FOUR WINNERS, THREE WOMEN AMONG DRIVERS NAMED TO INDY FIELD Thirty-eight entries, 69 cars set for 91st Indianapolis 500 INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, April 10, 2007 -- Four past winners and the top 11 finishers from last year's thrilling race are among...
FOUR WINNERS, THREE WOMEN AMONG DRIVERS NAMED TO INDY FIELD
Thirty-eight entries, 69 cars set for 91st Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, April 10, 2007 -- Four past winners and the top 11 finishers from last year's thrilling race are among the highlights of the entry list for the 91st Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The four winners on this year's list are defending champion Sam Hornish Jr., Dan Wheldon (2005), Buddy Rice (2004) and Helio Castroneves (2001-02). Hornish edged rookie Marco Andretti by .0635 of a second for victory last year with a pass on the final straightaway of the last lap.
Twenty-five drivers have been named to the 38 entries filed this year for the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race. Sixty-nine cars -- an increase of three cars over last year -- are included on those 38 entries, including backup cars.
The 91st Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 27 and will be broadcast live by ABC Sports, the IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 144.
On-track activity starts Sunday, May 6 with A.J. Foyt Opening Day presented by The Indianapolis Star Rookie Orientation. Other schedule highlights include Pole Day on Saturday, May 12, Armed Forces Day/Bump Day on Sunday, May 20, American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day on Wednesday, May 23 and Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 25.
The qualifying format that debuted in 2005, with bumping produced on all four days of qualifying, will continue this year. Besides Pole Day and Armed Forces Day/Bump Day, Riley Family Day/Second Day Qualifying is set for Sunday, May 13 and Coca-Cola Throwback Day/Third Day Qualifying set for Saturday, May 19.
Miller Lite Carb Day also will have a full day of action and entertainment for fans. The final practice for the 91st Indianapolis 500, a driver autograph session, the Freedom 100 for the Indy Pro Series^Ù, the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge, laps by vintage Indy 500 cars and Miller Lite Carb Day Concert featuring Kid Rock all are included with a ticket.
Hornish, who won last year's race from the pole, will attempt to become the first repeat winner since his Team Penske teammate Castroneves achieved the feat in 2001-02. Hornish will drive the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
Castroneves will attempt to join an elite club by earning his third Indianapolis 500 victory in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Just eight drivers have won the race three times or more since the inaugural event in 1911.
Wheldon will try to make his fifth Indianapolis 500 start, his second start with Target Chip Ganassi Racing after winning in 2005 with Andretti Green Racing. He will drive the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
2004 winner Rice has moved to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing this season and will attempt to make his fourth Indianapolis 500 start. He will drive the No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
2005 Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick and popular veteran Sarah Fisher were named to entries. Two women have competed in the same Indianapolis 500 only once, in 2000. Sports car veteran Milka Duno, the only Indy 500 rookie named to an entry, could become an unprecedented third woman in the field.
Marco Andretti leads an impressive group of young talent in the race, as Chase Rookies of the Year from five of the last six Indianapolis 500-Mile Races are named to entries. Besides Andretti and Patrick, other recent Rookies of the Year include Castroneves (2001), Tomas Scheckter (co-winner, 2002) and Kosuke Matsuura (2004).
The field also includes five IndyCar® Series champions: Hornish (2001, 2002, 2006), Wheldon (2005), Tony Kanaan (2004), Scott Dixon (2003) and Scott Sharp (co-champion, 1996).
Andretti Green Racing entered 10 cars, more than any other team. Vision Racing entered eight cars.
The most prevalent chassis manufacturer among the entries is Dallara with 61. All cars will use Honda engines and Firestone tires.
A recap of late entries:
* Ryan Briscoe was named to drive the No. 12 and 12T Symantec Luczo Dragon Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone fielded by Luczo Dragon Racing.
* Stephan Gregoire will drive the No. 77 and 77T Chastain Motorsports Panoz/Honda/Firestone fielded by Chastain Motorsports.
* PJ Jones, son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, will drive the No. 97 Direct/Diversified Team Leader 97 Dallara/Honda/Firestone fielded by Team Leader/Dollander Racing.
* Two-time IndyCar Series champion Panther Racing filed an entry for the No. 16 and 16T Panther Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. No driver was named. It's the third entry for Panther.
* 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Hemelgarn Racing filed an entry for the No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. No driver was named.
* Cabbie Motorsports filed an entry for the No. 13 Cabbie Motorsports Panoz/Honda/Firestone. No driver was named.
Former race winners (4): Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005).
Former pole winners (5): Helio Castroneves (2003), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006), Tony Kanaan (2005), Buddy Rice (2004), Scott Sharp (2001).
Rookies (1): Milka Duno.
U.S. born (12): Marco Andretti, Michael Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Sarah Fisher, Anthony Foyt IV, Jon Herb, Sam Hornish Jr., PJ Jones, Danica Patrick, Buddy Rice, Scott Sharp, Jeff Simmons.
Foreign born (13): Ryan Briscoe, Australia; Helio Castroneves, Brazil; Scott Dixon, New Zealand; Milka Duno, Venezuela; Dario Franchitti, Scotland; Stephan Gregoire, France; Tony Kanaan, Brazil; Darren Manning, England; Kosuke Matsuura, Japan; Vitor Meira, Brazil; Marty Roth, Canada; Tomas Scheckter, South Africa; Dan Wheldon, England.
Youngest: Marco Andretti, 20.
Oldest: Marty Roth, 48.
Most previous starts: Michael Andretti, 15.
Chassis: Dallara 61, Panoz 8.
2007 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 91st Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 27.
Tickets can be purchased at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Web site, www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by phone or at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office. The IMS Ticket Office can be contacted at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally. Ticket Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Parking and camping permits for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" also can be purchased online, by phone or at the Ticket Office.