2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series Preview: Hemelgarn 91 Johnson Hemelgarn Seeks Another Strong Season INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, February 23, 2004 -- After two seasons competing in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series, the Hemelgarn 91 Johnson ...
2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series Preview: Hemelgarn 91 Johnson
Hemelgarn Seeks Another Strong Season
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, February 23, 2004 -- After two seasons competing in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series, the Hemelgarn 91 Johnson Motorsports team can boast of finishes in the top half of the point standings in both campaigns.
In the inaugural seven-race 2002 season, the team placed fourth and fifth in the point standings while drivers Aaron Fike and Cory Witherill each won races.
Last year, with the season expanding to 12 races, Hemelgarn Johnson captured one checkered flag with Fike. The two-car entry recorded fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the point standings.
"As we enter our third season of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, optimism runs high within the Hemelgarn Johnson Motorsports team, especially with Paul Dana behind the wheel," owner Ron Hemelgarn said.
Dana, who raced with both Kenn Hardley Racing and Brian Stewart Racing as a rookie in 2003, managed a ninth-place finish in the point race despite running in only 10 events. His best finish was sixth at Phoenix.
"I'm very confident heading into to '04," Dana said. "My Ethanol partners have been very loyal and that has given me a sense of stability. I've had a lot of fun in preseason testing and I think this is the best chance to run up front I've had in a few years. I intend to make the most of it."
The Hemelgarn 91 Johnson team is finalizing details to run a second car for the third consecutive season.
CAPSULE LOOK AT HEMELGARN 91 JOHNSON MOTORSPORTS
Owners: Ron Hemelgarn, Roger Johnson
Driver: Paul Dana (No. 91)
Team manager: Lee Kunzman
Crew chief: Chuck Buckman
Chief mechanic: Matt Dove, Dan Toborg
Ron Hemelgarn: "We feel confident that Paul can continue the success that the Hemelgarn Johnson team has experienced and bring wins. After hundreds of test miles, Paul has demonstrated car control and great feedback. We're ready for the season to get underway and put the No. 91 Ethanol entry in the winner's circle. It is very exciting to be associated with Ethanol, knowing the surge of public awareness in the alternative fuel market. We look forward to a long relationship and many years of success with Ethanol."
Paul Dana: "Hemelgarn Johnson Motorsports have a great group of guys working on the car. They are focused and hungry and I think we've built a pretty good vibe even though we've only been working together for a month."
The 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series season begins with the Homestead Miami 100 at 11:45 a.m. (EST) on Feb. 29, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast on tape delay by ESPN2 at 4 p.m. on March 4.