INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 -- Team Penske, winner of a record 10 Indianapolis 500s, will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the 85th edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on May 27, team officials announced...
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2001 -- Team Penske, winner of a record 10 Indianapolis 500s, will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the 85th edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on May 27, team officials announced Jan. 17.
Team President Tim Cindric also said Penske will race in the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 18, the season opener for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, as a warm-up for Indianapolis. Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and 2000 CART champion Gil de Ferran will run Dallara chassis with Oldsmobile engines developed by Ilmor Engineering at Phoenix and Indy, Cindric said.
"It's a huge undertaking, but we're ready for the challenge," said Cindric. "I know Roger's brand and the Penske name is based a lot on what he has done at Indianapolis, and I know he is forever grateful for that."
Team Penske has not entered cars at Indianapolis since 1995, when two-time Indianapolis 500 winners Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser Jr. both failed to qualify. Unser now drives full-time for Galles Racing in the Northern Light Series.
Team Penske's first victory at Indianapolis came in 1972 with Mark Donohue and most recently with Unser in 1994. de Ferran competed at Indianapolis in 1995, finishing 29th in a Jim Hall-owned entry after being eliminated in a six-car crash on the first lap. "It's still for me a very prestigious race and a title that I would like to add to my curriculum before I stop racing," said de Ferran. "It means a lot to me, particularly the fact that I am going there with Marlboro Team Penske, which has a great history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway." Castroneves will attempt to make his first Indianapolis start. He tested at the track in July 2000 with a G Force chassis and returned in November to test the Dallara. de Ferran also tested the Dallara chassis in October at Indianapolis.