IRL: Scott Goodyear, Panther first entrants for Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Feb. 14, 2000 - Scott Goodyear has finished second twice in the Indianapolis 500, but this year he won the race to become the first entry for the 84th edition of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Panther ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Feb. 14, 2000 - Scott Goodyear has finished second twice in the Indianapolis 500, but this year he won the race to become the first entry for the 84th edition of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Panther Racing and driver Goodyear became the first entrants for the 84th Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Though entry invitations were mailed today, Panther Racing chose to complete its entry form this morning at the Indy Racing League office. Goodyear and team owners John Barnes, Gary Pedigo and Doug Boles hand-delivered their entry to Indy Racing League Director of Racing Operations Brian Barnhart. "Competing in the Indianapolis 500 is why Panther Racing was created, and it is the race that each of us here today want most to win," Goodyear said. "We decided to keep our focus on winning Indianapolis at the forefront by being the first team to enter. Entering today gets us started thinking about the Indianapolis 500 earlier than normal." Goodyear will attempt to make his 10th Indianapolis 500 start in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. The team also entered a backup machine. The chief mechanic is Kevin Blanch, with Barnes as team manager. Blanch and Barnes guided Goodyear to two Indy Racing League victories last season, at Phoenix and Texas. The entry deadline is midnight April 12. All entrants will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's richest and most prestigious auto race. The purse for last year's event was $9,047,150, an all-time motorsports record. Goodyear, a native of Toronto now living in Carmel, Ind., has endured some of the toughest luck of any driver in Indianapolis 500 history since his first Indy start in 1990. He finished second to Al Unser Jr. in 1992 by .043 of a second, the closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history. In 1995, he led with 10 laps remaining but passed the Pace Car on a restart on Lap 190. He crossed the finish line first but was classified 14th in the final standings, as scoring of his car ceased on Lap 195 after he ignored a black flag for passing the Pace Car. Goodyear finished second to Treadway Racing teammate Arie Luyendyk in 1997. Since joining Panther Racing in the team's inaugural season in 1998, Goodyear has finished 24th and 27th, respectively, the last two years at Indianapolis. He was running in the top 10 both years before mechanical problems struck. "We have had some tough luck with components over which we had no control the last couple of years," Barnes said. "Both times we were running in the top five just waiting to get to the 400-mile mark and start pushing toward the front. "This year, we are more determined than ever to get Scott and Panther to the finish line." Goodyear and Panther also are motivated by the return to Indy of Unser, who is competing full time this season in the Northern Light Indy Racing Series with Galles ECR Racing. Unser drove for Galles in 1992 when he edged Goodyear for the victory at Indy. "We all know what happened in 1992," Pedigo said. "Panther Racing is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that Scott crosses the finish line first in 2000. Even taking psychological steps like being the first to enter this race."

2000 INDIANAPOLIS 500 ENTRIES (as of Feb. 14) Driver Entrant Car C/E/T Entry Date Scott Goodyear Panther Racing #4, #4T Pennzoil Panther Dallara D/A/F Feb. 14

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Scott Goodyear , John Barnes , Brian Barnhart , Al Unser
Teams Panther Racing