IRL: Indy 500: Four teams file entries for 2006

FOUR TEAMS COMBINE TO FILE 12 ENTRIES AS INDY 500 CAR COUNT JUMPS Defending champion Wheldon named to Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 5, 2006 -- Four teams filed a total of 12 entries April 5 for the 90th ...

FOUR TEAMS COMBINE TO FILE 12 ENTRIES AS INDY 500 CAR COUNT JUMPS
Defending champion Wheldon named to Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 5, 2006 -- Four teams filed a total of 12 entries April 5 for the 90th Indianapolis 500, as defending race champion Andretti Green Racing led the rush with five entries.

Other teams filing entries were 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Vision Racing with three each, and Playa Del Racing with one. The 90th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The flood of entries came as the deadline neared. Entries must be postmarked by midnight Wednesday, April 5. Thirty-two entries have been filed, with more expected to arrive via mail to Indy Racing League headquarters in the next week.

Drivers Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti, Bryan Herta, Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti were named to the AGR entries.

Michael Andretti, from Nazareth, Pa., will drive the No. 1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. The chief mechanic and team manager were not named.

AGR co-owner Andretti will attempt to make his 15th Indianapolis 500 start after a two-year hiatus from the race. His best finish was second to four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears in 1991 after one of the most thrilling late-race duels in the event's history. Andretti's best start was third in 1986. He was JPMorgan Chase Bank Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the Year in 1984.

In his last start, in 2003, Andretti led for 28 laps before a throttle-linkage failure ended his day after completing 94 laps. Andretti has led 426 career laps at Indianapolis, the most of any driver without a victory.

Rookie Marco Andretti, from Nazareth, Pa., will drive the No. 26 NYSE Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Mike Horvath is the chief mechanic.

At 19, Andretti is the youngest driver named to an entry for this year's race. He will join his father, Michael Andretti, in attempting to become the first father-son tandem in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" since Mario and Michael Andretti in 1994.

Herta, from Valencia, Calif., will drive the No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Jeff Grahn is the chief mechanic.

Herta will attempt to make his fifth Indianapolis 500 start. He recorded his best career Indy start and finish last year with AGR, 18th and third, respectively.

2005 WorldPoints Visa Pole winner Kanaan, a native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, will drive the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Jeff Simon is the chief mechanic.

2004 IndyCar® Series champion Kanaan earned his first Indy pole last year with a four-lap average speed of 227.566 mph and finished eighth. His best finish was second in 2004. He has led 107 laps overall in his four career starts since 2002.

Franchitti, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, will drive the No. 27 Klein Tools/Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Dave Popielarz is the chief mechanic.

Franchitti will attempt to make his fourth career Indy start. His best start was third in 2004, with his best finish of sixth coming last year, when he led 15 laps.

Kyle Moyer is the team manager for all of AGR's entries except for that of Michael Andretti.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing, which won the 2000 Indianapolis 500 with driver Juan Pablo Montoya, named Scott Dixon and defending race champion Dan Wheldon to two of its three entries.

Dixon, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, will drive the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Ricky Davis is the chief mechanic.

2003 IndyCar Series champion Dixon will attempt to make his fourth Indianapolis start. His best finish was eighth in 2004, and his best start of fourth came as an Indy rookie in 2003.

Wheldon, a native of Emberton, England, will drive the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Dave Higuera is the chief mechanic.

2005 IndyCar Series champion Wheldon became the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same season since Jacques Villeneuve in 1995. Wheldon will attempt to make his fourth Indy start, with his prior three coming with Andretti Green Racing from 2003-05. His best career starting spot was second in 2004.

No driver was named for the No. 33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone. The chief mechanic and backup chassis type also will be named later.

Barry Wanser and Scott Harner are the general managers of the Ganassi entries.

Vision Racing named veterans Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter as drivers of two of its three entries.

Carpenter, from Indianapolis, will drive the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered.

Carpenter will attempt to make his third Indy start and second straight with Vision Racing. His best finish of 11th came last year, while his best start of 16th was recorded as a rookie in 2004.

Scheckter, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, will drive the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered.

2002 JPMorgan Chase Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the Year Scheckter will attempt to make his fifth career Indy start. His best finish is fourth in 2003, while his best start is 10th in 2002 and 2004.

Scheckter has led 148 laps overall in four starts, including 85 in 2002 when he crashed while leading the race with 27 laps remaining.

No driver was named to the No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. No backup car was entered.

Kevin Kukulewicz is the chief mechanic and Larry Curry the team manager for the Vision entries.

Playa Del Racing entered the No. 21 Playa Del Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. No driver or chief mechanic was named. David Morgan is the team manager.

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Indy 500 tickets on sale: Tickets are on sale for the 2006 Indianapolis 500, the 90th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.

Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday, while online orders can be made at any time.

Ticket prices start at just $20.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing