INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Feb. 29, 2000 - It's official: Indy's favorite son is coming back to chase the legends and a piece of family history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Galles ECR Racing LLC filed an entry Feb. 29 for ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Feb. 29, 2000 - It's official: Indy's favorite son is coming back to chase the legends and a piece of family history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Galles ECR Racing LLC filed an entry Feb. 29 for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. for the 84th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Unser, from Albuquerque, N.M., will drive the #3 Galles ECR Racing Tickets.com Starz Encore Superpak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone. The team also has entered an identical backup car. Darren Russell is the chief mechanic and team manager. "Every day we're thinking about getting back to the Speedway," Unser said. "That's the way it's been for years. As we get closer, things are getting more exciting." With a victory, Unser would become only the ninth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 at least three times. Two other members of that club are in his family - his father, four-time winner Al Unser; and his uncle, three-time winner Bobby Unser. A victory by Unser also would increase his family's victory total at Indianapolis to 10. "If you win any Indy, you're in elite company," Unser said. "Even if you win it once. Indy just has so much history and tradition. It's the most important race in the world, and we're looking forward to being a part of it again come Memorial Day weekend." This will be Unser's first attempt to qualify at Indy since 1995. He missed the last four races while competing in CART but moved to Galles ECR Racing for the start of the 2000 Northern Light Indy Racing Series season. He finished 24th in his debut at the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway, dropping out after 64 laps due to engine failure. Despite the initial disappointment at the season opener, Unser has no doubts about the mechanical package that he and the Galles ECR team will bring to Indy in May. "We're definitely confident with what we've got," Unser said. "Franz Weiss is our engine builder, and he is the best engine builder in the business. We just had a hiccup in Orlando. That's all it was." Unser won at Indy in 1992 with Galles Racing by .043 of a second over Scott Goodyear, the closest finish in event history, and won again in 1994 with Team Penske. His victory in 1994 from the pole position was his last start in the race, as he and Penske teammate Emerson Fittipaldi failed to qualify in 1995. Unser will attempt to make his 13th career start this year at Indianapolis. He has nine top-10 finishes in 12 starts during his career, including seven in the top five. "It takes a whole team, it takes everything," Unser said about his formula for success at the Speedway. "It takes a good engine, a good chassis and a car that can go 500 miles. It takes Lady Luck on your side, too. It takes everyone working together toward that goal."
2000 INDIANAPOLIS 500 ENTRIES (as of Feb. 29) Driver Entrant Car C/E/T Entry Date Scott Goodyear Panther Racing #4, #4T Pennzoil Panther Dallara D/O/F Feb. 14 Jeret Schroeder Tri Star Motorsports #6, #6T Armour Swift Ekrich-Tristarmall.com D/O/F Feb. 23 Jack Miller Tri Star Motorsports #21,#21T Milk Chug-Opalescence-Century 21-Tristarmall.com D/O/F Feb. 23 Stephan Gregoire Dick Simon Racing #7, #7T Dick Simon Racing-Mexmil-Tokheim-Viking Air Tools G/O/F Feb. 24 Jimmy Vasser Target/Chip Ganassi Racing #15,#15T Target G/O/F Feb. 28 Juan Montoya Target/Chip Ganassi Racing #10,#10 Target G/O/F Feb. 28 Al Unser Jr. Galles ECR Racing #3, #3T Galles ECR Racing Tickets.comStarz Encore Superpak G/O/F Feb. 29
DRIVERS (7) Former race winners: Al Unser Jr., 2 (1992, 1994). Former pole winners: Al Unser Jr., 1 (1994). Rookie (1): Juan Montoya. U.S. born (4): Jack Miller, Jeret Schroeder, Al Unser Jr., Jimmy Vasser. Foreign born (3): Scott Goodyear, Canada; Stephan Gregoire, France; Juan Montoya, Colombia. Youngest: Juan Montoya, 24. Oldest: Scott Goodyear, 40. Most previous starts: Al Unser Jr., 12.
CARS (14) Chassis: G Force 8, Dallara 6. Engines: Oldsmobile 14.