AVONDALE, Ariz., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003 -- Matt Beardsley will return to the Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series in 2003, as his family-owned team has formed a technical alliance with the crew, equipment and facilities of IndyCar Series...
AVONDALE, Ariz., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003 -- Matt Beardsley will return to the Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series in 2003, as his family-owned team has formed a technical alliance with the crew, equipment and facilities of IndyCar Series standout Billy Boat.
Beardsley will drive the No. 12 Beardsley Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone car for a second consecutive year in the Indy Racing League development series for the team owned by his father, Craig Beardsley. Land Title, Alpine Bank and Old Republic National Title Insurance Company each return as sponsors to Beardsley's team.
But this season, Boat's crew will prepare the cars in Boat's suburban Phoenix shop, with veteran Darrell Soppe as the engineer.
"We are really excited about the opportunity to work with Billy Boat and his veteran crew," Beardsley said. "It is a big step up and forward for us. Darrell Soppe and Billy Boat will bring a lot of experience to this team, and we look forward to strong results in 2003.
"I'm very excited. This series puts you in front of big names and gives you very good experience to hopefully move into the IndyCar Series. We also hope to help make it possible for Billy to get another Infiniti Pro Series car, so we can eventually have a two-car team."
Beardsley, 24, who lives in Phoenix and Breckenridge, Colo., made five Infiniti Pro Series starts last season, with a best finish of fifth at Kentucky.
"Matt and his family team had an excellent exploratory first year in the series last year," said Roger Bailey, Infiniti Pro Series executive director. "We're glad they're returning, and the addition of the technical support from Billy Boat's team will help make Beardsley Motorsports a very competitive team."
Boat will serve as a spotter and driving coach for Beardsley.
"I watched every Pro Series race last year, and I think Matt showed great potential in his driving," Boat said. "The Pro Series is a great formula for young drivers to learn on the same tracks as the Infiniti Pro Series. With our personnel and our experience, we hope to help young drivers like Matt reach their goal of racing in the IndyCar Series."
The second Infiniti Pro Series season starts March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.