IRL: Franchitti to return to driver's seat at Pikes Peak

Franchitti to return to cockpit at Honda Indy 225 Colorado native J. Lazier staying in Foyt's car at Pikes Peak FOUNTAIN, Colo., Wednesday, June 11, 2003 -- Andretti Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti will return to the No. 27 ...

Franchitti to return to cockpit at Honda Indy 225
Colorado native J. Lazier staying in Foyt's car at Pikes Peak

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Wednesday, June 11, 2003 -- Andretti Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti will return to the No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone for the Honda Indy 225 on June 15 Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Franchitti, 30, from Edinburgh, Scotland, was unable to race in the last three IRL IndyCarTM Series races after suffering a back injury in an off-track motorcycle accident April 4 and has spent the last 10 weeks rehabilitating.

This will be the first time Franchitti has been in an IndyCar Series car since the Purex Dial Indy 200 March 23 at Phoenix International Raceway.

"I'm very excited to be getting back into the Archipelago/Motorola car," Franchitti said. "It has been a long 10 weeks. It was very hard being at the racetrack and not being able to drive the car. I'd like to thank Dr. (Terry) Trammell and also my trainers Toni and Tino Mathis for their hard work to help me get back in the car.

"I'm really looking forward to working with my guys again; they did a fantastic job while I was gone. The Archipelago/Motorola car has been running well. Dan (Wheldon), Robby (Gordon) and Bryan (Herta) did a good job throughout. Now we are just going to concentrate on winning some races."

Franchitti returns to his car as the fourth different driver in four races. Andretti Green Racing rookie Dan Wheldon finished seventh in the car at the Indy Japan 300 on April 13 at Twin Ring Motegi, then Robby Gordon took over the entry at the Indianapolis 500 and qualified third, on the outside of the front row. Gordon retired early form the event with a gearbox problem, finishing 22nd in the race May 25. Bryan Herta then took over at the Bombardier 500 on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing fifth in his IndyCar Series debut.

"We are really happy to have Dario back in the car," said Team Manager Kyle Moyer. "This Archipelago/Motorola crew has been together for a couple of years working with Dario, and I'm sure he is going to get right back in the groove. Even though he wasn't driving, Dario has been at the track working with Tony (Kanaan), Dan (Wheldon) and Bryan (Herta), listening to their feedback and helping to improve the car. We need to thank Bryan for everything he did. He had two really good tests with us, and he ran a great race at Texas."

In other Honda Indy 225 entry news, Jaques Lazier will remain as the driver of the No. 5 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone. Lazier, a native of Vail, Colo., finished 19th in his first start for Foyt on June 7 at Texas.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jaques Lazier  , Dario Franchitti , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , A.J. Foyt