IRL: Rahal, Fernandez IndyCar teams file 500 entries

DEFENDING INDY CHAMP RAHAL LETTERMAN FILES THREE ENTRIES Two entries for Fernandez Racing INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 31, 2005 -- Defending race champion Rahal Letterman Racing filed three entries March 31 for the 89th Indianapolis 500, ...

DEFENDING INDY CHAMP RAHAL LETTERMAN FILES THREE ENTRIES
Two entries for Fernandez Racing

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 31, 2005 -- Defending race champion Rahal Letterman Racing filed three entries March 31 for the 89th Indianapolis 500, including one for 2004 winner Buddy Rice.

Fernandez Racing also filed two entries.

Rahal Letterman, owned by 1986 Indy winner Bobby Rahal and late night television icon Dave Letterman, also named rookie Danica Patrick and Vitor Meira as drivers of its entries.

Fernandez Racing named veteran Scott Sharp as the driver of its Delphi Fernandez Racing entry and 2004 JP Morgan Chase Bank Rookie of the Year Kosuke Matsuura as the driver of its Super Aguri Fernandez Racing entry.

The 89th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entries must be postmarked by midnight Wednesday, April 6.

Rice, from Phoenix, will drive the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone, with a backup entered. Ricardo Nault is the chief mechanic, continuing a partnership that helped deliver Rice the Borg-Warner Trophy and the MBNA Pole at Indianapolis in 2004.

Patrick, from Roscoe, Ill., will drive the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone, with a backup entered. Ed Daood is the chief mechanic.

She will attempt to become just the fourth woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, following Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher.

Meira, from Brasilia, Brazil, will attempt to make his third career Indianapolis start in the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Menards Johns Manville Panoz/Honda/Firestone, with a backup entered. Greg Cates is the chief mechanic.

Meira's best finish at Indianapolis is sixth in 2004, his first year with Rahal Letterman.

Steve Dickson is the team manager of all three Rahal Letterman entries.

Sharp, from Norwalk, Conn., will attempt to make his 11th Indy start in the No. 8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone, with a backup entered. Tony Leith is the chief mechanic, and Mike Sales is the team manager.

1996 IndyCar Series co-champion Sharp won the MBNA Pole in 2001 and earned his career-best Indy finish of 10th in 2000.

Matsuura, from Aichi, Japan, will drive the No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone, with a backup entered. Don Lambert is the chief mechanic, with Simon Hodgson as team manager.

In 2004, Matsuura finished 11th to earn JP Morgan Chase Bank Rookie of the Year honors with Super Aguri Fernandez Racing after starting ninth, the top starting spot among rookies in the 33-car field.

Indy 500 tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the 89th Indianapolis 500, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Scott Sharp , Bobby Rahal , Lyn St. James , Buddy Rice , Janet Guthrie , Kosuke Matsuura , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira