HILLIARD, OH . . . In light of recent reports that have increased speculation on Team Rahal and its drivers involvement in the 2000 Indianapolis 500, Team Rahal offers the following statements to clarify its position. "The entire Team Rahal ...
HILLIARD, OH . . . In light of recent reports that have increased speculation on Team Rahal and its drivers involvement in the 2000 Indianapolis 500, Team Rahal offers the following statements to clarify its position.
"The entire Team Rahal organization, including our drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis are focusing our energies entirely on winning the CART FedEx Championship in 2000," said Bobby Rahal. "With the talented individuals that comprise our team, the dedication of our partners and the combination of Ford, Reynard and Firestone I feel we will be contenders for the championship in 2000."
"Team Rahal seriously considered creating a program for an entry into the Indy 500 but after looking into the project and consulting with our partners, we felt that running at Indianapolis would only detract resources, manpower and energy from our primary goal, winning the CART championship. Neither of our drivers Kenny Brack or Max Papis will race at Indianapolis without Team Rahal," said Rahal."
"When the opportunity arose for me to join Team Rahal and drive for Bobby I knew there was a chance I wouldn't return to Indy in 2000 to defend my win," said Brack. "My goal for this season is to help this team succeed and possibly win the CART championship. My hands are full with the challenge of making the transition to CART and I am dedicating my energy and attention to the upcoming 20-race season. From day one Bobby has been up front with me about the prospects of racing at Indianapolis. As we draw closer to the start of the CART season and face the challenges ahead, I fully support the decision to focus solely on the CART Championship."
"As a former Indy 500 Champion I understand how unique it is for the defending champion to not race at Indy," said Rahal. "I think it is a great gesture on the part of A.J. [Foyt] that he has offered Kenny a symbolic means to be involved in the race."
"When the opportunity of co-ownership with A.J. was presented I accepted the opportunity as a way to keep my name as Indy 500 Champion involved with the race, while allowing me to keep my attention focused on the task at hand in CART," said Brack.
Team Rahal will continue preparation for the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series with three days of testing scheduled for Firebird East this week.