CHEEVER RACING ADDS NICK BUSSELL TO THEIR IRL DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR THE 2006 INDY PRO SERIES SEASON Indianapolis, Ind. (March 17, 2006) Nick Bussell has joined Cheever Racing's comprehensive driver development program and will team...
CHEEVER RACING ADDS NICK BUSSELL TO THEIR IRL DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR THE 2006 INDY PRO SERIES SEASON
Indianapolis, Ind. (March 17, 2006) Nick Bussell has joined Cheever Racing's comprehensive driver development program and will team with Chris Festa in a two-car effort in the IRL Indy Pro Series.
Bussell, a 22-year-old from Ionia, Mich., has 14 Indy Pro Series races to his credit, including a top finish of second at Pikes Peak International Raceway. He established a series record by finishing all 14 of his races in 2005.
Bussell will join Festa on Eddie Cheever Jr.'s team, which is designed to develop young American racers for the future. The season begins Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand our effort to train and develop the best young drivers," Cheever said. "The Indy Pro Series offers an established platform, and we look forward to showing Nick and Chris the path to the Indianapolis 500."
In his first season of IPS competition, Bussell finished fourth in the final standings while racing for two teams -- JL West Motorsports and Vision Racing. He started on the front row for the Liberty Challenge on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and was running at the finish of all 14 races.
"This is going to be a really good opportunity for me," Bussell said. "With the amount of experience a guy like Eddie Cheever has, it's is going to go a long way toward helping me progress. There are a lot of things I can gather from his knowledge and his years of experience. I'm really looking forward to this."
The announcement also continues Bussell's affiliation with Indy Racing League founder Tony George, owner of Vision Racing.
"I am happy to continue my an affiliation with Nick by supporting his IPS program with Cheever Racing," George said. "He made a big impression with all of us at Vision Racing and we are happy to be in a position to continue supporting his career development. I am certain this will be a good experience for him in a year that promises to be most competitive."
The No. 52 Cheever Racing entry, with sponsorship to be announced soon, doubles the effort and commitment of the first Indy Pro Series team for Cheever Racing, one of the original teams of the IRL IndyCar Series. Festa, who finished sixth in the final Indy Pro Series standings in 2005, joined Cheever's training program in January.
"With two events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and a good combination of oval and road course races, the Indy Pro Series is a good place for America's future open-wheel racers to be driving and learning," Cheever said.
Among the highlights of the 12-race Indy Pro Series season is the Freedom 100 on May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.