IRL: Wattles joins Hemelgarn Racing for 2001

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2000 -- Team owner Ron Hemelgarn announced Nov. 11 that veteran Stan Wattles will compete under the Hemelgarn Racing banner in the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series, starting with the season opener next in...

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2000 -- Team owner Ron Hemelgarn announced Nov. 11 that veteran Stan Wattles will compete under the Hemelgarn Racing banner in the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series, starting with the season opener next in March at Phoenix.

Wattles, 39, from Sewall's Point, Fla., has made 14 career Indy Racing starts, with at least one start in every one of the Northern Light Series' five seasons. Wattles qualified an impressive eighth for the 2000 Indianapolis 500 in a Hemelgarn/Metro Racing entry before finishing 23rd due to engine problems.

"I was very impressed with Stan's performance at the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500," Hemelgarn said. "Stan showed me he has tremendous ability after qualifying eighth and posting the second fastest lap of the race. I believe that great results will follow with consistency and laps."

Wattles will be the teammate to 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Buddy Lazier, who has finished eighth or better in the series point standings each of the last four seasons with Hemelgarn Racing.

"I can't tell you how excited I am," Wattles said. "To be involved with such a first-class operation is an honor.

"I've had some opportunities in the past, but this could be the one I've been waiting for. I mean, this team just won the Northern Light Cup and now I have the opportunity to work with (team manager) Lee Kunzman, Buddy Lazier and the entire Hemelgarn crew. I'm looking forward to working with Buddy and learning from his experiences as we both set our sights on next year's championship, as well as the Indianapolis 500."

Wattles' Metro Racing Systems organization will move its facilities to Indianapolis and operate out of the Hemelgarn shop. Several mechanics that have prepared Wattles' cars in the past will team up with the experienced Hemelgarn crew.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Stan Wattles