IRL: Andretti Green Racing, PDM Racing file Indy 500 entries

Andretti Green Racing, PDM Racing file entries for 2003 Indy 500. Andretti to make final start of illustrious driving career. INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 27, 2003 - Andretti Green Racing filed four entries for the 87th Indianapolis 500-Mile...

Andretti Green Racing, PDM Racing file entries for 2003 Indy 500.
Andretti to make final start of illustrious driving career.

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 27, 2003 - Andretti Green Racing filed four entries for the 87th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on March 26, including one for team co-owner Michael Andretti, who will retire from driving after the 2003 edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" to focus on team ownership in the IRL IndyCar(tm) Series.

Longtime IndyCar Series team PDM Racing filed an entry March 27 with rookie driver Scott Mayer named to drive.

In addition to Andretti, the Andretti Green Racing team named series points leader Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and rookie Dan Wheldon as drivers.

Andretti, from Nazareth, Pa., will attempt to qualify for his 14th Indianapolis 500 in the No. 7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry.

Regardless of the outcome of his final race at Indianapolis, Andretti will leave behind an impressive legacy at the world-famous 2.5-mile oval.

Andretti has completed 2,193 laps of competition at the Speedway out of a possible 2,600 and led 398 laps - the most of any driver to not yet achieve victory at Indy and 12th overall - and has scored eight top-10 finishes in only 13 starts.

His best start was third in 1986 and best finish was second in 1991, after a stirring duel with four-time Indy winner Rick Mears in the late stages of the race.

Andretti also scored a CART series championship in 1991 and finished second in the series points five times. He holds the CART career-victories record with 42 For 2003, Andretti's chief mechanic is John Cummiskey, and his team manager is Tony Cotman.

Kanaan, a native of Brazil and resident of Miami, will drive the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone for Andretti Green Racing. He is a second-year driver at Indy, competing last year for Mo Nunn Racing. He led 23 laps and led when a Turn 3 accident on Lap 89 took him out of contention.

He scored his first-career IndyCar Series win in the Purex Dial Indy 200 on March 23 at Phoenix International Raceway in his debut at that track and has won the MBNA Pole for both series events this season.

Kanaan's chief mechanic is Jeff Simon, and Cotman is also his team manager.

Franchitti also is returning to Indianapolis for his second race and will drive the No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry.

Franchitti, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., and is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, competed with Team Green in the 2002 "500." He qualified 28th and finished 19th. His best finish in the 2003 IndyCar Series season is seventh at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Franchitti's chief mechanic is George Klotz, and his team manager is Kyle Moyer.

IndyCar Series rookie Dan Wheldon will get his first shot at qualifying for the elite 33-car Indianapolis 500 field driving the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Wheldon, an Emberton, England, native and Indianapolis resident, competed in two IndyCar Series events for Panther Racing in 2002, finishing 10th at Chicagoland Speedway and 15th in the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway. He signed as Andretti Green Racing's test driver in November 2002.

Wheldon will begin competing full time for AGR as of the Indianapolis 500, and serve as the team's third driver for the remainder of the 2003 IndyCar Series season.

His chief mechanic at Indy will be Keith Badger, and Moyer also is his team manager.

All four Andretti Green Racing entries include an identical backup car.

Mayer, of Franklin, Wis., will attempt to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500 in the No. 18 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone entry fielded by PDM. Mayer completed his Indy Racing League rookie test at Chicagoland Speedway in August 2002 and has competed in the first two events of the 2003 IndyCar Series season with PDM.

Mayer's chief mechanic is Paul Murphy and manager is Larry Arnold.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Rick Mears , Scott Mayer , Jim Beam , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing