IRL: Rahal/Letterman, Brack enters Indy 500

Former Indy 500 winners team up for May 25 500-mile race. SPEEDWAY, IN . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing announced today that its Hilliard, Ohio-based racing operation has entered 1999 champion Kenny Brack in the Rahal/Letterman Miller Lite/Pioneer...

Former Indy 500 winners team up for May 25 500-mile race.

SPEEDWAY, IN . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing announced today that its Hilliard, Ohio-based racing operation has entered 1999 champion Kenny Brack in the Rahal/Letterman Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda/Dallara/Firestone car for the 87th edition of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race set for May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Rahal/Letterman, co-owned by 1986 Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal and Indianapolis native Dave Letterman, will bring Brack back to the site of the biggest victory of his racing career in effort to win his second Indy 500. Brack, the 36-year-old Sweden native, won the 500-Mile Race on May 30, 1999 when he drove a car owned by another Indy 500 winner, A.J. Foyt, to victory lane.

This year's entry marks the sixth time a Rahal-owned team has competed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the best finish of third twice (1994 and 1995) by Rahal. Rahal attempted to qualify in 1993 but did not make the starting lineup. Rahal/Letterman returned to the Indy 500 last year with driver Jimmy Vasser and finished 30th.

"We're very excited to return to Indianapolis with Honda," said Rahal, who introduced the auto manufacturer to Indy in 1994 as a driver and team owner. "We feel with Kenny at the wheel and partners like Honda, Miller Lite and Pioneer Electronics that we have all the makings of an Indy 500-winning effort. Now it is up to Team Rahal to give Kenny the equipment to perform and reach that coveted victory lane. As a former champion at Indy, there is no greater satisfaction than standing in victory lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."

Brack, who is listed as the driver of the No. 15 and 15T entries, will attempt to qualify for his fifth Indy 500 start this May and his first with Rahal/Letterman. This is Brack's second tenure with Rahal and Letterman after he drove for Team Rahal for two seasons (2000 and 2001) in CART, finishing fourth and second in the championship respectively. Brack collected four wins, 11 podiums and 24 top-ten results in his two seasons with Team Rahal.

"Coming to Indy with Bobby and Dave is a great feeling," said Brack, the 1998 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion. "Knowing their histories at Indy and the racing histories of our sponsors, I am extremely excited about our effort and our capabilities to win the race. The Indy 500 is the biggest auto race in the world and I was lucky enough to win it once. It would be incredible to win it again, especially for Bobby, Dave, our team and our partners like Miller Lite, Pioneer,Honda and Firestone."

Letterman, the legendary late-night television show host, grew up in the Broadripple area of Indianapolis and watched many of the Speedway stars in his youth. Now he helps bring a former winner in Brack back for chance at the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy, symbolic of winning the Indy 500.

"As a child I came to the Speedway and watched many of the sport's greatest athletes compete in my hometown," said Letterman, who served as team owner at Indy for the first time last year. "It was like a rite of spring for us to see the drivers and cars. But now to be part of the event as a team owner is a great thrill. I wish Kenny and our team all the best in the month of May."

Indianapolis native Scott Roembke, the team's chief operating officer, will lead a strong Rahal/Letterman organization for Brack to the 2003 Indy 500 along with team manager Steve Dickson, engineer Don Halliday and chief mechanic Ricardo Nault.

"We have collected an outstanding crew for Kenny this year," said Roembke. "And working closely with Honda, Dallara and Firestone, we think we have all of the ingredients to give Kenny a strong effort to win on May 25."

"We're excited to continue our Indy 500 partnership with Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and everyone at Team Rahal," said Steve Lauletta, director of Event and Sports Marketing at Miller Brewing Company. "Miller Brewing has been a sponsor at the Indy 500 dating back to the early 1970s. And Miller has been a part of Bobby and his race team since 1992. Bobby has also been a great ambassador for Miller Lite, as both a driver and team owner. Having Kenny as part of the program is a bonus. We have worked with Kenny before and he does a great job both on and off the track. With his being a former Indianapolis 500 champion, we are really looking forward to making it 'Miller Time' in May at the Speedway."

"We're proud to have this incredibly talented group of racing professionals sporting the Pioneer red logo on their vehicles and racing suits at this year's Indy 500," said Ed Sachs, executive vice president of Mobile Entertainment for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "As the leading provider of in-car audio and video technology, our motorsports sponsorships expose the Pioneer brand to millions of consumers through television and on-site activities. It also gives us a great opportunity to establish retail promotions for world-renowned events like the Indy 500."

"We have been excited to reunite with Team Rahal and team owner Bobby Rahal, who played such an important role in our entry into Indy Car racing in 1994," said Robert Clarke, general manager of Honda Performance Development. "We have enjoyed establishing a new relationship with former Indy 500 and IRL Champion Kenny Brack. Kenny has proven to be a race and championship winner in the past and he and Team Rahal will fill an important position within the Honda-powered lineup next season."

In addition to the Indy 500, Team Rahal also fields the Pioneer/Miller Lite entry for Brack in 15 races on the IRL IndyCar Series.

Rahal/Letterman Racing and Team Rahal is now in its second decade as one of the leading open-wheel racing teams in North America. Based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time CART Champion Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, the team currently fields single-car efforts three separate racing championships in 2003.

-r/lr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Kenny Brack , A.J. Foyt , Robert Clark