INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1999 -- Larry Curry, Tony Stewart, Andy Card and Rick Ehrgott of Tri Star Motorsports announced that they have signed Jeret Schroeder to drive for the team in Indy Racing League events in 2000, including the Indianapolis 500.

The team's sponsors should be announced soon.

Schroeder, 30, from Vineland, N.J., was fitted for one of the team's Dallara/Aurora/Firestone cars last Thursday at the team's shop in Westfield, Ind. He will test the car at Delphi Indy 200 Indy Racing League Open Test Dec. 10-11 at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla.

Schroeder's first race with the team will be the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway on Jan. 29. The team's crew chief is Derrick Stepan. "Our goal is to run for the Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year award," said Schroeder, who last May became the first New Jersey resident to make the Indianapolis 500 field in 16 years. "Larry Curry certainly has a fine reputation as a team manager, and we all know Tony Stewart's talents. I'm looking forward to working with everyone at Tri Star Motorsports.

"Making the 1999 Indy 500 was a dream come true, and we almost came home with a top-10 finish. We'll all be working hard to do even better in 2000." All four partners in Tri Star Motorsports are pleased to have Schroeder as their driver, Curry said.

"We felt that Jeret was a very, very good choice," he said. "We wanted to have a young driver but a driver who wasn't a rookie, and Jeret certainly fills the bill. Looking at his background and the amount of racing that he's done, he certainly has the experience. He's already raced in the Indianapolis 500, but within the IRL's rules he is still eligible to compete for the Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year award in 2000.

"A driver has to be talented, and Jeret is. Just in the little bit of time that I've gotten to talk to him, he seems to be well spoken, too, and that's also important. There is a lot more to it than just being able to drive. We' re excited about having him, and we'll get started this weekend." Schroeder competed in the 1999 Indianapolis 500 in a G-Force/Infiniti/Firestone fielded by Cobb Racing and sponsored by Purity Farms and Summit Packaging. He qualified 21st with an average speed of 220.747 mph, earning a better starting spot than his future car owner, Stewart, and his Cobb Racing teammate, veteran Roberto Guerrero. Schroeder was running eighth in the race with just 25 laps remaining when the car's engine failed, but he still finished 15th.

A diversified driver, Schroeder also competes in selected sports car endurance races with the TRV Motorsport team of Toledo, Ohio. Schroeder was a star of the Toyota Atlantic series, and he won the U.S. F2000 national championship in 1995.