IRL: Herta to replace injured Franchitti at Texas, Pikes Peak

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 6, 2003 -- Veteran Bryan Herta will substitute for the injured Dario Franchitti in an Andretti Green Racing entry in June at the IRL IndyCarTM Series races at Texas Motor Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway,...

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 6, 2003 -- Veteran Bryan Herta will substitute for the injured Dario Franchitti in an Andretti Green Racing entry in June at the IRL IndyCarTM Series races at Texas Motor Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway, team officials announced May 6.

Herta, from Valencia, Calif., will drive the No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone during the Bombardier 500 on June 7 at Texas and the Pikes Peak Indy 225 on June 15 at Pikes Peak.

To prepare for his first run in an IndyCar Series car, Herta will test May 12-13 at Pikes Peak and May 19-20 at Texas.

"This is a fantastic opportunity," Herta said. "I was pleased when Michael (Andretti) called and asked if I could drive for Andretti Green Racing until Dario gets better. I'm excited to drive for a high-caliber team like Andretti Green."

Herta, 32, is the team's backup driver for this year's Indianapolis 500 if a rain delay forces Robby Gordon to leave for the NASCAR event in Charlotte on May 25. Gordon is driving at Indy for Franchitti, who suffered a broken back in a motorcycle accident in April in his native Scotland.

"I think Bryan is a very talented driver," said Andretti, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing and driver of the No. 7 Team 7-Eleven entry. "He will also fit in well with the team. One of the most important parts of a team is its chemistry. I feel his personality and the way he carries himself is going to be a great fit for the team."

Herta, a Michigan native, has two wins and seven poles in an eight year CART career. He also claimed the 1993 Indy Lights championship and 1991 Barber Saab Pro Series title.

In 2002, Herta drove the Panoz LMP 01 in the American Le Mans Series and finished 10th in the drivers' standings.

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Dario Franchitti , Bryan Herta