IPS: Watkins Glen: CR Crews preview

Crews to Become Youngest Indy Pro Series Driver Ever Sunday at the Glen INDIANAPOLIS, May 30 - CR Crews of Dallas is poised to become the youngest driver ever to compete in an Indy Pro Series race with today's announcement that he has been...

Crews to Become Youngest Indy Pro Series Driver Ever Sunday at the Glen

INDIANAPOLIS, May 30 - CR Crews of Dallas is poised to become the youngest driver ever to compete in an Indy Pro Series race with today's announcement that he has been signed to drive for Michael Crawford Motorsports in Sunday's Corning 100 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Crews is celebrating his 18th birthday today, May 30, so he'll be 18 years and five days old on race day.

"I am looking forward to my first start with the Indy Pro Series and with all the guys at Michael Crawford Motorsports," Crews said. "I wish I could have tested before this weekend, but with my 18th birthday just two days before the first practice at Watkins Glen it just wasn't possible.

"I know that this weekend is going to be a big challenge and I think that I am up to it," he added. "We have a very specific plan that we want to accomplish during each of the practice and qualifying sessions. When it comes race time, I will be ready."

Michael Crawford Motorsports is a new team, although its principal was the general manager for Sam Schmidt Motorsports since the end of the 2002 season through the end of the 2005 season. The latter team won the Indy Pro Series championship in 2004 and fielded three cars that finished in the top six in points in 2005.

"CR comes to our team with a great resume and a ton of potential," Crawford said. " He's a road-course racer with a lot of experience in the various formula that lead to the Indy Pro Series. The team had a competitive car at Watkins Glen last year and our expectations are to work with CR to achieve our best finish ever. We would also like to wish CR a happy 18th birthday today. This means that he will be the youngest driver to compete in the Indy Pro Series, which is another first to add to his impressive resume."

Although this will be Crews' Indy Pro Series debut, he is very accomplished in other forms of open-wheel racing. He hopes to drive the remaining four Indy Pro Series road-course events this year and to compete in the series full-time in 2007. In addition to the Glen's 3.37-mile road course, the series' remaining road-course races for 2006 will be on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2.6-mile road course July 1-2 and a doubleheader on the 2.4-mile road course at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Aug. 26-27.

Crews also hopes to participate in the IndyCar Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next May with the goal of landing a ride in the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.

Crews has worked extremely hard during the "off season" on mental and physical conditioning. He has been training under the guidance of the professionals at ZOOM Sports in Frisco, Texas.

Crews was winning local kart races at the age of 8. He continued winning on the national karting circuits before moving into formula cars. He won the first Formula Mazda race he ever entered at age 14. He missed two North American Pro Mazda Championship races in 2004, one due to age restrictions, but he still finished in the top-10 in the point standings that year. He became the youngest driver to ever test a Daytona Prototype when Forest Barber let him drive the 2004 Rolex 24-winning Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway that December. Crews also tested a Renault Formula V6 at both Donington Park and Silverstone in England last year. He was slated to compete in Formula Atlantic this year but that program is currently on hold due to budget constraints.

Indy Pro Series practice will start on Friday morning at the Glen, followed by two qualifying sessions at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Saturday and the 29-lap race at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis at 2 p.m. Eastern time June 8 on ESPN2.

For more information, see crcrews.com and indycar.com.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Forest Barber