IRL: TeamXtreme signs rookie Airton Dare

ROCKWALL, Texas, Dec. 3, 1999 -- TeamXtreme Racing announced Friday that it has signed Airton Dare to drive its number 88 Indy Racing League entry as a teammate to veteran John Hollansworth Jr. in the ...

ROCKWALL, Texas, Dec. 3, 1999 -- TeamXtreme Racing announced Friday that it has signed Airton Dare to drive its number 88 Indy Racing League entry as a teammate to veteran John Hollansworth Jr. in the #42 Lycos G Force. The announcement follows TeamXtreme’s decision earlier this year to expand into a multicar operation and establishes TeamXtreme as one of the few full-time, multicar efforts in the Indy Racing League.

“This is a great deal for me,” Dare said. “They have so many quality people on their team, and their focus on winning is so intense. I hope to drive for them for years to come.”

Airton Dare (pronounced Air-ton Dar-ray), a six-time Brazilian jet-ski champion, tied for fourth the Indy Lights points standings in 1998 and ninth this season. He won at Detroit while leading every lap from the pole in 1998 and at Nazareth this year.

“TeamXtreme is very proud to announce its expansion as a multicar team with the addition of Airton Dare as the driver of our number 88 Banestado G Force,” TeamXtreme general manager John Lopes said. “There is so much upside with this mature young man. What impressed us most about him is that he’s only 21 years old but has three years of Indy Lights experience. He’s qualified up front, won races and has that eye-of-the-tiger thing going that ’s difficult to explain but infectious with the crew.

“Dare and Hollansworth are going to make a fine duo.”

Dare, 21, finished in the top 10 in every oval race in 1999 in which the car was running at the finish. He passed his Indy Racing League rookie test in October at Texas Motor Speedway, comfortably running speeds that would have put him well into the field for the season-ending Mall.com 500 there. Chief engineer Mark Weida and chief mechanic Rob Stark will move to Dare’s car. A new crew, in part, is planned for Hollansworth’s car.

“We intend to make some exciting announcements about the addition of veteran crew members for the 42 car within the next two weeks,” Lopes said.

Banestado, a leading bank in Dare’s native Brazil, will provide significant sponsorship support for the 2000 season. Additional sponsor announcements are planned for the near future for Dare’s car, said Starke Taylor, TeamXtreme director of sponsorship.

Dare and Hollansworth will participate in the Indy Racing League Open Test Dec. 10-11 at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., site of the season-opening Delphi Indy 200 on Jan. 29.

Dare and Hollansworth dined together Tuesday night at Cool River in Irving, Texas, a TeamXtreme sponsor. DFW Insulation owner and TeamXtreme co-owner Rick Sharp played host to the dinner, and Hollansworth was thrilled with the new addition to the team.

“Wow, what a night,” Hollansworth said. “We had four languages going at the table between owners, team members and sponsors -- English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. I think I’ll ask my spotter to stick to English for this year!”

Rockwall, Texas locals claim there is quite a buzz about their neighbors with the big “X” in their name. The team has enjoyed recent feature articles in the Dallas Morning News and is part of a groundswell of motorsports business surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Hollansworth will lead a parade in his Lycos sponsored Indy Racing car for 11 miles this Sunday on Interstate 75 in Dallas, recently revamped after 10 years of construction. Texas state officials is closing the busiest freeway in Texas for 20 minutes Sunday so Hollansworth can show Dallas what real commuting looks like.

The team also recently completed a series of television shows in support of Feed the Children and raised money to purchase more than 600,000 pounds of food for hungry children across America in 1999. The team is owned by a group of five owners including Steve Fisher, Rick Sharp, Tommy O’Brien, Stan Stanley and Mike Erwin.

-IRL/IMS- kk

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Series INDYCAR