Bowtie Bullet Points: Chevrolet notes for the Indianapolis 500 Chevy Qualifiers Ten qualifiers for the 2003 Indianapolis 500 are using Chevy Indy V8 engines. Vitor Meira is the fastest Chevrolet driver in the 33-car field with a four-lap...
Bowtie Bullet Points: Chevrolet notes for the Indianapolis 500
Ten qualifiers for the 2003 Indianapolis 500 are using Chevy Indy
V8 engines. Vitor Meira is the fastest Chevrolet driver in the 33-car field
with a four-lap average of 227.158 mph in Team Menard's Johns Manville
Chevrolet Dallara. Meira posted the second fastest speed among the nine
drivers who qualified on Bump Day, May 18. He will start 26th on the grid
behind the first-day qualifiers. Chevy-powered drivers in the 87th running
of the Indy 500 include (listed by starting position, car number in
parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and qualifying speed in mph):
18. (4) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Chevrolet, 226.225
19. (52) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Chevrolet, 226.213
20. (2) Jaques Lazier, Dallara-Chevrolet, 225.975
21. (91) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevrolet, 224.910
22. (24) Robbie Buhl, Dallara-Chevrolet, 224.369
24. (23) Sarah Fisher, Dallara-Chevrolet, 224.170
26. (22) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.158
29. (98) Billy Boat, Dallara-Chevrolet, 225.598
31. (44) Robby McGehee, Dallara-Chevrolet, 224.493
32. (18) Jimmy Kite, Dallara-Chevrolet, 224.195
We'll Be There
GM Racing Group Manager Joe Negri on the upcoming Indy 500: "Chevrolet teams will race with Chevy Indy V8 engines that have the same power level than was used in qualifying. We have validated the engine specification with extensive durability tests on the track and on the dyno. GM Racing and our affiliated engine builders have focused on enhancing reliability and improving fuel economy, and we believe that we have an engine package that will allow Chevy drivers and teams to be competitive in the 500-mile race."
Chevrolet at the Brickyard
Chevrolet's racing roots run deep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Louis Chevrolet, namesake of the Chevrolet Motor Division, was a noted race car driver and engineer in the early days of the automobile. He participated in the first race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 (not a "500") and competed in the Indianapolis 500 four times, posting a best finish of seventh in 1919. He co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company with William C. Durant in 1911, six months after his brother, Arthur Chevrolet, drove in the inaugural Indy 500. Arthur started 14th and finished 36th in the first running of the 500-mile classic.
Never Give Up
A statue of Louis Chevrolet that stands near the IMS Hall of Fame Museum is inscribed with his credo: "Never Give Up." Louis lived by this motto, persisting in his quest for victory in the Indy 500. He prepared the car that his brother, Gaston, drove to victory in 1920, as well as Tommy Milton's winning entry in 1921. Louis' Frontenac engine (named after the 17th century governor of French Canada) was the first eight-cylinder engine to win the Indy 500.
By the Numbers
Jaques Lazier will start Team Menard's Johns Manville Chevrolet Dallara from the 20th spot on the grid - the same starting position that Tommy Milton started from in 1921 when he won the Indy 500 in Louis Chevrolet's entry.
Chevy Indy 500 Winners
Chevy Indy V8 engines have powered the winning driver in the
Indianapolis 500 seven times, including six consecutive victories in
1988 Rick Mears
1989 Emerson Fittipaldi
1990 Arie Luyendyk
1991 Rick Mears
1992 Al Unser Jr.
1993 Emerson Fittipaldi
2002 Helio Castroneves
The Stock-Block Era
Before the arrival of Chevrolet's purpose-built Chevy Indy V8 in 1986, Chevrolet was a leader in stock-block engine technology at the Indianapolis 500. Chevy stock-block engines, including normally aspirated small-block V8s and turbocharged V8 and V6 engines, appeared regularly in the '70s and early '80s. The highlight of the stock-block era was 1981 when Mike Mosley qualified his All American Racers Eagle second on the grid with a Chevy small-block V8. Other Chevy stock-block racers included Jerry Karl (1973, 1975, 1980-81), Hurley Haywood (1980), Tom Bigelow (1981), Herm Johnson (1982), Steve Chassey (1983) and George Snider (1985).
The red Bowtie has been the most prominent logo on Indianapolis 500 pace cars. The 2003 Chevy SSR (Super Sport Roadster) is the 14th Chevy to pace the Indy 500 - the most pace car appearances by a manufacturer.
The roster of Chevy Indy 500 pace cars and drivers includes: <pre> 2003 Chevy SSR Herb Fishel 2002 Corvette Jim Caviezel 1999 Monte Carlo SS Jay Leno 1998 Corvette Parnelli Jones 1995 Corvette Jim Perkins 1993 Camaro Z28 Jim Perkins 1990 Beretta Jim Perkins 1986 Corvette Gen. Chuck Yeager 1982 Camaro Z28 Jim Rathmann 1978 Corvette Jim Rathmann 1969 Camaro SS Jim Rathmann 1967 Camaro SS Mauri Rose 1955 Bel Air T.H. Keating 1948 Fleetmaster Wilbur Shaw </pre> The Long Run
Chevy Indy V8 racing engines have won a total of 100 Indy car races to date. The first-generation 2.65-liter turbocharged Chevy Indy V8 won 86 times and claimed 80 poles in CART and USAC-sanctioned events in 1987-93. Chevy returned to open-wheel racing in 2002 with the 3.5-liter naturally aspirated Chevy Indy V8 that won 14 out of 15 races and nine poles in IRL competition last season.