IRL: Indy 500: AGR pre-event facts, quotes

Who: Andretti Green Racing What: 88th Indianapolis 500, Round 4 of the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Ind. When: Sunday, May 30, 2004 Television: ABC (Live) at 12 p.m. (EDT) Andretti...

Who:  Andretti Green Racing

What: 88th Indianapolis 500, Round 4 of the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Ind.
When: Sunday, May 30, 2004
Television: ABC (Live) at 12 p.m. (EDT)

Andretti Green Racing Team Facts

Andretti Green has won the last two poles (Wheldon - Phoenix, Motegi) and the last two races (Kanaan -- Phoenix; Wheldon -- Motegi) in the IndyCar Series.

Andretti Green Racing posted a "one-two" finish in the series' last event at Twin Ring Motegi on April 17 marking the first time AGR swept the top two positions in an IndyCar Series race.

Andretti Green has led 383 of the last 400 laps run (95.8 percent) in IndyCar Series competition (191 -- Phoenix; 192 -- Motegi).

AGR has led 416 of 600 laps run in 2004 (69.3 percent).

Andretti Green drivers occupy the top two spots in the IndyCar Series point standings (Wheldon - 123, Kanaan - 117).

After three races, Wheldon's average finish is 2.3; Kanaan's average finish is 3.7.

Andretti Green has had at least one car in the top-five in nine consecutive IndyCar Series events dating back to Aug. 10, 2003, which stands as the longest active streak in the series.

Andretti Green Racing has four wins and fives poles since joining the IndyCar Series in 2003.

AGR entries have combined for 27 top-five finishes in 19 career IndyCar Series races.

AGR has placed two cars in the top-five of an event nine times in 19 events.

Michael Andretti, Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Green Racing:

"Since the moment I stepped out of the car in last year's '500,' my focus has been on the ownership of Andretti Green Racing and winning my first Indy 500 as an owner. That's still my focus and I feel very good about where we are right now in terms of preparing for this year's race.

"For whatever reason, I was never meant to win this race as a driver. But, like I said last year, maybe I'm supposed to win it 10 times as an owner. Who knows? All you can do is put yourself in a position to win it and then hope that luck falls your way. Honda has really stepped up its program and has been giving us everything we need to not only win, but dominate the last two races. Those last two performances by Tony and Dan have us feeling very confident and have just made us hungrier for the '500.'"

Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:

"Everybody at Andretti Green Racing feels pretty good about where we are right now. I felt like the team had a really good open test, so that will give us something to build on starting Sunday. I think Honda is really prepared for the month and I know there is a lot left in our cars.

"This is when having a four-car team is really going to pay off because we can try a lot more things and cover a lot more ground than anybody else. But, you still have to prepare for the mental rollercoaster ride that you are always on at Indianapolis. Even if you've got the fastest car out there, it still seems like there are a lot of ups and downs. It's just a matter of getting through the low points and knowing that the high points are coming."

Dario Franchitti, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"I'm very excited to be competing in the Indy 500 again. Last year was obviously very difficult due to the fact I couldn't race, as well as seeing my car on the front of the grid. That was very difficult. I'm just really looking forward to getting back there. I think we'll be a lot more competitive in the ArcaEx car than the last time I was there (2002).

"An Indy 500 win would be huge. I've come close to winning championships over here - especially the one (CART) in '99 that came down to the tiebreaker. But an Indy 500 win would be a huge thing. There's no other way to put it."

Bryan Herta, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"Indy is definitely a special race. It is where I made my first start in 1994 and I know there is a lot of tradition that goes into the month of May and that is what makes everything so great. We had a very good open test in the XM Satellite Radio car. We learned a lot about the aerodynamic changes and also about the new engines. Honda has done a great job in its development of the 3.0- liter engine. That is one of the great things about Andretti Green Racing; we have very good partners who provide us with the best equipment and give us a chance to win every time we go out on track."

Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"What can you say about Indy? It is the biggest race in the world and it is the next race in front of me, so it has my entire focus. At the start of the year, my goals were to win Motegi, win Indy and win the championship. We didn't get Motegi, but Dan did, so I still feel pretty good about that. Now, it's on to Indianapolis. It's a long month and so many things have to go your way. But we have a great team at Andretti Green Racing, and I think we have what it takes to get a win for Team 7-Eleven."

Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"I don't care which country you're from, the Indy 500 is absolutely massive. When you go and watch the race, when you read about the race in magazines, when you're young, when you watch it on TV, it's certainly big. It's certainly a cool race to watch. But when you race in it, it is unbelievable, just the whole month. Last year during the whole month there was a grin on my face from ear to ear.

(On what it would mean in England for Dan to win) "It would be very special for the country in general, and certainly, to be on the same list as Graham Hill as a winner would be excellent. For me, Indy is the one that I care about most. It would just be such a feeling of completion, of just making the whole month go right and be able to win the race in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car. I'd never forget that feeling; never, that's for sure. You could never take that away from history. I would be on the Borg Warner Trophy as a winner and that's what I'm intending to do certainly before my career ends."

Andretti Green Racing - By The Numbers--

If Bryan Herta wins the pole in car #7, it will be the first time car #7 has won an Indianapolis 500 pole since Johnny Rutherford did it in 1973. If Herta wins the race, it will mark the first time since 1949 (driver Bill Holland) that car #7 has won the Indianapolis 500. If Tony Kanaan wins the pole in car #11, it will be the second time in six years that #11 started from the top spot; Billy Boat won the pole in car #11 in 1998. If Kanaan wins the race, he will be the first driver to ever win the "500" while sporting the #11.

A car carrying #26 has never won an Indianapolis 500 pole or the Indianapolis 500; Dan Wheldon has won the last two IndyCar Series poles (Phoenix, Motegi) and the last race (Motegi) with #26.

The number "27" last visited the Winner's Circle at Indianapolis when Jacques Villeneuve won the "500" for Team Green in 1995. Dario Franchitti could establish himself as the first driver to win an Indy 500 pole in a car numbered "27" if he recorded the fastest four-lap average on Pole Day this year.

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Billy Boat , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Graham Hill , Jim Beam , Johnny Rutherford