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Tuesday, March 12

Pagoda houses timing and scoring
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Canadian aircraft manufacturer bought the naming rights to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's landmark Pagoda control tower.

Bombardier, the world's third-largest maker of civilian aircraft, also will sponsor the Indy Racing League's $50,000 rookie of the year award and contribute to the Indianapolis 500 prize fund.

Speedway officials said the agreement was for five years. It did not disclose the precise value of the multimillion-dollar deal.

"We would not enter this agreement with just anyone," Speedway president Tony George said. "We recognize Bombardier as an innovative, enthusiastic and successful participant."

Bombardier, which owns Learjet among its aviation products, also is a sponsor of the IRL's Kelley Racing team. Team owner Tom Kelley was instrumental in bringing the Bombardier sponsorship to the Speedway.

The deal includes Bombardier sponsorship at all IRL events, George said.

The 160-foot-high Pagoda on the track's main straightaway opened in 2000 and houses the Speedway's timing and scoring facilities.

An original Pagoda was built in 1913 but destroyed by fire in 1925. A second Pagoda was replaced by another race control tower in 1957.

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