ENTRY INVITATIONS MAILED FOR 82ND INDIANAPOLIS 500 INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 24, 1998 - Entry invitations for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 were mailed yesterday to race teams eligible to enter and compete for the 33 starting spots in the ...
ENTRY INVITATIONS MAILED FOR 82ND INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 24, 1998 - Entry invitations for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 were mailed yesterday to race teams eligible to enter and compete for the 33 starting spots in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The entry deadline is midnight April 9.
Arie Luyendyk, the two-time defending Indy 500 champion and qualifying track record holder, and Tony Stewart, the 1996-97 Indy Racing League champion, are expected to enter and contend for victory in the world's richest race. Also returning will be last year's Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Jeff Ward, who had an impressive debut with a third-place finish. Other anticipated entries include 1996 Indy 500 champion Buddy Lazier, 1996 IRL co-champions Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp, and Eddie Cheever Jr, who currently holds the fastest race lap record of 236.103 mph. Raul Boesel, who finished third in the 1989 Indianapolis 500, also plans a return to the Speedway for the first time since 1995. "After a season of competition with our new cars and engines, we are looking forward to the 1998 Indianapolis 500. Although the 1997 race was very exciting, I'm sure this year will be even better," said Leo Mehl, executive director of the Indy Racing League. "There are over 70 car and engine packages available - which shows significant growth over last year. Both the April test period and over 50 hours of practice in the two-week period in May will assist the teams in preparation for the race and will also provide a great show for the fans."
Luyendyk and Treadway Racing took home $1,568,150 last year of a record $8,642,450 in prizes and posted awards. The .57-second win over Scott Goodyear enabled Luyendyk to become the all-time Indianapolis 500 money leader earning $5,027,329 in 13 starts at the 2.5-mile oval.
Teams entered for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 can participate in the first ever open test at the Speedway April 14-18. Rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on April 14-15, with veterans testing on April 16-17. Firestone and Goodyear will also select teams to participate in a tire test scheduled for April 18.
Opening day for this year's Indianapolis 500 is May 10. Qualifications have been shortened from four days to two this year, combining Pole Day and Bubble Day into one breathtaking weekend. The Indianapolis 500, with all reserved seats sold out last June, will be broadcast by ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. General admission tickets for practice, qualifications, and race day can be purchased in advance by calling (317) 484-6700.