IPS: Andersen Racing names Prendeville for 2007

Andrew Prendeville to Drive One of Andersen Racing's Indy Pro Series Cars in 2007 FAIRFIELD, N.J., Jan. 25 - Andersen Racing's Dan and John Andersen announced today that Andrew Prendeville of Morristown, N.J. will be one of their...

Andrew Prendeville to Drive One of Andersen Racing's Indy Pro Series Cars in 2007

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Jan. 25 - Andersen Racing's Dan and John Andersen announced today that Andrew Prendeville of Morristown, N.J. will be one of their two full-season drivers in the 2007 Indy Pro Series.

He'll drive a Dallara owned by his older brother Doug, who also drives Star Mazda cars for the Fairfield, N.J.-based team on occasion, as well as having driven Andersen-prepped Formula Ford 2000 cars in the past.

Preparing the Prendeville brothers' Andersen Racing Indy Pro Series car will be another set of brothers, Dominic and Nicholas Cape.

Andrew Prendeville has worked with Andersen extremely successfully in the past. He finished second in the 2004 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec national championship and contributed to the team winning the championship that season with seven victories and 15 podium finishes.

Andrew Prendeville, 25, also won the 2002 SCCA Formula Continental national championship, while Doug Prendeville, 28, finished second to him in that Valvoline Runoffs event.

The younger Prendeville will be a rookie in the Indy Pro Series in 2007.

On Wednesday he drove an Indy Pro Series car for the first time and passed his rookie test with flying colors at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The season opener is March 24 at that track in Homestead, Fla., south of Miami.

"We're very pleased to be working with Andrew again, as we think he's not only a quality driver, but also a quality person," Dan Andersen said. "We haven't forgotten the maturity he showed when he finished second in the F2000 series in 2004. His car suffered a bent suspension piece in the season finale. He ended up just 16 points shy of Bobby Wilson in the driver point standings that year, through no fault of his own, but he took it like a champion."

Wilson went on to win the race that day at Road America, while Wade Cunningham, the 2005 Indy Pro Series champion, finished second.

"Andrew is excited about getting in the car and racing against some of the drivers he competed with in F2000, like Bobby Wilson and Chris Festa," noted John Andersen. "It will be especially exciting for everyone in the Northeast, because he's a Jersey boy."

"Bobby beat me for that championship in 2004, so running against him again will give me high motivation," Prendeville agreed with a smile. "But the challenges are the same no matter who shows up at a race. You have to try to beat them all."

Prendeville added that he's really looking forward to working with the Cape brothers, who will prepare his car. "They're very capable; I think we'll have a good time working together," he said. "We should be able to get competitive. How long it'll take I don't know, but I'm just looking forward to working with them."

In the past Prendeville has only competed against cars prepared by the Cape brothers. "They ran Bobby Wilson in F2000 in '04," he pointed out, adding with a smile, "It's a small world."

When asked what he was looking forward to most, the 2000 graduate of Chatham High School in Chatham, N.J. had two answers.

"I'm looking forward to having a full-season ride, and being back running in a championship," he said. "I had two years off, and I'm really looking forward to just the overall competition."

The second part of his answer was more specific. "It will be a dream come true to get the chance to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," he said. The Indy Pro Series has three races at the Brickyard in 2007.

"I've been to four or five Indy 500s, and before that I watched them on TV," Prendeville added. "It's always been a dream of mine to run at the Speedway."

Many of the tracks the series will visit this year will be new to him. "I've raced at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio a number of times; I won the Runoffs at Mid-Ohio in 2002 in Continental," he pointed out. "I ran at Infineon once, but I haven't been to many of the other ones."

Will having his older brother as a car owner add any additional pressure?

"No, he's pretty low-key," Prendeville said of his brother. "He's definitely willing to give his opinion, but he isn't really a controlling person. He doesn't put any additional pressure on me or anything like that. It's actually nice to run my brother's car; it makes it even more fun that we're racing together."

The team plans to announce the name of another full-season Indy Pro Series driver for 2007 shortly.

Andersen Racing uses a three-tiered approach to prepare drivers for the major leagues of American open-wheel racing. In 2007 it will field cars in the Hankook Tires Formula Ford 2000 series and the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in addition to the Indy Pro Series.

-credit: ar

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