IRL: Leaders Circle participants announced

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002 - Teams representing 24 car-and-driver combinations have been selected to participate in the 2002 Indy Racing League Leaders Circle incentive program, Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002 - Teams representing 24 car-and-driver combinations have been selected to participate in the 2002 Indy Racing League Leaders Circle incentive program, Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart announced Feb. 27.

Each of the 24 teams made a commitment to compete in the entire 15-race schedule, which starts Saturday, March 2 with the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Thirty-three teams requested to be part of the 2002 Leaders Circle, Barnhart said.

"It is extremely encouraging to see that there are 33 teams attempting to put full programs together for the 2002 Indy Racing League season," Barnhart said. "Each of the teams selected displayed the package the league looks for in teams, which includes solid staffing, competitive equipment and proper funding."

The teams selected for the 2002 program:

Car No. Team (Driver)
#2 Team Menard (Jaques Lazier)
#3 Marlboro Team Penske (Helio Castroneves)
#4 Pennzoil Panther Racing (Sam Hornish Jr.)
#6 Marlboro Team Penske (Gil de Ferran)
#7 Kelley Racing (Al Unser Jr.)
#8 Kelley Racing (Scott Sharp)
#9 Chip Ganassi Racing (Jeff Ward)
#10 Cahill Racing (Robby McGehee)
#11 A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Eliseo Salazar)
#14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Donnie Beechler)
#16 Racing Professionals (Jon Herb)
#18 PDM Racing (Tyce Carlson)
#21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing (Felipe Giaffone)
#24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (Robbie Buhl)
#31 310 Racing (George Mack)
#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing (Laurent Redon)
#37 Brayton Racing (John de Vries)
#44 Blair Racing (Alex Barron)
#51 Red Bull Cheever Racing (Eddie Cheever Jr.)
#52 Red Bull Cheever Racing (Tomas Scheckter)
#55 Treadway and Associates Racing (Rick Treadway)
#91 Hemelgarn Racing (Buddy Lazier)
#98 CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing (Billy Boat)
#99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports (Anthony Lazzaro)

Indy Racing League officials announced Jan. 18 details of its new Leaders Circle program, which will significantly increase the package of equipment, supplies and services available to its full-time teams for the 2002 season, including an allotment of Firestone tires.

In addition to Firestone support, members of the Leaders Circle qualify for the following benefits:

-- Use of the league-required electronics package, valued at $30,000, at no charge. The package includes a rev limiter, onboard yellow-light system, wire harness, accident data recorder, camera mount and shroud, and timing and scoring transmitter and shroud.

-- Use of welding equipment and supplies from Lincoln Electric, the Official Welder of the Indy Racing League, at no cost. The value is $15,000 per team.

-- A 25-percent discount on fuel costs.

-- Discounted entry fee package for the 2002 season.

Cars not eligible for the Leaders Circle program will be billed for all race entry fees and will be required to pay full price for fuel, tires and the electronics package.

Costs and availability of engines, chassis and transmissions are not affected by this new benefits package. Other elements may be added to the 2002 Leaders Circle program and will be announced when finalized.

Guidelines for participation in the 2003 program will be issued in the near future.

-irl-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Robby McGehee , Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Jon Herb , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Donnie Beechler , Rick Treadway , Alex Barron , Anthony Lazzaro , Laurent Redon , Sam Schmidt , George Mack , John de Vries , Tyce Carlson , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Brian Barnhart , Sam Hornish Jr. , Jaques Lazier , Mo Nunn
Teams A.J. Foyt Enterprises , Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing , Conquest Racing