INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, April 17, 2000 - Indianapolis 500 champions Al Unser Jr., Buddy Lazier and Eddie Cheever Jr. are among the notable drivers entered for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the 84th Indianapolis 500. Indy Racing Northern Light...
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, April 17, 2000 - Indianapolis 500 champions Al Unser Jr., Buddy Lazier and Eddie Cheever Jr. are among the notable drivers entered for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the 84th Indianapolis 500. Indy Racing Northern Light Series teams filed 48 entries for the 2000 Indy 500, which will take place May 28 at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teams entered 93 cars this year, nine more than in 1999.
Unser, driver of the #3 Tickets.com-Starz Encore Superpak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone for Galles ECR Racing, will attempt to make his first start at Indy since 1994. Despite that, he has the most "500" starts of any driver entered for the event, with 12.
Unser won the 1992 Indy 500 with team owner Rick Galles by .043 of a second over fellow Northern Light Series competitor Scott Goodyear, the closest margin in race history. Unser joined Penske Racing in 1994 and won Indy again that year. He failed to qualify in 1995, however, becoming the first defending champion ever to do so.
Lazier, of Vail, Colo., currently leads the Northern Light Series point standings. He won the Indy 500 in 1996, placed second in 1998 with Hemelgarn Racing, and will drive the #91 Delta Faucet-Coors Light-Tae-Bo Riley & Scott/Oldsmobile/Firestone this year for Hemelgarn.
Cheever, the 1998 Indy champion, will drive the #51 Excite@Home Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Cheever is currently the only Northern Light Series driver utilizing the Nissan Infiniti engine and will seek to bring the engine manufacturer its first pole position and victory at Indy.
Eleven rookies are entered for 2000: Airton Dare (TeamXtreme); Doug Didero (Mid America Motorsports); Dan Drinan (Hemelgarn Racing); Sarah Fisher (Walker Racing); Memo Gidley (Team Pelfrey); Andy Hillenburg (Fast Track Racing Enterprises); Sam Hornish Jr. (PDM Racing); Ronnie Johncox (Jonathan Byrd/McCormack Motorsports); Jaques Lazier (Truscelli Team Racing); Juan Montoya (Target/Chip Ganassi Racing); and Guy Smith (Sinden Racing Service).
Montoya, the defending CART series champion, is entered alongside Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 CART champion and Montoya's teammate at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. Montoya and Vasser compete fulltime in the CART series and are the only drivers from that series entered for the 84th Indy 500.
Other notable Northern Light Series drivers entered include defending Northern Light Series champion Greg Ray, former Indy 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year honorees Robby McGehee (1999) and Jeff Ward (1997).
Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled for May 13, with Pole Day set for May 20 and MBNA Bump Day on May 21.
500 Festival Community Day takes place May 24, and Coors Carb Day, in which drivers and teams qualified for the Indy 500 will have a final practice session, is scheduled for May 25.
The 84th Indianapolis 500 gets underway at Noon (EDT) on May 28.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will also salute six legends of Indy Racing on the following scheduled days: Joe Leonard (May 14); Duke Nalon (May 15); Emerson Fittipaldi (May 16); Rick Mears (May 17); Mario Andretti (May 18); and Andy Granatelli (May 19).
<pre> 2000 INDIANAPOLIS 500 ENTRIES
Driver Entrant Car C/E/T Entry Date
Scott Goodyear Panther Racing #4, #4T Pennzoil Panther Dallara D/O/F Feb. 14 Jeret Schroeder Tri Star Motorsports #6, #6T Armour Swift-Eckrich-Tristarmall.com D/O/F Feb. 23 Jack Miller Tri Star Motorsports #21, #21T Milk Chug-Opalescence-Century 21-Tristarmall.com D/O/F Feb. 23 Stephan Gregoire Dick Simon Racing #7, #7T Mexmil-Tokheim-Viking Air Tools-Dick Simon Racing G/O/F Feb. 24 Jimmy Vasser Target/Chip Ganassi Racing #10, #10T Target G/O/F Feb. 28 Juan Montoya Target/Chip Ganassi Racing #9, #9T Target G/O/F Feb. 28 Al Unser Jr. Galles ECR Racing #3, #3T Galles ECR Racing Tickets.com Starz Encore Superpak G/O/F Feb. 29 Tyce Carlson Hubbard-Immke Racing #20, #20T Hubbard Photographics-Immke Auto Group-Dallara D/O/F Feb. 29 Robbie Buhl Dreyer & Reinbold Racing #24, #24T Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G/O/F March 1 Eliseo Salazar A.J. Foyt Enterprises #11, #11T Rio A.J. Foyt Racing G/O/F March 3 Jeff Ward A.J. Foyt Enterprises #14, #14T Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing G/O/F March 3 TBA A.J. Foyt/Kenny Brack Motorsports #41, #41T Foyt/Brack Motorsports G/O/F March 3 Buzz Calkins Bradley Motorsports #12, #12T Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat D/O/F March 6 Scott Sharp Kelley Racing #8, #8T Delphi Automotive Systems-MCI WorldCom D/O/F March 8 Mark Dismore Kelley Racing #28, #28T On Star-GM BuyPower-Bryant Heating & Cooling D/O/F March 8 Greg Ray Team Menard, Inc. #1, #1T Team Conseco-Quaker State-Moen-Menards D/O/F March 8 TBA Team Menard, Inc. #32 Team Conseco-Quaker State-Moen-Menards D/O/F March 8 Jimmy Kite Blueprint Racing Enterprises, LLC #27, #27T Founders Bank Group-Zmax-Blueprint Racing Special G/O/F March 17 Andy Hillenburg Fast Track Racing Enterprises, Inc. #48, #48T The Sumar Special D/O/F March 23 Guy Smith Sinden Racing Service #44, #44T March Racing D/O/F March 27 Wim Eyckmans Dick Simon Racing #77, #77T Dick Simon Racing-EGP-Millennium Gate G/O/F March 31 Robby McGehee Treadway Racing #5, #5T Meijer-Energizer Advanced Formula-Mall.com G/O/F March 31 TBA Treadway Racing-Vertex Cunningham Racing #55, #55T EPSON G/O/F March 31 Donnie Beechler Cahill Auto Racing, Inc. #98, #98T Cahill Racing D/O/F April 4 Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing, Inc. #91, #91T Delta Faucet/Coors Light/Tae-Bo/Hemelgarn Racing R/O/F April 5 TBA Hemelgarn Racing, Inc. #92, #92T March Indy International/Hemelgarn Racing D/O/F April 5 Dan Drinan Hemelgarn Racing, Inc. #93, #93T Hemelgarn Racing D/O/F April 5 Billy Boat Team Pelfrey #81, #81T Team Pelfrey D/O/F April 7 TBA Pagan Racing #75, #75T Pagan Racing IRL Spcl. D/O/F April 10 Airton Dare TeamXtreme Racing #88, #88T TeamXtreme-USACredit.com-G Force G/O/F April 10 Davey Hamilton TeamXtreme Racing #16, #16T TeamXtreme-Lycos-G Force G/O/F April 10 Sarah Fisher Walker Racing LLC #15, #15T Walker Racing Cummins Special R/O/F April 10 TBA Walker Racing LLC #25, #25T Walker Racing Special R/O/F April 10 Scott Harrington Nienhouse Motorsports, Inc. #17, #17T Nienhouse Motorsports Racing Special D/O/F April 10 Jaques Lazier Truscelli Team Racing #33, #33T Miles of Hope-Truscelli Team Racing D/O/F April 11 Memo Gidley Team Pelfrey #82, #82T Team Pelfrey D/O/F April 12 Johnny Unser Indy Regency Racing, LLC #22, #22T Delco Remy-Microdigicom-Homier Tools-G Force-Oldsmobile G/O/F April 12 Doug Didero Mid America Motorsports Inc. #43, #43T Mid America Motorsports Inc. Western Star Trucks D/O/F April 12 Andy Michner Logan Racing #19 Logan Racing Special D/O/F April 12 Ronnie Johncox Jonathan Byrd/McCormack Motorsports LLC #30, #30T Jonathan Byrd's/WorldBestBuy.com R/O/F G/O/F* April 12 J.J. Yeley Jonathan Byrd/McCormack Motorsports LLC #29, #29T Jonathan Byrd/McCormack-Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria G/O/F April 12 Sam Hornish Jr. PDM Racing, Inc. #18, #18T Hornish Bros. Trucking-Advantage Power Coating D/O/F G/O/F* April 12 Eddie Cheever Jr. Team Cheever #51, #51T Excite@Home Indy Race Car D/I/F April 12 TBA Team Cheever #52, #52T Team Cheever-Infiniti-Firestone TBA/I/F April 12 TBA Dick Simon Racing #90, #90T Dick Simon Racing G/O/F April 12 Hideshi Matsuda Beck Motorsports #54, #54T Beck Motorsports D/O/F April 12 TBA Nienhouse Motorsports, Inc. #37 Nienhouse Motorsports Racing Special G/O/F April 13 TBA Team Coulson Racing, Inc. #40, #40T Team Coulson G Force G/O/F April 13
Key: C/E/T-Chassis/engine/tire; D-Dallara; F-Firestone; G-G Force; O-Oldsmobile; R-Riley & Scott; TBA - To be announced; *-backup chassis different manufacturer than primary chassis.
ENTRY SUMMARY DRIVERS (38)
Former race winners: Al Unser Jr., 2 (1992, 1994); Buddy Lazier, 1 (1996); Eddie Cheever Jr., 1 (1998).
Former pole winners: Al Unser Jr., 1 (1994); Billy Boat, 1 (1998).
Rookies (11): Airton Dare, Doug Didero, Dan Drinan, Sarah Fisher, Memo Gidley, Andy Hillenburg, Sam Hornish Jr., Ronnie Johncox, Jaques Lazier, Juan Montoya, Guy Smith.
U.S. born (28): Donnie Beechler, Billy Boat, Robbie Buhl, Buzz Calkins, TyceCarl son, Eddie Cheever Jr., Mark Dismore, Dan Drinan, Sarah Fisher, Memo Gidley, Davey Hamilton, Scott Harrington, Andy Hillenburg, Sam Hornish Jr., Ronnie Johncox, Jimmy Kite, Buddy Lazier, Jaques Lazier, Robby McGehee, Andy Michner, Jack Miller, Greg Ray, Jeret Schroeder, Scott Sharp, Al Unser Jr., Johnny Unser, Jimmy Vasser, J.J. Yeley.
Foreign born (10): Airton Dare, Brazil; Doug Didero, Canada; Scott Goodyear, Canada; Wim Eyckmans, Belgium; Stephan Gregoire, France; Hideshi Matsuda, Japan; Juan Montoya, Colombia; Eliseo Salazar, Chile; Guy Smith, England; Jeff Ward, Scotland.
Youngest: Sarah Fisher, 19 (Oct. 4, 1980).
Oldest: Hideshi Matsuda, 45 (Dec. 22, 1954).
Most previous starts: Al Unser Jr., 12.
Chassis: Dallara 44, G Force 39, Riley & Scott 7, TBA 3.
Engines: Oldsmobile 89; Infiniti 4.