IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: Rahal/Letterman Racing file Indy 500 entry

Rahal/Letterman Racing and Miller Lite enter Jimmy Vasser in the Indy 500 HILLIARD, OH . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing and primary sponsor Miller Lite have officially entered driver Jimmy Vasser in the 2002 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26. The...

Rahal/Letterman Racing and Miller Lite enter Jimmy Vasser in the Indy 500

HILLIARD, OH . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing and primary sponsor Miller Lite have officially entered driver Jimmy Vasser in the 2002 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26. The entry marks the first time that the open wheel racing team owned by 1986 Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal and television talk show icon David Letterman has entered a car in the May classic.

The Rahal/Letterman Racing entry (#19 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone) will be piloted by veteran driver Jimmy Vasser. Longtime Team Rahal sponsors Shell, Hewlett-Packard and Timken will also participate in the Rahal/Letterman Racing Indy 500 program. Vasser who also drives the Shell car for Team Rahal in the CART FedEx Championship Series has recorded two fourth-place finishes in his six Indianapolis 500 starts. The 36-year-old California native who now resides in Las Vegas has won a pair of 500-mile events during his open-wheel racing career, with victories at the 1996 U.S. 500 at the Michigan International Speedway and the 1998 Marlboro 500 at the California Speedway.

"The Indy 500 is an American tradition and we are very proud to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway again with Miller Brewing," said Rahal. "Miller also has been a tradition at the Speedway and bringing them back, as well as David, to this hallowed ground is very special. Having a tremendous driver like Jimmy behind the wheel for our team and Miller Lite means we will be among the top contenders for the coveted Borg Warner Trophy."

"Miller Brewing is pleased to return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2002," said Steve Lauletta, Miller Brewing Company's Director of Sports and Event Marketing. "It's the world's most famous auto race and having Rahal/Letterman Racing and Jimmy Vasser in the race gives our Miller Lite brand an outstanding opportunity to win this prestigious event. Miller has a great heritage at the Indy 500 and we believe that Bobby, Dave and the whole Rahal/Letterman organization will make it 'Miller Time' this May in Indianapolis."

"To be part of a team racing at Indianapolis is the kind of thing I dreamed about as a kid," said Letterman. "I couldn't hope to be in better company than Bobby Rahal. This is what springtime in Indiana is all about."

"I have raced in the Indianapolis 500 and there isn't another event like it in the world," said Vasser. "The chance to race at Indy and represent not only a great company like Miller Brewing but a great team like Rahal/Letterman Racing is an honor. I think Bobby and Dave have assembled the elements to be successful this May."

As part of the preparation for the 2002 Indianapolis 500, Rahal/Letterman Racing and Vasser will participate in the upcoming Indy Racing League event at California Speedway (March 22-24).

Rahal/Letterman Racing is the Indy Racing League (IRL) entry of Team Rahal a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). Headquartered in Hilliard, Ohio, the team owned by three-time CART Champion Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, currently fields a pair of Championship Cars for 1996 CART champion Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr. in the CART FedEx Championship Series and an entry for Vasser in the Indianapolis 500. The 65-member team enjoys primary sponsorship from the Shell Oil Company and the Gigante Group in CART and the Miller Brewing Company for the Indy 500.

The 2002 racing season marks the 30th year that Miller Brewing has been a sponsor in open-wheel competition dating back to 1973 in the United States Auto Club (USAC) and the Indianapolis 500. Since its first involvement in open wheel competition, Miller Indy and Championship cars have won 17 races including the 1985 Indy 500 (with Danny Sullivan), 19 pole positions and two CART season championships (with Danny Sullivan in 1988 and Bobby Rahal in 1992). The 'Indy 500 Pit Stop Contest' also was sponsored by Miller for 18 years.

Miller Brewing Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Philip Morris Companies Inc. Principal beer brands include Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Genuine Draft Light, Miller High Life, and Milwaukee's Best. Primary products from the Plank Road Brewery, a small division of Miller, include ICEHOUSE and Red Dog. Specialty regional brands include Leinenkugel's Henry Weinhard's, and the company malt liquor brands include Olde English 800 and Mickey's Malt Liquor. Miller also imports Foster's and brews Sharp's, a non-alcohol brew. More information is available at and


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Danny Sullivan , Philip Morris , Michel Jourdain