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Japan race project on track.


Billionaire Toyoji Gomi (center) beams during his second visit to the Indy 500. As president of Kyodo Systems Co., Ltd., Japan's largest developer of resort and leisure projects, Gomi's name appears on golf courses, resolt hotels, and condominium developments. He is more than hopeful that his name will soon appear on a licensing agreement with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kousuke Honda (far right), although no relation to the car company of the same name, is quite interested in high-performance automobiles. As president of Japan Racing Center Co., Ltd., Honda is responsible for almost 60 percent of the Japanese racing industry.

Ichiro "Roy" Rujita (far left) is president of Los Angeles-based Idea Link Japan, Inc., a company specializing in linking America's new business with major Japanese companies.

Dr. Beurt SerVaas (second from left), CEO of SerVaas, Inc., and president of the Indianapolis City-County Council, served as a catalyst for the project.

A Sport Devotee and Budding International

Vice President Dan Quayle, who grew up just beyond earshot of the racetrack's roar, is a regular attendee of the Indy 500. Despite the demands of his new office, he and Mrs. Quayle made a special trip back home to Indiana for the smell of newmown hay and the excitement of 33 alcohol-fueled cars racing the historic Indy oval.

Mrs. Mary Hulman, owner and chairman of the board emeritus of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, made time during the race to greet the Japanese industrialist Toyoji Gomi. Mrs. Hulman is the widow of Tony Hulman, the man who made the Indy 500 the greatest spectacle in racing. Gomi heads a team of top Japanese companies interested in building world-renowned race courses.

Toshiba or not Toshiba--that was the question. Would this be the first Japanese-sponsored car to qualify for the Indy 500? The question was answered decisively when driver randy lewis clocked a four-lap average speed of 216.494 mph, earning him the respectable 11th starting position in this year's field.
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Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Nov 1, 1989
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Next Article:Christmas at Piety Corner.

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