INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 21, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Lazier to fill in for injured Enge at Milwaukee 2. Tight points race carries over to Milwaukee 3. Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers highlighted on "The Fast Life" 1.
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 21, 2005
Today's IRL headlines
1. Lazier to fill in for injured Enge at Milwaukee
2. Tight points race carries over to Milwaukee
3. Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers highlighted on "The Fast Life"
1. Lazier to fill in for injured Enge at Milwaukee: Buddy Lazier will get an additional race on his limited IndyCar Series schedule by filling in for the injured Tomas Enge in the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 on July 24 at The Milwaukee Mile.
Lazier, who competed last week at Nashville Superspeedway with Panther Racing and has at least three other events on his calendar, will drive the No. 2 ROCKSTAR Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone on the 1-mile oval. Enge suffered compression fractures to the T12 and L1 vertebrae during a crash on Lap 28 of the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville.
"My No. 1 concern is for the health of my teammate Tomas Enge," said Lazier, who has finished fifth (89th Indianapolis 500) and ninth (Nashville) in the No. 95 entry. "I don't like that I will be competing in this race because he is injured, but I'm thankful again to Panther Racing, ROCKSTAR Energy Drink and Chevrolet for giving me another great opportunity. We'll do our best this weekend in Milwaukee."
Enge, an IndyCar Series rookie, has five top-10 starts and one top-10 finish in the nine events. Lazier also has been confirmed for upcoming races at Michigan International Speedway (July 31), Kentucky Speedway (Aug. 14) and Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 11).
"We're fortunate to have a driver as talented and experienced as Buddy Lazier to fill in for Tomas this weekend," Panther co-owner John Barnes said. "But at the same time we're looking forward to having Enge back as soon as possible. Tomas is a fighter, and he's done a great job for us this season and we're looking forward to having him back in a race car as soon as the doctors say it's OK."
2. Tight points race carries over to Milwaukee: Sam Schmidt figures his Menards Infiniti Pro Series team has unfinished business at The Milwaukee Mile this weekend.
"Last year, with Thiago Medeiros driving for us, we dominated the race until a mechanical failure with 25 laps to go," the team owner said. "We definitely have something to prove there. We showed we've got the speed there, but we didn't wrap it up with a win. Nothing makes us hungrier than letting a near-definite win slip away. We want to get back there to prove the point that we tried to make last year."
His triumvirate has made plenty of statements already this season heading into the Milwaukee 100 (ESPN2 broadcast at 3 p.m. EDT July 28). Travis Gregg, driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil Products/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, is second in the standings to Wade Cunningham. Jaime Camara is three points behind and Chris Festa is fourth.
Camara, 24, a Brazil native residing in Miami, rides into Milwaukee emboldened with a victory in the Cleanevent 100 at Nashville Superspeedway on July 16. He also was quick at a Menards Infiniti Pro Series test at the Mile earlier this summer.
"There will be a lot of different rubber on the track when we return to race," the driver of the No. 1 CELG/Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry said. "We tested after the NASCAR Busch Series and the track had lots of their tire rubber on it, so I know the grip will change when we get back. We'll have IndyCar Series, Silver Crown and USAC all running with us. It will be interesting to see how the track changes.
"You have to be cool and be aggressive at the same time. It's very hard because you want to drive too hard there, but you can't or you'll end up crashing.
"The track has a lot of history, with it being so old. I think anyone that wins here has to consider it a very special win since it's even older than Indy."
Cunningham, who led Gregg by 10 points heading to Tennessee, has a 22-point cushion after he finished fourth and Gregg 10th. Still, it is the tightest points race after seven events in series history.
"Unless people start DNFing, which they haven't, the points will stay pretty tight," said Cunningham, driver of the Motorsport New Zealand entry for Brian Stewart Racing. "The points pay all the way down, so it could come down to the last couple of races."
3. Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers highlighted on "The Fast Life": The second season of "The Fast Life," ESPN2's series about the IndyCar Series, continues this weekend.
The show, which focuses on Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon, the 2003 IndyCar Series champion, Darren Manning and Ryan Briscoe will be telecast at noon (EDT) on July 24. Additional programs of the eight-week series will be telecast by ESPN2 at noon on Sundays throughout the summer.
Hosted by ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little, "The Fast Life" is designed to give the viewer a behind-the-scenes look at the IndyCar Series and its drivers. Each episode will give an all-access peek into the life of different IndyCar Series drivers.
Each show also includes race previews and reviews and "Kevin Blanch's Tech Tip" using the same Target cut-away car used during the IndyCar Series broadcast. In addition, the shows count down the top moments in IndyCar Series history as voted on by the fans on www.indycar.com.
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the ABC Supply A.J. Foyt 225 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) July 24 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152, "XM Extreme." The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series event is the Milwaukee 100 on July 24 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 on a tape-delayed basis at 3 p.m. (EDT) on July 28. The next episode of "The Fast Life," ESPN2's behind-the-scenes series about the IndyCar Series, airs at noon (EDT) on July 24.