IRL: Indy 500: Entry invitations in the mail

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 1, 2001 - Entry invitations for the 85th Indianapolis 500 were mailed March 1 to race teams eligible to compete in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on May 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 1, 2001 - Entry invitations for the 85th Indianapolis 500 were mailed March 1 to race teams eligible to compete in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on May 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entries must be postmarked by April 11. 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 four past Indianapolis 500 champions: 1992 and 1994 winner Al Unser Jr., 1990 and 1997 winner Arie Luyendyk, 1998 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, who also is the defending Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion. Other past Indy Racing champions expected to compete are 1996 co-champions Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp and 1999 champion Greg Ray, who won the pole for last year’s race. Other anticipated drivers include 1997 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward; 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series Rookie of the Year Airton Daré; veteran Eliseo Salazar, driving for four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt; rookie Casey Mears, nephew of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears; two-time Indianapolis 500 runner-up Scott Goodyear, driving as a teammate to Cheever; and 20-year-old standout Sarah Fisher. Indianapolis 500 rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on April 13-14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The schedule for this year’s Indianapolis 500 has returned to the traditional three-week format after a two-week schedule was used from 1998-2000.

Opening day is May 6. Pole Day is May 12, with the second day of qualifications May 13. The final day of qualifications - Bump Day - is May 20. Coors Carb Day is May 24.

Practice will take place May 7-11 and May 16-19. The track will be closed May 14-15, May 21-23 and May 25-26.

The 85th 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) 484-6700.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Casey Mears , Eliseo Salazar , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Airton Daré , Scott Goodyear