Las Vegas, NV (April 21, 2000) - Pagan Racing team co-owner Allan Pagan, announced today that Richie Hearn will be the team's driver in the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500. In the agreement announced this morning by Hearn and a Pagan...
Las Vegas, NV (April 21, 2000) - Pagan Racing team co-owner Allan Pagan, announced today that Richie Hearn will be the team's driver in the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500. In the agreement announced this morning by Hearn and a Pagan Racing team representative at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hearn will focus solely on winning the world's most prestigious automobile race. The team's Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, which will carry the number 75, has been entered in the Indy 500 as the Pagan Racing IRL Special.
Pagan Racing has competed at the Indianapolis 500 every year since 1993 and has never failed to qualify for the race. In seven starts, the team has posted two top-five finishes, including a second place finish with Jeff Ward in last year's race.
"Winning the Indianapolis 500 has always been a dream of mine," said Allan Pagan, who co-owns Pagan Racing with his father Jack Pagan. "Richie Hearn has proven he is a winner, in karting, Atlantics and the Indy Racing League. As we head to Indianapolis in three short weeks, we're very pleased knowing we have a driver capable of winning the greatest race in the world."
Richie Hearn started his racing career in karting, winning more than 200 International Karting Federation events. As his career progressed, he adapted quickly to new formulas, winning rookie of the year honors in the SCCA American City Racing League, SCCA Dodge/Shelby Pro Series and Toyota Atlantic Series.
After capturing the Atlantic championship in his second season, Hearn moved up to compete in both the Indy Racing League and CART series in 1996. His CART debut resulted in a tenth place finish on the demanding Long Beach street circuit. In five Indy Racing League starts, Hearn scored three top-five finishes, including a win at the inaugural Indy car race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"My first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was early in 1996," said Hearn. "I got A. J. Foyt to take me around the track in his Cadillac and show me the line, so that was very interesting."
"Any driver in the world would be happy to race in the Indianapolis 500. I'm real excited about going back. The first time I raced at the Speedway, it was the best experience I've ever had in racing, in my entire life. It's just one of those places that gives you the goose bumps every time you go there. With 400,000 people there on race day it's just incredible."
I'm real excited about being with Pagan Racing. I know he'll do everything he can to win the Indy 500, just like I will. For any driver, especially an American driver, winning the Indy 500 is the end-all, be-all of motorsports."
Pagan Racing expects delivery of their 2000 Dallara chassis next week. "We are extremely pleased to be returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the Dallara chassis," said Pagan. "Rick Long of Speedway Engines will be preparing our engines once again. Last year, we finished second at the Indy 500 with the Dallara and Oldsmobile engines prepared by Speedway Engines. With Richie Hearn as our driver all the key elements of a winning combination are in place."