IRL: Indy qualifier Bucknum switches gears to Mid-Ohio

INDY 500 QUALIFIER BUCKNUM TO DRIVE AT MID-OHIO WITH AN EYE ON BRICKYARD BUMP DAY DUBLIN, Ohio (May 17, 2005) -- American Le Mans Series (ALMS) driver Jeff Bucknum will be doing his day job Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but he'll likely...

INDY 500 QUALIFIER BUCKNUM TO DRIVE AT MID-OHIO WITH AN EYE ON BRICKYARD BUMP DAY

DUBLIN, Ohio (May 17, 2005) -- American Le Mans Series (ALMS) driver Jeff Bucknum will be doing his day job Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but he'll likely spare a thought for his moonlighting effort at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bucknum, 38, who will drive an LMP2-class Miracle Motorsports Courage during the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio this weekend, also put a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara-Honda in the field for the Indianapolis 500 last Sunday. While his average qualifying speed of 221.521 miles per hour is currently the 21st-fastest in the 33-car Indy 500 field, the event's notorious Bump Day could force Bucknum and his team to defend their position after he parks his prototype at Mid-Ohio.

"We're extremely confident in our qualifying speed at Indy, so we'll be able to give our full attention to a winning weekend at Mid-Ohio," said Bucknum. "I've had a lot of success at Mid-Ohio in the past, and we'll be doing everything we can to see that that continues."

Bucknum previously has won ALMS and Barber Dodge Pro Series races at the Lexington, Ohio, track, and will team with co-driver Chris McMurry for this weekend's ALMS event. The duo won their class in the famed 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this season.

Multi-tasking in motorsports is no novelty to Bucknum, who's competed in several open-wheel development series as well as in sports cars. It's the same kind of driving diversity that marked the career of his famous father, Ronnie Bucknum, who also enjoyed success in several series, including Formula One and Indy cars.

"Being able to cross racing disciplines demonstrates true talent in my mind," said Bucknum. "I'm enjoying sports car racing, and it's brought me a lot of happiness and success, but I've always wanted to try Indy cars. This month is really a dream come true for me, and I'm looking forward to competing at Mid-Ohio and representing the ALMS well in the world's greatest race."

Bucknum will participate in practice at Indianapolis on Wednesday and Thursday this week. He and his teams have yet to decide where he will drive on Friday. He plans to be at Mid-Ohio for qualifying on Saturday, and will return to Indianapolis on Sunday immediately after the ALMS race if necessary.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a 2.4-mile, 15-turn permanent road racing circuit in Lexington, Ohio. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional riders and drivers.

More information about Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is available at www.midohio.com. Event and ticket information are available by calling 1-800-MID-OHIO.

-moscc-

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About this article
Series ALMS , IndyCar
Drivers Chris McMurry , Jeff Bucknum