Oilermobile ordeal

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:23 AM ET

There's no mention of the $500,000 involved in doing the deal and no clarification of whether it's a donation to Paul Newman's 'Hole In The Wall Camps' charity or a straight sponsorship deal.

There's no comment on why Daryl Katz would spend $100,000 more putting the Oilers and Rexall logos on the side of a race car than the steal-of-a-deal $400,000 Rexall spent to become title sponsor of the race.

But the new Edmonton Oilers owner's Rexall people finally sent out a press release announcing the deal to turn Graham Rahal's No. 06 'Hole In The Wall Camps' car into an Oilermobile for the Rexall Edmonton Indy.

And a photo-op of the car with the new logos has been scheduled for today at 11:30 a.m. at the downtown airport track.

More details of the arrangement were revealed by Sun Media more than a week ago than were revealed yesterday.

OILER PRIDE

"In Oil Country people are very proud of the Oilers. It's terrific to see the Oilers logo on the car," said Katz in a canned quote consistent with his unavailable-for-comment-beyond-press-release-statements style of dealing with the fan base so far.

"The combination of the Rexall Edmonton Indy, the great tradition of our Oilers and Oil Kings junior team and community-based Edmonton Eskimos have made Edmonton a world-class sports destination.

"We're looking forward to seeing the Indy car sporting the Oilers copper and blue on track Saturday, hopefully taking the checkered flag first," he added in the news release.

Also quoted was Andy Giancamilli, CEO of Rexall.

"Rexall has received tremendous value from its sponsorship of the Edmonton Indy," he said. "This sponsorship is a great way to build on Rexall's successful relationship with Indy Racing and further our support for an event that has become an important part of the community here in Edmonton."

In addition to Oiler and Rexall logos, Kimberley Clark, Mars and BMO will also have logo space on the car.

The Rahal car is one of two in the race entered by Newman-Haas-Lanigan, the team that - with Sebastian Bourdais driving - won two of the three Champ Car Series races here. The other race was won by Justin Wilson, who now drives the McDonald's sponsored car for NHL.

There no word if Newman, who attended the three previous races here, will make it for this one. He's dealing with serious health issues.

Last year the Newman-Haas team, including Rahal, were guests of Katz at his $8 million Edmonton home during race week. Carl Haas was quoted in the release on behalf of Newman and Michael Lanigan as well saying they are "looking forward to coming back to Edmonton. This year we are even more excited.

"The fans in Edmonton are some of the most knowledgeable fans we have encountered while racing around the world and they have always welcomed us. In return we take pride in putting on a good show for them."

HUGE HOCKEY FAN

Rahal, who says Newman's hockey movie Slapshot is his all time favourite, is a huge hockey fan attending several Columbus Blue Jacket games each year.

Last week, Rahal wore a special helmet featuring the movie posters of Newman's movies, which is to be auctioned off to raise funds for the 'Hole In The Wall Camp' near the Mid-Ohio track.


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