IRL: Team Menard files entries for Indy 500

Team Menard files two entries for 87th Indy 500. J. Lazier, Meira named as drivers; Meira ready to run twice at Indy INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 2, 2003 - Two-time IRL IndyCar Series entrant champion Team Menard filed two entries April 2 for...

Team Menard files two entries for 87th Indy 500.
J. Lazier, Meira named as drivers; Meira ready to run twice at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 2, 2003 - Two-time IRL IndyCar Series entrant champion Team Menard filed two entries April 2 for the 87th Indianapolis 500, with Jaques Lazier and rookie Vitor Meira named as drivers.

The Indianapolis 500 will be the second run of the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Meira. He also filed an entry April 2 to run in the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 3 in Indianapolis, a 13.1-mile footrace that includes a lap around the fabled 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

"I used to do triathlons in Brazil for fun," Meira said. "I like these type of competitions. They are very simple. If you are good, you win. If you are not good, you don't win. There are no complications like tires or setup. It is also a healthy thing to do.

"The Indy 500 is such a big event, and the Mini-Marathon is a good way to start the month off."

Lazier will drive the No. 2 car while Meira will drive the No. 22 entry. Both cars carry Menards/Johns Manville sponsorship and are Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone combinations. Identical backup cars were included in each entry.

Dave Milby is the chief mechanic and Larry Ellert the team manager for both Team Menard entries.

All entries for the May 25 race must be postmarked by midnight (EST) April 2. Entries are expected to arrive through the mail at Indy Racing League headquarters through the weekend and into early next week.

Lazier, a native of Vail, Colo., and resident of Alta Loma, Calif., has competed in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" twice (2000-01) with a best finish of 13th as a rookie in 2000. Lazier has two career IRL IndyCar(tm) Series MBNA Poles and earned his first victory from the pole in 2001 at Chicagoland Speedway driving for Team Menard.

Lazier was forced to sit out the 2002 Indianapolis 500 due to injuries suffered in an accident in April 2002 at Nazareth Speedway. Lazier's older brother, Buddy, won the "500" in 1996 and the IndyCar Series season championship in 2000.

Meira, of Brasilia, Brazil, earned his first IndyCar Series MBNA Pole in the Chevy 500 in September 2002 at Texas Motor Speedway while subbing for the injured Jaques Lazier. He also scored his best career finish, third, in that race.

Team Menard won the series entrant championship in 1997 and 1999. Lazier and Meira will attempt to deliver the first Indianapolis 500 victory to team owner John Menard, who has been involved in Indy-style racing since 1979 and is one of the original team owners in the IndyCar Series.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jaques Lazier  , Vitor Meira