INTERESTING MIX OF WINNERS, CHAMPIONS, ROOKIES THIS YEAR AT INDY Thirty-six entries, 33 drivers, 69 cars set for 89th Indianapolis 500 INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, April 12, 2005 -- The race for the Borg-Warner Trophy is on, as an interesting mix of...
INTERESTING MIX OF WINNERS, CHAMPIONS, ROOKIES THIS YEAR AT INDY
Thirty-six entries, 33 drivers, 69 cars set for 89th Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, April 12, 2005 -- The race for the Borg-Warner Trophy is on, as an interesting mix of three former winners, five IRL IndyCar® Series champions and eight event rookies are included on the entry list for the 89th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.
Buddy Lazier, Helio Castroneves and defending champion Buddy Rice are the three past Indy winners on the entry list for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." There are 36 entries for the 33-car field, with 33 drivers named to those entries. A total of 69 cars, including backup cars, are listed on the entries.
The 89th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (EDT, noon local) Sunday, May 29 and will be broadcast live on ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. On-track activity starts Sunday, May 8 on indystar.com Opening Day.
This year's Indianapolis 500 features a variety of exciting changes designed to benefit fans and teams. Changes include:
A new start time of one hour later than in past years. The new start time moves the event into a better time slot for national television viewers and also provides more time for hundreds of thousands of race fans to arrive at the track on Race Day morning.
A new qualifying format that produces bumping on each day of qualifying. There also will be a return to the traditional four days of qualifying, expanding from the three days of recent years. MBNA Pole Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, with Rubber Queen Second Day Qualifying on Sunday, May 15, Third Day Qualifying on Saturday, May 21 and Bump Day on Sunday, May 22.
A new date for Miller Lite Carb Day, which shifts to Friday, May 27 from its past Thursday date. The Futaba Freedom 100 also moves to Miller Lite Carb Day, a new date for that Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù race.
A new schedule for practice days, with on-track activity taking place from noon-6 p.m. each day except for May 8-9, one hour less of track time per day than in past years.
A new schedule for the Rookie Orientation Program, which returns to its traditional Month of May slot, as ROP will take place during the first two days of practice, May 8-9.
Rice will attempt to become just the sixth driver to win the Borg-Warner Trophy as race winner for two consecutive years. He will drive the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone.
One of those winners of two consecutive races, Castroneves, returns in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone. 2001-02 Indy winner Castroneves also will attempt to join an elite club, becoming only the ninth driver to win the race three times.
1996 race winner and 2000 IndyCar Series champion Lazier will drive for two-time series champion Panther Racing this year in the No. 95 Panther/Jonathan Byrd's/ESPN 950 AM Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.
Other past series champions named to entries include Tony Kanaan (2004) in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, Scott Dixon (2003) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone, Sam Hornish Jr. (2001-02) in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone and Scott Sharp (1996) in the No. 8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone.
Among the rookies is Danica Patrick in the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone. She will attempt to become just the fourth woman to race in the Indianapolis 500, following Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher.
Another rookie named to an entry is defending Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais, who is part of the first two-car entry from Newman Haas Racing at Indy since 1995.
Bourdais will drive the No. 37 Newman Haas Racing Team Centrix Panoz/Honda/Firestone alongside his teammate, 2002 MBNA Pole winner Bruno Junqueira, who will drive the No. 36 Newman Haas Racing Team Centrix Panoz/Honda/Firestone.
Five past Indianapolis 500 JPMorgan Chase Bank Rookies of the Year will attempt to qualify: Kosuke Matsuura (2004) in the No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone, Alex Barron (co-2002) in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, Tomas Scheckter (co-2002) in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, Castroneves (2001) and Jeff Ward (1997) in the No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone.
Defending IndyCar Series champion Andretti Green Racing entered eight cars, more than any other team. Entering six cars apiece were A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Marlboro Team Penske, Panther Racing, Rahal Letterman Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Fernandez Racing is connected to six entries, two apiece for Delphi Fernandez Racing, Mo Nunn Fernandez Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.
The most prevalent chassis manufacturer among the entries is Dallara with 39. Toyota is the most prominent engine, with 28. All cars will use Firestone tires.
Indy 500 tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the 89th Indianapolis 500, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.