCar Series car with his name on it in race trim for the first time and is ready for the challenges that lie ahead over the next three weeks – including the sellout Indianapolis 500.
“These last six months have just gone so quickly and it is hard to believe that I will be making my IndyCar debut in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis this weekend,” said Brabham
“There have been a lot of people who have worked hard to make this happen and then there is the amazing support and faith from Glenn Duncan and his team at PIRTEK who have been incredible since we made our December announcement.
“The test at Sebring was incredibly productive and l learned a lot of stuff that will hopefully translate straight to the track in the Angie’s List road course event.
“We backed that up with another solid day in a simulator in Charlotte, which introduced me to another way of looking at and experiencing things.
“PIRTEK Team Murray and the crew at KV Racing Technology have built a terrific group of guys led by my engineer Andy Brown and Team Manager, Mitch Davis. The history these guys have at the Speedway is well known and they have been amazing in making sure that I am focused on the job at hand.
“I have learned so much from Sebastien (Bourdais) by just being around the team for the opening races of the season as well.”
Born in Florida, raised on Australia’s Gold Coast and now a resident of Indianapolis, living mere miles from the hallowed Brickyard, Brabham was excited to welcome the Indianapolis Fire Department to the team.
“Rita and Ross are a great addition to the team. I am very familiar with the good work that the men and women of IFD do for this city and personally knowing Rita and now Ross, I am certain they will not disappoint as members of the CK Crew.”
The CKFF will host 500 people from local military and first responder units throughout the Month of May and Brabham said about the program that “it is really great that we can give back to these ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”
Brabham adds, “The program has excited me since meeting Taya Kyle in December. What Chris Kyle means to many everyday Americans and the impact that American Sniper had on the military and first responder community, is inspiring. I am happy to be playing a small part in continuing Chris’ legacy and doing good things for good people in his honor.”
Battalion Chief Reith, a 21-year veteran of the IFD, is ready for the challenge and will be the only female in the CK Crew that brings together former SEAL team-mates of Chris Kyle, Police Officers and Firefighters.
“What an honor to represent IFD and expand our role in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, by participating as crew members on the CK Crew.
“Many of our 1200 IFD Firefighters will be in attendance working as public safety or as spectators, but this bird’s eye view invitation afforded to Ross and me by the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, is a once in a lifetime experience and pretty awesome to say the least.
“Additionally, we want to thank the CKFF for the work they have done to bring so many first responders and military couples together for a great experience throughout the month of May.”
Private Ross Meyer, who served 4 years in the Marines and completed two tours to Iraq and one to Afghanistan before joining the IFD in 2013, is thankful for the opportunity.
“I am privileged to be a part of PIRTEK Team Murray and working alongside Matt for his IndyCar debut. May is always a special time in Indy and I am excited for this unique experience. To be trained with this group of remarkable people and become a fully functioning team for the Tag-Heuer Pit Stop Challenge is beyond cool.
“I am proud to have served my country and now the City of Indianapolis and I hope we will bring home a win for PIRTEK Team Murray and CK Crew in the Pit Stop Challenge.”
The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis runs Thursday through Saturday before practice for the 100th Indianapolis 500 begins on Monday, May 16.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is using the partnership with PIRTEK Team Murray to promote the American Sniper Chris Kyle Commemorative Edition Blu-Ray which has just been released with never before seen content.
The Australian-founded hydraulic and industrial hose franchise, PIRTEK is using the partnership to promote its rapidly expanding US franchise offering.
SCHEDULE – ANGIE’S LIST GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS
(US TIME ET & AUSTRALIAN EASTERN – following day for Australia)
Thursday, May 12
11:00am-12:15pm (ET) | 1:00am-2:15am (AEST) – Practice 1
1:00pm-2:00pm (ET) | 3:00am-4:00am (AEST) – Practice 2
Friday, May 13
11:00am-11:45am (ET) | 1:00am-1:45am (AEST) – Practice 3
1:00pm-2:00pm (ET) – Autograph Session – IndyCar Fan Village
3:00pm-4:15pm (ET) | 5:00am-6:15am (AEST) – Qualifying
Saturday, May 14
11:30am-12:00pm (ET) | 1:30am-2:00am – Warmup
3:00pm (ET) – Driver Introductions
3:45pm (ET) | 5:45am (AEST) – Gentlemen, Start your Engines
3:50pm (ET) | 5:50am (AEST) – Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis (82 Laps)
Race Television Times:
ABC (US) 3:30pm (ET)
Fox Sports 501 (AU) 5:30am Sunday (AEST)
IndyCar Radio – SiriusXM – Sirius: 212; XM: 209
Course: Indianapolis Road Course
Length: 2.439 miles (3.925 km)
Turns: 14 – 9 right, 5 left, clockwise direction
Practice for the 100th Indianapolis 500 begins on Monday, May 16.
More information about the CK Crew can be found atwww.teammurray.com.au and the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation at www.chriskylefrogfoundation.org.
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