INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Feb. 25, 2002 - Entry invitations for the 86th Indianapolis 500 were mailed Feb. 22 to race teams eligible to compete in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entries must be...
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Feb. 25, 2002 - Entry invitations for the 86th Indianapolis 500 were mailed Feb. 22 to race teams eligible to compete in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Entries must be postmarked by April 3. All drivers will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race.
Drivers expected to compete for a starting spot include six past Indianapolis 500 champions: 1990 and 1997 winner Arie Luyendyk, 1992 and 1994 winner Al Unser Jr., 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, 1998 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., 1999 winner Kenny Brack and 2001 winner Helio Castroneves.
Pennzoil Panther Racing also is expected to file an entry for defending Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. Other past Indy Racing champions expected to compete are 1996 co-champion Scott Sharp, who won the MBNA Pole for last year's race; 1996-97 champion Tony Stewart; 1998 champion Brack; 1999 champion Greg Ray and 2000 champion Lazier.
Other anticipated drivers include two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran, now competing full time in the Indy Racing League with Marlboro Team Penske teammate Castroneves; 1997 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward; 1999 Bank One Rookie of the Year Robby McGehee; 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Billy Boat; 2001 Indy Racing League Chevy Rookie of the Year Felipe Giaffone; IRL veterans Eliseo Salazar and Donnie Beechler, driving for Indianapolis 500 legend A.J. Foyt; Indianapolis 500 veterans Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy.
Indianapolis 500 rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on April 12-14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Opening day for the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 5. Pole Day is May 11, with the second day of qualifications May 12. The final day of qualifications - Bump Day - is May 19. Coors Carb Day is May 23.
Practice will take place May 6-10 and May 15-18. There will be no track activity May 13-14, May 20-22 and May 24-25.
The 86th Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast live by ABC Sports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Reserved seating for the race is sold out. General admission tickets for practice, qualifications and race day can be purchased in advance by calling (317) 492-6700.