IRL: Hearn to drive for Pagan Racing at Indianapolis

HEARN TO DRIVE FOR PAGAN RACING AT INDY INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 27, 2000 - Former Indy Racing event winner Richie Hearn will return to the Northern Light Series to drive the Pagan Racing entry in the 84th Indianapolis 500. Hearn, from...

HEARN TO DRIVE FOR PAGAN RACING AT INDY

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 27, 2000 - Former Indy Racing event winner Richie Hearn will return to the Northern Light Series to drive the Pagan Racing entry in the 84th Indianapolis 500.

Hearn, from Henderson, Nev., will drive the #75 Pagan Racing IRL Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. He will attempt to make his second start at Indy, as he finished third in 1996 in Della Penna Motorsports entry.

Hearn won in 1996 at Las Vegas in his most recent Indy Racing start. He and Della Penna started competing solely in CART at the start of the 1997 season. Hearn drove for Della Penna through the end of the 1999 season.

"Any driver in the world would be happy to race in the Indianapolis 500," Hearn said. "I'm real excited about going back. The first time I raced at the Speedway, it was the best experience I've ever had in racing in my entire life.

"It's just one of those places that gives you the goose bumps every time you go there. With 400,000 people there on race day, it's just incredible." Hearn, 29, has a vast amount of open-wheel experience. Before starting his Indy Racing and CART career, Hearn won the Toyota Atlantic championship in 1995 with Della Penna Motorsports. He also has raced in SCCA American City Racing League and SCCA Dodge/Shelby Pro Series events, and recorded more than 200 victories in International Karting Federation events.

"Winning the Indianapolis 500 has always been a dream of mine," said Allan Pagan, who co-owns Pagan Racing with his father, Jack Pagan. "Richie Hearn has proven he is a winner, in karting, Atlantics and the Indy Racing League. As we head to Indianapolis in three short weeks, we're very pleased knowing we have a driver capable of winning the greatest race in the world." Pagan Racing has competed at the Indianapolis 500 every year since 1993 and qualified each time. In seven starts, the team has posted two top-five finishes, including a second place finish with Jeff Ward in 1999.

"I'm real excited about being with Pagan Racing," Hearn said. "I know they'll do everything they can to win the Indy 500, just like I will. For any driver, especially an American driver, winning the Indy 500 is the end-all, be-all of motorsports."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Ward , Richie Hearn