IRL: Indy 500: Entries pour in on deadline day

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 3, 2002 - Four of the heavyweight teams of recent Indianapolis 500-Mile Races - A.J. Foyt Jr. Enterprises, Chip Ganassi Racing, Penske Racing and Red Bull Cheever Racing - were among the six teams that combined to...

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 3, 2002 - Four of the heavyweight teams of recent Indianapolis 500-Mile Races - A.J. Foyt Jr. Enterprises, Chip Ganassi Racing, Penske Racing and Red Bull Cheever Racing - were among the six teams that combined to file 12 entries April 3 for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Past Indianapolis 500 winners Kenny Brack, Helio Castroneves and Eddie Cheever Jr. were named as drivers on three of those entries.

The rush of entries came on the deadline date by which entries must be postmarked for the 86th Indianapolis 500. Additional entries are expected to arrive at the Indy Racing League office in the next few days.

All drivers will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Penske Racing entered cars for 2001 Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves and teammate Gil de Ferran, in their first full season of Indy Racing League competition.

Castroneves, from Miami, will drive the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Last year, Castroneves was the second consecutive rookie to win the race, following Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000. Rick Rinaman is the chief mechanic.

de Ferran, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will drive the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. de Ferran will attempt to make his third Indianapolis 500 start. His best finish was second last year, when he trailed teammate Castroneves to the finish by 1.7373 seconds.

Matt Jonsson is the chief mechanic Tim Cindric is the team president and Tom Wurtz the team manager for Penske Racing, which has won the Indianapolis 500 a record 11 times.

Chip Ganassi Racing, which fielded the winning car of Montoya in 2000, filed three entries for this year's race. 1997 Indianapolis 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward will drive the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone. Ward, from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., will attempt to make his sixth career Indy start. Ward's best finish is second to Brack in 1999. Barry Wanser is the chief mechanic, with Rob Hill the team manager.

1998 Indy Racing League champion Brack will return to Indy for the first time since his victory in 1999 as driver of the No. 22 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone. He will attempt to make his fourth career Indy start. Swedish native Brack now competes full time for Ganassi's CART team. Dave Higuera is the chief mechanic of Brack's Indy entry, while Scott Harner is the team manager.

Brack's CART teammate, Bruno Junqueira, will drive the No. 33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone. Brazilian native Junqueira finished fifth at Indy as a rookie in 2001, the second-best finish by a rookie behind Castroneves. Rick Davis is the chief mechanic, and Simon Hodgson is the team manager.

Red Bull Cheever Racing, known as Team Cheever when it won the 1998 Indianapolis 500 with owner-driver Cheever, entered cars for full-time IRL teammates Cheever and rookie Tomas Scheckter.

Cheever, from Orlando, Fla., will drive the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Cheever will attempt to make his 13th career Indy start. David Meehan is the chief mechanic, while Richard Caron is the team manager for both Red Bull Cheever Racing entries.

Scheckter, from Cape Town, South Africa, will drive the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Scheckter, 21, is the son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter and is the youngest driver so far named as a driver on an entry for this year's race. He first must complete the Rookie Orientation Program on April 11-13 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Owen Snyder III is the chief mechanic for Scheckter.

A.J. Foyt Jr. Enterprises filed three entries. The team is seeking its first Indy victory since 1999, when Brack earned the Borg-Warner Trophy to deliver legendary team owner A.J. Foyt his first win solely as a team owner. Foyt's first four victories came as a driver or owner-driver.

Eliseo Salazar will drive the No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Banco Chile Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Salazar, from Miami, is attempting to make his seventh career Indy start. His best finish was third in 2000. Bill Spencer is the chief mechanic.

Airton Dare will drive the No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Dare, from Miami, will attempt to make his third career Indianapolis 500 start. His best finish was eighth last year.

Craig Baranouski, the team manager for all three Foyt entries, also serves as Dare's chief mechanic.

The third Foyt entry is the No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. The driver will be announced later. Cody Zobac is the chief mechanic.

Walker Racing entered the Walker Racing Special Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. The car number and driver will be announced later. Ron Catt is the chief mechanic, and Rob Edwards is the team manager.

Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing entered the No. 34 Mi-Jack Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone for French rookie Laurent Redon, with an identical backup entered. Redon, a full-time Indy Racing League competitor, first must complete the Rookie Orientation Program.

Didier Francesia is the chief mechanic, and two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Eric Bachelart is the team manager.

-irl/ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Conquest Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing