IRL: Bucknum joins Hemelgarn for Indy 500

Jeff Bucknum Joins Hemelgarn Racing for Indy 500 Ron Hemelgarn has announced the addition of Jeff Bucknum to the Hemelgarn lineup for the 90th running of the Indy 500. This will be the second Indy appearance for Bucknum who was an impressive...

Jeff Bucknum Joins Hemelgarn Racing for Indy 500

Ron Hemelgarn has announced the addition of Jeff Bucknum to the Hemelgarn lineup for the 90th running of the Indy 500. This will be the second Indy appearance for Bucknum who was an impressive first day qualifier last year and was very competitive until being taken out in a late race incident, finishing 21st. Bucknum will compete in the #92 Honda powered Dallara.

"I watched Jeff closely last year and was very impressed with his performances. He was thrown into a pressure cooker in qualifying at Indy and never put a wheel wrong, getting his entry into the field as the gun went off on the first day," said Hemelgarn. "That's tough for anyone, let alone a rookie. Then my good friend AJ Foyt picks him up for two events, Infineon and the Glen. If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is."

Bucknum has high expectations for 2006 and beyond. "I had four experiences in IndyCars last year plus a full season in ALMS Prototypes. I loved my IndyCar events and spent the off season examining how to approach this season," stated Bucknum. "I clearly wanted to return to IndyCars but it had to be based on quality. My discussions with Ron convinced me Hemelgarn Racing will provide exactly that, quality, and an opportunity to win."

"We are also looking for events after the 500 with Hemelgarn but those plans are still developing. Our activities this year are to build for a full schedule for 2007," continued Bucknum. "That is not to say we don't expect good results this year because we do. But this plan will allow us to build a quality team this year and get ready for a full-on assault for 2007. Ron knows how to win and this package gives us many of the tools to get those results. I could not be happier."

"Jeff is capable and deserves and opportunity to compete against the world's best drivers and teams," said Hemelgarn. "The fact that we could put this together on such short notice is a testament to Jeff, our team manager Lee Kunzman, Honda Performance Development, the IRL and many others. It's a giant task but we are up to the challenge."

Hemelgarn Racing has a 28 year history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and achieved the ultimate victory in 1996. Hemelgarn Racing gained the overall IRL Championship in 2000.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Bucknum