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Forty Entered In Indy 500

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 21 2010

Jay Howard's Sarah Fisher Racing car was tested at Kansas Speedway on Wednesday. Next month, it will be attempting to qualify for the Indy 500. (Photo courtesy of the Indy Racing League)

Kansas City, Kan. – The entry list for next month’s running of the Indianapolis 500 was released on Wednesday and it contains an impressive 40 entries.

Seventy-eight cars and 34 drivers are on the list of 40 entrants. That means that six more drivers could be added for the 500 and take to the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when it opens on May 15.

On the list of drivers entered are four past winners and four IZOD IndyCar Series champions.

Two of the drivers on the entry list were at Kansas Speedway on Wednesday: Sarah Fisher, who will be in the No. 67 Dollar General car that Sarah Fisher Racing has put on the track with Graham Rahal at the wheel this season, and Jay Howard, who will be in the new No. 66 car for SFR.

Howard, it was announced Wednesday, will be in the new car for five races this season, starting with next the May 1 Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway.

Sponsoring Howard’s car will be Service Central – automotive service offered exclusively at Tire Kingdom, National Tire and Battery, Merchants Tire and Big O Tires.

After Kansas, the car is scheduled to race at Indianapolis, Texas, Mid-Ohio and Chicagoland Speedway.

Howard, the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion, who got a taste of the IZOD IndyCar Series in ’08 with Roth Racing.

“We’re very excited to have a two-car effort and I think the teamwork from it will prove to be very beneficial as we continue to grow our team,” Fisher said.

Rahal’s name was not on the list of drivers entered in the 500. However, one source told RacinToday that Rahal will likely be in a car for Rahal Letterman Racing for the 500 as that team has entered two cars.

Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves (2001-02, 2009) leads the list of past winners, which also includes Scott Dixon (2008), Dario Franchitti (2007) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

Castroneves will attempt to become just the fourth four-time winner of the world’s most important race, joining A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Series champions entered include Dixon (2003, 2008), Franchitti (2007, 2009), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Wheldon (2005).

The 2010 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 30 and will be broadcast live by ABC, the IMS Radio Network and XM 145/Sirius 211. Indianapolis Star Opening Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 15.

Besides four past race winners and four series champions, 15 of the 34 drivers named to entries have won at least one race in either IZOD IndyCar Series or Champ Car World Series competition.

Four women could start in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, as 2005 Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Sarah Fisher and Simona De Silvestro were named to entries.

Several young drivers who recently advanced through the Road to Indy ladder system also will be on display, as the field includes three of the last four Firestone Indy Lights champions – Howard (2006), Alex Lloyd (2007) and Raphael Matos (2008). Other recent Firestone Indy Lights graduates on the entry list include 2002 series champion A.J. Foyt IV, Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Hideki Mutoh, Mario Romancini and Sebastian Saavedra.

Six drivers comprise a strong rookie crop: Firestone Indy Lights champion Howard, Firestone Indy Lights race winners Romancini and Saavedra, former Formula One driver Takuma Sato, and IZOD IndyCar Series rookie regulars Bertrand Baguette and De Silvestro.

All the rookies are scheduled to test at Kansas on Friday under the eye of series technical director Kevin Blanch and veteran driver Ed Carpenter.

Andretti Autosport is involved in five entries, more than any other team. The team, which won the 2005 and 2007 Indianapolis 500, filed four entries and is co-entrant along with NASCAR legend Richard Petty on another entry.

The list: Former race winners (4): Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Dan Wheldon (2005), Dario Franchitti (2007), Scott Dixon (2008).

Former pole winners (4): Bruno Junqueira (2002), Helio Castroneves (2003, 2007, 2009), Tony Kanaan (2005), Scott Dixon (2008).

Rookies (6): Bertrand Baguette, Simona De Silvestro, Jay Howard, Mario Romancini, Sebastian Saavedra, Takuma Sato.

Youngest: Sebastian Saavedra, 19.

Oldest: Davey Hamilton, 47.

Most previous starts: John Andretti, 10.

2010 Indy 500 tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30, are on sale now. Race Day ticket prices start at just $20.

Fans can order tickets online at www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 21 2010
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