IRL: Rookie Bob Register Ready for Pikes Peak

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Aug. 24, 1999 -- Bob Regester is a 45-year-old Colorado driver who will make his Pep Boys Indy Racing League debut in the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche this weekend at Pikes Peak International Raceway. ...

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Aug. 24, 1999 -- Bob Regester is a 45-year-old Colorado driver who will make his Pep Boys Indy Racing League debut in the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche this weekend at Pikes Peak International Raceway. He thanks his left foot for putting him in position to begin living his lifelong dream. Normally, the left foot is the one that applies the brake. Register used it in a most unusual way to complete his rookie orientation test in a Truscelli Team Racing G Force/Aurora/ Goodyear car on July 19 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It became the brake for his right foot. "It was really exciting," he said about the test. "It certainly was a whole new world for me. "The last session was at 205 mph, and I was having a hard time making myself hold it to the max (in the turns). They (crew on the radio) kept saying, '202, 203,' and I kept saying, 'I'm going to stay flat (on the throttle),' but I wasn't. So I lifted my left foot over and put it on top of my right foot to make myself do it." Once he got through a lap at 205 on the 1.5-mile AMS layout, he gained the needed confidence and breezed through the next nine laps with his left foot neither touching the brake nor applying pressure to his right foot. He completed the last session in 12 laps and the entire program in 68. What's truly amazing about this is that he had never driven an Indy-style car on any oval track longer than 3/8ths of a mile. "Absolutely my first big oval," he said. "Everything was so different from what I was used to doing with Indy cars. Once I did it, I came to Pikes Peak to test and was more relaxed, focused and concentrated. I felt comfortable." Truscelli's regular driver, Jaques Lazier, helped Regester at Atlanta. Lazier also is a rookie who has driven for car owner Joe Truscelli since the Longhorn 500 presented by MCI WorldCom in June at Texas Motor Speedway. Lazier, the younger brother of 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, is just 19 points behind leader Scott Harrington in the battle for the Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year title despite qualifying for only four races. Regester first met Jaques Lazier in 1995 when the two drivers put on an exhibition on the old Stapleton Airport runways at Denver. Lazier drove his Indy Lights car, while Regester drove a Lola formerly driven by Michael Andretti. The meeting with Truscelli came through another happenstance. Regester and his son Bobby (also an aspiring driver) own a business, Native Sons Realty, that sells mountain real estate. It's located in Florissant, Colo., about an hour's drive west of Colorado Springs on the other side of Pikes Peak. "Joe came up and bought a 160-acre ranch," Regester said. "We became friends." Regester has been a race driver most of his life, following in the footsteps of his father, who was killed 35 years ago in a heavy-equipment accident. Regester said it always was his father's dream to eventually drive an Indy Racing car. That has been his fantasy, too. "It's a goal I've had in mind for more than 20 years," he said. "It was fortunate I had good, instant success in the American Indy Car series." Truscelli had a car competing in the same series, which is contested mostly on road courses and the 3/8th-mile Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with Greg Gorden driving. He brought Gorden to the Pep Boys Indy Racing League last winter with the intention of campaigning him as a rookie, but Gorden didn't get up to speed in testing. Truscelli then hired international veteran Roberto Moreno before turning to Lazier after the Indy 500. In his second year of driving a Chevy stock car, Regester scored nine oval victories. But he made a name for himself in the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He was named rookie of the year in 1980 in the super stock class and then in 1985, switching to open-wheel competition, he won his class in a mid-engine Wells Coyote and tearfully dedicated the victory to his father. "There are a lot of people who grew up around here - the Unsers and Mears - and the race has a long history of racing families cutting their teeth here," he said about the famous Race to the Clouds. "It's no different than sprint and modified drivers breaking in (to Indy Racing). It's a good proving ground, precise. It's a very demanding race of 156 turns and track conditions constantly changing. "I'm sure every driver does it differently. I focus on the road ahead. It's no different than at Atlanta running 215 down the straight with the wall ahead." Driving in the super stock class in 1994, Regester set the class record of 11 minutes, 39.17 seconds, and it still stands today. Although the PPIR appearance is a one-race deal, Regester's plan is to do well enough to come to Indy next May. Regester first attended the "500" in 1989, sitting in the stands. This May he was there as Truscelli's guest in the garages and pits. Regester is not making any rash predictions about his Indy Racing debut. "I'm just going to focus and do the best I can do," he said. "This is a brand-new team that's never pitted together. I'm going to focus, stay out of trouble and hope to bring it home with a good finish." And not use his left foot any more than necessary.

COLORADO INDY 200 PRESENTED BY DELOITTE & TOUCHE NOTEBOOK

Schedule: The Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche starts at 2 p.m. (MDT) Aug. 29. PPG Pole qualifying starts at 12:30 p.m. (MDT) Aug. 28. Practice sessions start at 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. (MDT) Aug. 27, and 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (MDT) Aug. 28. On the air: The Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche will be televised live at 4 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 29 on FOX Sports Net. SpeedVision will televise PPG Pole qualifying live at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 28. The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 29, followed by the live race broadcast at 4 p.m. A qualifying highlights show will be broadcast from 5:30-6 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 28. The area IRRN affiliates are KRDO-AM 1240 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and KKFN-AM 950 in Denver. The IRRN race broadcast also will be available live on the Internet at www.indyracingleague.com as part of a partnership between Indy Racing Online and broadcast.com, the world's leading Web broadcast site. Tickets: Tickets are available for the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche. Call (888) 306-7223 or (719) 382-7223 for more information. Information also is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.ppir.com/ticketing .

Source: IRL/IMS

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Michael Andretti , Roberto Moreno , Scott Harrington , Jaques Lazier