A crowd of extended family and gathered to see Sarah Fisher's reaction when the blindfold was lifted and she saw the grey car with a red bow in the garage.

"Oh, my gosh!" was what they expected and received. "That is so awesome," was what they got.

The car, an unpainted 2009 Dallara chassis lacking many of the details that distinguish it as a race car, brought the IndyCar Series team owner/driver to tears.

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"I got a new car," Fisher beamed, "I felt like I was on the Price is Right. Imagine what we'll do now."

While Fisher will compete in the PEAK Motor Oil & Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on 29 August in her eponymous team's seven-year-old car, the first order of business is to prepare the new chassis in oval configuration for the Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on 10 October.

"I actually thought I was coming today to shoot a Dollar General commercial," said Fisher, who drives the #67 entry in the brand's familiar yellow-and-black colours, "To have a spare car, it means we can be more aggressive and be able to put it on the line even more. It will make a huge difference in our racing efforts.

"Maybe there's an option now to have a second car at Indy once the first car is in solid, and it makes a huge difference in preparation. We'll be able to have a better shot at doing some road course events or some short oval events. We're building, we have some really great people and we're lucky."

The chassis, estimated to cost around $300,000, was provided by Hartman Oil, a sponsor of the second-year team since May 2008. It was while Willis E 'Wink' Hartman was watching ESPN's SportsCenter that he first learned of Fisher and the fact that the team's primary sponsor for its first race had pulled out.

"I didn't really, at the time, think much about it," Hartman said, "It was one of those things that the next morning I was sitting out on the patio and I kept thinking about Sarah Fisher and somebody backing out on her. I didn't know her, but something told me somebody needed to help her."