IRL: Entry invitations mailed for 87th Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 5, 2003 -- Entry invitations for the 87th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race were mailed March 5 to race teams eligible to compete in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entries...

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 5, 2003 -- Entry invitations for the 87th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race were mailed March 5 to race teams eligible to compete in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Entries must be postmarked by midnight Wednesday, April 2. All drivers named to an Indianapolis 500 entry will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race.

Indianapolis 500 rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on April 22-23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while Opening Day for Indianapolis 500 practice is Sunday, May 4. Pole Day qualifying is May 10, with the second day of qualifications May 11. The final day of qualifications -- Bump Day -- is May 18. Carburetion Day is May 22.

The 87th Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast live by ABC Sports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.

Drivers expected to compete for a starting spot include several past Indianapolis 500 champions: 1992 and 1994 winner Al Unser Jr., 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, 1998 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., 1999 winner Kenny Brack and 2001-02 winner Helio Castroneves, the first driver to win back-to-back "500s" since Al Unser in 1970-71.

Pennzoil Panther Racing also is expected to file an entry for two-time defending IRL IndyCar^Ù Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. Other past IndyCar Series champions expected to compete are 1996 co-champion Scott Sharp; 1998 champion Brack; 1999 champion Greg Ray and 2000 champion Lazier.

Other anticipated drivers include Gil de Ferran, the Marlboro Team Penske teammate of Castroneves, 2002 Bank One co-Rookie of the Year Tomas Scheckter and his teammate, Scott Dixon, who won the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and noted veteran Michael Andretti, making his final start as a driver, as he will retire to focus on team ownership after the race.

A.J. Foyt IV is expected to be entered in his first "500" in a car owned by his famous grandfather, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.

A limited number of reserved-seat tickets for the race remain available. General admission and reserved tickets for practice, qualifications and Race Day can be purchased on the World Wide Web via www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , A.J. Foyt IV , Scott Dixon , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Al Unser
Teams Panther Racing