IRL: Seven teams file Indy 500 entries on deadline day

Seven Teams File Entries On Indianapolis 500 Deadline Day Penske, Andretti Green, Cheever, Hemelgarn, Dreyer & Reinbold, Nunn, PDM enter INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - Penske Racing, the winningest team in Indianapolis 500 history,...

Seven Teams File Entries On Indianapolis 500 Deadline Day
Penske, Andretti Green, Cheever, Hemelgarn, Dreyer & Reinbold, Nunn, PDM enter

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - Penske Racing, the winningest team in Indianapolis 500 history, led seven teams that combined to file 13 entries March 31 for the 88th Indianapolis 500.

The flurry of entries came on the deadline day for filing, as all entries must be postmarked by midnight Wednesday, March 31. Additional entries are expected to arrive in the next few days.

The 88th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The teams combined to enter a total of 25 cars, including backup cars. Andretti Green Racing filed four entries totaling eight cars, more than any other team this year, while Marlboro Team Penske filed three entries totaling six cars.

Filing two entries for four total cars was 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Cheever Racing, while 1996 Indy winner Hemelgarn Racing, PDM Racing and Nunn Racing each filed an entry for two cars. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing filed an entry for a single car.

Penske Racing has won a record 13 Indianapolis 500's, including the last three in a row. In fact, Marlboro Team Penske has won the last four Indianapolis 500-Mile Races in which it has competed - 1994, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Helio Castroneves, winner of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in 2001 and 2002, will drive the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, with a backup entered. Rick Rinaman is the chief mechanic.

Castroneves will attempt to become just the ninth driver in the 88-year history of the race to win the event three times. He started from the MBNA Pole last year but finished second to now-retired teammate Gil de Ferran in an attempt to become the first driver to win the race three consecutive years. Castroneves has finished first, first and second in his first three starts at Indy, the best record ever.

Two-time Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series champion Sam Hornish Jr., Castroneves' new teammate, will drive the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, with a backup entered. Matt Jonsson is the chief mechanic.

Hornish will attempt to earn his first Indianapolis 500 victory in his fifth start. His best finish is 14th in 2001, as Indianapolis is the only active track in the IndyCar Series where Hornish has not recorded at least a top-six finish during his career.

Marlboro Team Penske also filed an entry for the No. 66 Marlboro Team Penske Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone, with a backup entered. The driver and chief mechanic will be announced later.

Tim Cindric is the president of Penske Racing, with Tom Wurtz the manager of the team's entries.

Andretti Green Racing filed four Indianapolis 500 entries for eight cars for the second consecutive year.

IndyCar Series points leader Tony Kanaan will drive the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with a backup entered. Jeff Simon is the chief mechanic.

Kanaan finished a career-best third last year in his second Indy start.

Bryan Herta will attempt to make his third Indianapolis 500 start - and his first since 1995 - in the No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone fielded by Andretti Green Racing, with a backup entered. Jeff Grahn is the chief mechanic.

Herta's best finish was ninth as a rookie in 1994.

2003 Bombardier IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Dan Wheldon will drive the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone fielded by Andretti Green Racing, with a backup entered. Mike Horvath is the chief mechanic.

Wheldon placed 19th as a rookie last year after a spectacular crash on Lap 186.

"I'm very much looking forward to it," Wheldon said. "I think the race this year is going to be very tough. Certainly the way the season started, I am quite comfortable in saying we have one of the most competitive championships in the world, period.

"I love the place. I love to be here. It's the biggest sporting event in the world and the biggest race that I will race in my career. I'm looking forward to keeping on all fours this year."

Dario Franchitti rounds out the Andretti Green Racing entries in the No. 27 Arca/Ex Dallara/Honda/Firestone, with a backup entered. David Popielarz is the chief mechanic.

Franchitti will attempt to make his second Indianapolis 500 start. He finished 19th as an Indy rookie in 2002 but missed last year's race due to a back injury suffered in a motorcycle accident in April 2003.

Kyle Moyer is the team manager of Andretti Green Racing's entries.

Red Bull Cheever Racing filed entries for 2002 Indianapolis 500 Bank One co-Rookie of the Year Alex Barron and rookie Ed Carpenter.

Barron will drive the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Chevrolet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with a backup entered. Craig McCain is the chief mechanic.

Barron will attempt to make his third Indianapolis 500 start, as he finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in 2002 and 2003.

Carpenter will drive the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Chevrolet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with a backup entered. Tom Vasi is the chief mechanic. Carpenter won the inaugural Futaba Freedom 100 Menards Infiniti Pro SeriesTM race last May at Indianapolis.

Max Jones is the team manager of the Red Bull Cheever Racing entries. Team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. won the 1998 Indianapolis 500 as a driver-owner.

Hemelgarn Racing, one of the Indy Racing League's original teams, entered the No. 91 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with a backup. The driver will be named later. Dennis LaCava is the chief mechanic with Lee Kunzman the team manager.

Buddy Lazier won the 1996 Indianapolis 500 driving for Hemelgarn.

PDM Racing, another original IRL team, entered the No. 18 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with a backup entered. A driver and chief mechanic will be named later. Larry Arnold is the team manager.

Nunn Racing filed an entry for the second consecutive day, previously entering cars for 2003 Bank One Rookie of the Year Tora Takagi. Nunn entered the No. 21 Dallara/Toyota/Firestone today, with a backup The driver and chief mechanic will be named later. Peter Parrott is team manager.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing also filed an entry for the second straight day, previously entering cars for team owner-driver Robbie Buhl. Dreyer & Reinbold entered the No. 23 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with no backup. The driver will be named later.

Dan Miller is the chief mechanic, and John O'Gara is the team manager.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Tora Takagi , Bryan Herta , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Dan Miller , Max Jones , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr. , Ed Carpenter
Teams Team Penske , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing , Team Penske