IRL: Indy 500: Penske leads busy day of entries

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 29, 2001 - Penske Racing filed two of the four entries received March 29 for the Indianapolis 500, ending a five-year absence at the Brickyard for the team that has won the Greatest Spectacle in Racing a...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 29, 2001 - Penske Racing filed two of the four entries received March 29 for the Indianapolis 500, ending a five-year absence at the Brickyard for the team that has won the Greatest Spectacle in Racing a record 10 times. Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing also filed single entries for the Indianapolis 500, scheduled for May 27. 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. Defending CART champion Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves were named as drivers for Penske Racing, which last entered the race in 1995. But both of the team's drivers that year - Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi - didn't make the starting field for the race. Penske Racing last took the green flag for the race in 1994, when Unser produced a dominant victory. de Ferran, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will drive the No. 66 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Matt Jonsson is the chief mechanic. de Ferran will attempt to make his second start at Indianapolis, as he finished 29th in 1995 after his race ended in a first-lap, multicar accident. Castroneves, from Miami, will drive the No. 68 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Rick Rinaman is the chief mechanic. Castroneves is an Indianapolis 500 rookie. Tom Wurtz is the team manager for both Penske Racing entries. This will be the second Indy Racing Northern Light Series event this season for Penske Racing. Castroneves and de Ferran placed 18th and 24th, respectively, at the season-opening Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 on March 18 at Phoenix. Both led laps, but Castroneves was eliminated by engine failure, and de Ferran's race ended in a multicar accident. Davey Hamilton was named as the driver for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. The new Indy Racing team was formed earlier this year by Schmidt, a former Indy Racing standout who was paralyzed in a testing accident in January 2000. Hamilton finished 12th at Phoenix. Hamilton, from Las Vegas, will drive the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with an identical backup car entered. Steve Dunlap is the chief mechanic, and Larry Nash is the team manager. Two-time series runner-up Hamilton will attempt to make his sixth consecutive Indianapolis 500 start. His best finish was fourth in 1998. Hamilton is the only driver to start all 44 Indy Racing events since the league's debut in January 1996. No driver was named for the No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone entry, with an identical backup entered. John O'Gara is the chief mechanic, and Jim Robinson is the team manager. Dreyer & Reinbold already filed an entry March 19, with Robbie Buhl named as the driver of the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Team Purex G Force/Infiniti/Firestone.

<pre> 2001 INDIANAPOLIS 500 ENTRIES (as of March 29)

Driver Entrant Car C/E/T Entry Date

Arie Luyendyk Treadway/Hubbard Racing #5, #5T Meijer G/O/F March 1

Felipe Giaffone (R) Treadway/Hubbard Racing #21, #21T Hollywood G/O/F March 1

Scott Sharp Kelley Racing #8, #8T Delphi Automotive Systems D/O/F March 12

Mark Dismore Kelley Racing #28, #28T Delphi/Bryant Heating and Cooling D/O/F March 12

TBA Kelley Racing #20, #20T TBA D/O/F March 12

Greg Ray Team Menard #2, #2T Johns Manville/Menards D/O/F March 14

TBA Team Menard #22, #22T Johns Manville/Menards D/O/F March 14

Robbie Buhl Dreyer & Reinbold Racing #24, #24T Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Team Purex G/I/F March 19

Airton Dari TeamXtreme Racing #88, #88T 1-800-BAR-NONE TeamXtreme G/O/F March 19

Jaques Lazier Jonathan Byrd TeamXtreme Racing #77, #77T Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria TeamXtreme G/O/F March 19

Nicolas Minassian (R) Chip Ganassi Racing Teams #33, #33T Target Chip Ganassi Racing G/O/F March 20

Bruno Junqueira (R) Chip Ganassi Racing Teams #44, #44T Target Chip Ganassi Racing G/O/F March 20

Shigeaki Hattori (R) Vertex/Cunningham Racing #55, #55T EPSON G/O/F March 23

Michael Andretti Team Green #39, #39T Motorola/Archipelago D/O/F March 27

Jack Miller Cahill Racing #11, #11T Olympus/Opalescence/Cahill Racing D/O/F March 28

Davey Hamilton Sam Schmidt Motorsports #99, #99T Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special D/O/F March 29

Helio Castroneves Penske Racing #68, #68T Marlboro Team Penske D/O/F March 29

Gil de Ferran Penske Racing #66, #66T Marlboro Team Penske D/O/F March 29

TBA Dreyer & Reinbold Racing #23, #23T Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G/I/F March 29

Key: C/E/T-Chassis/engine/tire; D-Dallara; F-Firestone; G-G Force; I-Infiniti; O-Oldsmobile; TBA - To be announced

ENTRY SUMMARY

DRIVERS (16) Former race winners: Arie Luyendyk, 2 (1990, 1997). Former pole winners: Arie Luyendyk, 3, (1993, 1997, 1999); Greg Ray, 1 (2000). Rookies (5): Helio Castroneves, Felipe Giaffone, Shigeaki Hattori, Bruno Junqueira, Nicolas Minassian. U.S. born (8): Michael Andretti, Robbie Buhl, Mark Dismore, Davey Hamilton, Jaques Lazier, Jack Miller, Greg Ray, Scott Sharp. Foreign born (8): Helio Castroneves, Brazil; Airton Dar

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Al Unser Jr. , Robbie Buhl , Shigeaki Hattori , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Mark Dismore , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Nicolas Minassian , Sam Schmidt , Emerson Fittipaldi , Chip Ganassi , Jim Robinson , Jaques Lazier , Jack Miller
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing , Team Penske