Patrick Racing will make its return to the Indianapolis 500 after an eight-year hiatus beginning with practice this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Patrick Racing, which is in its 32nd year of competition,...
Patrick Racing will make its return to the Indianapolis 500 after an eight-year hiatus beginning with practice this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Patrick Racing, which is in its 32nd year of competition, and first in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, announced its intention to campaign the 2004 IRL season on March 21 of this year. The 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be the team's first event.
"I am very happy to be returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and competing in the Indy 500 as well as the remainder of the IRL season," team owner U. E. Patrick said.
"The team has made a lot of progress over the last six weeks, which has included tests at Nashville and the open test at the Speedway last week. I am happy with our results so far, but we are in this to win races, so we are going to have to keep working hard," he said.
Patrick Racing will be making its 24th appearance and 45th start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team has earned 20 top-10 finishes including 14 in the top-five with three wins (Gordon Johncock 1973 and 1982; Emerson Fittipaldi 1989) and three second place showings (Mario Andretti 1982; Kevin Cogan 1986 and Fittipaldi 1988).
They have qualified in the top-10 a total of 26 times with 14 top-five starts and one pole (Johncock 1982).
"The Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world and Patrick Racing has enjoyed a lot of success over the years", Patrick noted. "We have fielded some of the greatest drivers in the world for this event and been a part of some of the most exciting races in motor sports history. With the support of Chevrolet, Patrick Racing will, once again, be very competitive and I am looking forward to the month of May."
Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr. will be behind the wheel of the #20 Patrick Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry. Unser Jr. will be contesting his 17th Indy 500 where he has posted 10 top-10 finishes placing in the top-five seven times including victories in 1992 and 1994. The talented native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has qualified in the top-10 a total of eight times including four top-five starts with one pole (1994).
Patrick Racing has done a fantastic job preparing for our debut at the Indianapolis 500," Unser Jr. said. "The engineering staff, led by Steve Newey, has done a great job and the crew has been outstanding. The car has been very reliable and the Chevrolet engine has run flawlessly," he noted.
"We have a very strong and experienced team and Pat (Patrick) knows what to do to win here. I am excited about competing at Indy again this year and really looking forward to getting back on the track during the month of May," Unser Jr. concluded.