McGehee to Drive for PDM at Indy INDIANAPOLIS, May 20 - Robby McGehee, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, will attempt to qualify the PDM Racing Dallara Chevrolet ...
McGehee to Drive for PDM at Indy
INDIANAPOLIS, May 20 - Robby McGehee, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, will attempt to qualify the PDM Racing Dallara Chevrolet #18 sponsored by Natoli Engineering for this year's Indy 500 Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Although this deal came together late and was just announced today, McGehee is confident the team will quickly get up to speed. "It has been a long month. But now that we have gotten this program with PDM Racing completed, I'm really looking forward to getting on the track and getting up to speed," McGehee said.
PDM Racing owner Paul Diatlovich is equally excited by the deal, saying "We have been working extremely hard to come up with a program. It came down to the eleventh-and-a-half hour, but we are excited to have this opportunity to work with Robby. We feel like we have a strong package with the Dallara chassis and a Chevy engine, and are looking forward to racing to the front."
Earlier this month it appeared that McGehee would be a full-month participant at Indy. Unfortunately a major sponsor backed out on the eve of opening day at the Brickyard, forcing McGehee to find another route into the Indy 500. With the help of his agent, Howard Jaffe, and some of Jaffe's colleagues, a deal was struck with Carmen Natoli.
Other assistance is coming from Peter Roberts of Wanforce; Bob Dapper of Royal Spa; Robert O'Loughlin, president and ceo of Lodging Hospitality Management, and Harold Lewis of National Studios.
"I certainly would have preferred to get on the track earlier," McGehee admitted. "But we battled through some disappointment when our major sponsor backed out just prior to opening day, and are now ready to race. That hurt a bit, but the Indy 500 has been important to me since I was a child, and I'm very excited with the program we have put together. As long as the weather cooperates, we will have plenty of time to get up to speed."
McGehee, 30, has four previous Indy 500s starts (1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003). In those four starts, the St. Louis driver has completed 710 laps with a best finish of fifth in 1999. His career earnings for the Indianapolis 500 are $971,540.
PDM Racing has been a long-time entrant in the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500. Drivers that have raced for PDM include Sam Hornish, Jr., Jeret Schroeder, Ed Carpenter, Jimmy Kite and a host of others.
The Indy 500, the world's largest single-day sporting event, will be held May 30.
For more information, see www.robbymcgehee.com and www.restartcommunications.com.