IRL: McCormack selects Brandon Erwin as 2001 driver

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2001 -- McCormack Motorsports will field an entry for Rookie of the Year hopeful Brandon Erwin in the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series, team owner Dennis McCormack announced. Erwin, 25, from Denton, Texas,...

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2001 -- McCormack Motorsports will field an entry for Rookie of the Year hopeful Brandon Erwin in the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series, team owner Dennis McCormack announced. Erwin, 25, from Denton, Texas, will drive the team's No. 30 G-Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone starting at the season-opening Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 on March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway. To prepare for that event, the team plans to test March 7-8 at Phoenix. Erwin comes to Indy Racing after a distinguished career in sprint cars, late models and karts.

"My goal is to become a top Indy-car driver," Erwin said. "All of my life I've been hoping to get an opportunity to drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Making it in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series won't be easy, but I've accepted the challenge and I'm ready to go right now." Erwin passed his Indy Racing League rookie test Oct. 18 at Texas Motor Speedway.

"It only took him 56 laps to complete his rookie test, and he ran five of his last 10 laps that day at speeds faster than 210 mph," team owner McCormack said. "He ran faster than the team's regular driver had run in qualifying at the same track a few days earlier."

Erwin was a regular competitor in sprint cars at the famed Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas. In 1999, Erwin competed in more than 25 dirt-track late model races across the country, participating in Hav-A-Tampa, Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR) and Southern All Star Racing events. He also has raced International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) sprint cars at North Texas Motor Speedway in Royse City, Texas, and Boyd Raceway in Boyd, Texas.

He began racing at the age of 12 in karts, and he finished second and third in International Kart Federation national championships in 1992. He won his first karting national championship in 1991.

McCormack Motorsports has been a mainstay of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series since its inception, fielding cars for a variety of drivers since the inaugural race in 1996. Last year, McCormack teamed up with Jonathan Byrd Motorsports to field cars for J.J. Yeley, Ronnie Johncox, Robby Unser and Jon Herb.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jon Herb , Brandon Erwin , J.J. Yeley , Ronnie Johncox , Robby Unser