IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2006-05-31

Today's IRL headlines 1. Briscoe joins Dreyer & Reinbold for Watkins Glen 2. Young guns gear up for the Glen 3. Of note 1. Briscoe joins Dreyer & Reinbold for Watkins Glen: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has tabbed Australian road-racing specialist...

Today's IRL headlines
1. Briscoe joins Dreyer & Reinbold for Watkins Glen
2. Young guns gear up for the Glen
3. Of note

1. Briscoe joins Dreyer & Reinbold for Watkins Glen: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has tabbed Australian road-racing specialist Ryan Briscoe to drive the No. 5 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda-powered Dallara at the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix.

"While we know Buddy (Lazier) has performed as a champion in all types of races, Robbie (Buhl) and I felt that the Glen gave us an opportunity to evaluate Ryan for the future on the road courses," team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said. "Our team has had probably fewer miles of road-course testing than most, and we're optimistic that Ryan can continue the development of our road-course efforts."

Briscoe competed in 14 IndyCar Series events with Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005, with a best finish of 10th in the 89th Indianapolis 500. The former Formula One test driver won the Marlboro Pole Award at Infineon Raceway in August and led laps at both St. Petersburg and Infineon Raceway.

"Dreyer & Reinbold is a great group to be working with,and I'm hoping for a good result from the weekend," Briscoe said. "I tested at Watkins Glen last year in June, and we were really fast. Other than Indy, it was the race I was looking forward to most, but I had an accident at Chicago, so I didn't get to race there last year. I'm really excited to go back there and race and compete because I didn't get to do it last season."

Lazier will return to the car for the Bombardier Learjet 500k June 10 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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2. Young guns gear up for the Glen: This weekend, thousands of high schools around the country will send their promising graduates into the world to make their marks. Eighteen-year-olds CR Crews and Sean Guthrie will forego the pomp and circumstance for the chance to make their marks in the Indy Pro Series.

Crews, who will be 18 years, 5 days old on June 4, will become the youngest driver to start an Indy Pro Series race when he takes the green flag for the Corning 100 at Watkins Glen International. He graduated in December from Spring Creek Academy in Plano, Texas.

Guthrie, Crews' elder by 42 days, will make his second series start on the track's 11-turn, 3.37-mile circuit. Guthrie will be completing his qualifying run June 3 while his 95 classmates at Sandia Prep High School in Albuquerque, N.M., will be donning their caps and gowns and receiving their diplomas.

"I more bummed about missing yearbook day than I am about missing the graduation ceremony," said Guthrie, a National Honor Society member. "That's the day everyone signs each other's yearbooks. I would've liked to have seen everyone one more time."

Yearbook day happened to be May 26 when Guthrie was racing on the famed 2.5-mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He finished 11th in the Freedom 100.

"It was a good weekend," Guthrie said of his debut. "We were top-three quick in a couple of practice sessions, but we missed the mark in qualifying.

"I started the race in the back, but actually made a run up to sixth. I burned up my tires doing that, so I was pretty much just hanging on from there on out."

Crews is no stranger to being the youngest driver on the track.

"It means a lot to come in as the youngest driver," said Crews, who will be 17 days younger than Marco Andretti when Andretti started the Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2005. "It's been that way throughout my career. I was the youngest to start in Pro Mazda and to get on the podium. It was the same thing throughout karting. I started racing formula cars at 13 and karts at 8. I was always ahead of my age in classes and getting provisionals to move up. It's something I'm used to and proud of."

Crews can also be proud of his academic achievements. He graduated early (December) from a school that is, according to the school's website, "for gifted and talented students who need flexibility in their schedules and curriculum," and whose "academic program allows students to pursue outside interests and talents such as in athletics or the performing arts."

Crews will continue his education this fall at the University of Mississippi where he plans to major in business before pursuing a law degree.

The pursuit this summer, however, will be speed on the racetrack. Crews signed with Michael Crawford Motorsports to compete in the four road-course races remaining on the Indy Pro Series schedule.

"There's not a ton of expectations, but at the same time there are," Crews said. "The better I do, the more I get to race. At the end of the year, the goal is to win at least one race. We've got four opportunities to do it, and a good team to do it with."

***

3. Of note: The 90th Indianapolis 500 will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m. (EDT) on June 2 as an "Instant Classic" by ESPN Classic. -- The Indy Racing League's Honda Accord Hybrid Safety Car will lead the Green Grand Prix June 2 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The Green Grand Prix features a road rally of Hybrid and Alternative Fueled Vehicles held on an 84-mile course following the perimeter of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. IndyCar Series driver Jeff Simmons will make an appearance at the event.

***

The 2006 IRL IndyCar Series continues with the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Tissot at 3:30 p.m. on June 4 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be carried live by ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Corning 100 at 12:30 p.m. on June 4 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be telecast at 2 p.m. on June 8.

-irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Jeff Simmons , Chip Ganassi , Sean Guthrie
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing