IRL: Herbert to debut at Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2001 - Former Formula One race winner and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Johnny Herbert will make his Indy Racing Northern Light Series debut at the Chevy 500 on Sept. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway. Herbert, a...

FORT WORTH, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2001 - Former Formula One race winner and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Johnny Herbert will make his Indy Racing Northern Light Series debut at the Chevy 500 on Sept. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Herbert, a native of Brentwood, England, will drive the No. 36 Heritage Motorsports G Force/Infiniti/Firestone as a teammate to full-time Heritage driver Jeff Ward.

This will be the first oval race in Herbert's career. Herbert, 37, retired from F1 at the end of the 2000 season after a 12-year career. He had three career Grand Prix victories, the latest in a Stewart-Ford in 1999.

Herbert also drove on the winning Mazda team in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991. He drove in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year for the Champion team in an Audi and drives for that team in the American Le Mans Series.

Herbert tested with Heritage on Aug. 13 at Kentucky Speedway, turning top laps of 214 mph, which would have put him on the front row for the Belterra Casino Indy 300 on Aug. 12 at Kentucky.

Infiniti now will power three cars in the field at Texas, as Herbert joins Eddie Cheever Jr. and Robbie Buhl in the Infiniti camp. But Herbert may not be the last driver to be added to the Infiniti roster for the Indy Racing season finale on the 1.5-mile oval.

1999 Indy Racing champion Greg Ray said he will return to the Northern Light Series at Texas, his home track, with Infiniti power. Ray, from Plano, Texas, was released by Team Menard in mid-August and has missed the last two Indy Racing events, at St. Louis and Chicago.

Ray did not divulge the team for which he will drive at Texas.

"I'm really fired up for the Texas race on September 16 and next year," Ray said. "But the only thing I can confirm today is I will definitely race at Texas in two weeks, and I will be driving a Nissan-powered car."

Rookie Anthony Lazzaro is confirmed to return to the Northern Light Series at Texas with Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Lazzaro made his Indy Racing debut in the Gateway Indy 250 on Aug. 26 at St. Louis with Schmidt's team, finishing 18th after engine problems sidelined him after 77 laps.

-IRL

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Jeff Ward , Anthony Lazzaro , Sam Schmidt