INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., and Holmdel, N.J., (Dec. 20, 2005) - Andretti Green Racing co-owner Michael Andretti will come out of retirement to drive the Jim Beam/Vonage Honda-powered Dallara in the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, 2006.
Andretti, who retired from a 20-year professional driving career after the 87th Indianapolis 500 on May 25, 2003, will be part of a five-car Andretti Green Racing effort at Indianapolis that will include Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Bryan Herta, and Andretti's son, Marco.
Jim Beam has been affiliated with Andretti Green since the 2003 season and earned the 2005 IRL IndyCar Series title as a co-major sponsor along with Klein Tools on the team's #26 entry. In 2006, Jim Beam will be a co-major sponsor with Klein Tools on the #27 car driven by Franchitti.
Vonage Marketing, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp., a leading broadband telephony provider, served as the major sponsor of Marco's Star Mazda and Indy Racing League Pro Series entries in 2005 and will be a season-long sponsor of Andretti Green Racing in addition to the role it will play with Michael's entry in the Indianapolis 500.
A 42-time winner in CART competition, Andretti has 14 Indianapolis 500 starts to his credit and scored four top-five finishes, including a runner-up result as part of his 1991 CART championship season.
Michael Andretti, Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I'm really looking forward to returning to Indy in the Jim Beam/Vonage car as one of the drivers on this team and I'm excited about the chance I'll have to run with Marco. As a driver, he has developed much quicker than I think anybody expected and that is what really made this possible. I think I'll have as good a shot as I've ever had to win the Indianapolis 500 and I think I can also be a big help to Marco as he gets ready to make his first '500' start."
Keith Neumann, Senior Brand Director, Jim Beam Brands Co.: "Michael Andretti's return to the Indy 500 to compete with his son is especially significant to Jim Beam. From a family known worldwide for its contributions to the bourbon industry, Jim Beam shares a connection with the Andretti family who is renowned for its success in the world of motorsports. We're proud to be a part of history-in-the-making."
Jeffrey Citron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vonage: "The Andretti family sets the standard for the best in race car driving, and we are excited to be a part of the winning Andretti Green Racing team. Michael will be behind the wheel of the brand new orange and black Jim Beam/Vonage car as he makes his celebrated return to the track."