ENTRY INVITATIONS MAILED FOR 83RD INDIANAPOLIS 500 INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 17, 1999 - The first step toward the green flag for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 took place Feb. 16, as entry invitations were mailed to race teams eligible to enter and...
ENTRY INVITATIONS MAILED FOR 83RD INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 17, 1999 - The first step toward the green flag for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 took place Feb. 16, as entry invitations were mailed to race teams eligible to enter and compete in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The entry deadline is midnight April 9. All entrants will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's richest and most prestigious auto race. Expected entrants include 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. and 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Kenny Brack, seeking his first Indy victory. Cheever leads the Pep Boys Indy Racing League point standings after winning the season opener Jan. 24 at Orlando, Fla. Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk also is a highly anticipated entrant. Luyendyk will make his open-wheel driving farewell at this year's Indy 500, capping a remarkable career of speed at the Brickyard. Luyendyk won the race in 1990 and 1997. He holds numerous records at the Speedway, including fastest qualifying lap, fastest four-lap qualifying speed and fastest race speed. Other anticipated entries include 1996 Indy 500 champion Buddy Lazier, 1998 Bank One Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Steve Knapp, 1998 Sprint PCS Pep Boys Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year Robby Unser, and 1996 Indy Racing League co-champions Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp. Lazier finished runner-up to Cheever in last year's Indy 500. Cheever, one of two owner-drivers in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League, earned $1,433,000 last year from a record $8,722,150 in prizes and posted awards. Teams entered in the 83rd Indianapolis 500 can participate in an Open Test from April 8-11 at the Speedway. Rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on April 8-9, with veterans testing April 10-11. Firestone and Goodyear also will conduct a private tire test April 12. Opening day for this year's Indianapolis 500 is May 15. Pole Day is May 22, with Bubble Day May 23. Carburetion Day is May 27. The 83rd Indianapolis 500, May 30, will be broadcast live by ABC Sports and the IMS 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.