Strong Indianapolis 500 field ..


Four past winners are among the highlights of the 40 entries received for the 2009 Indianapolis 500,scheduled for Sunday, May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The four winners on this year’s list are Helio Castroneves (2001-02), DanWheldon (2005), Dario Franchitti (2007) and Scott Dixon (2008).

Twenty-eight drivers have been named to the 40 entries filed this year for the 33 starting spots in the world’s most prestigious auto race.Seventy-seven cars comprise the 40 entries. There were 39 entries on the initial 2008 entry list.

The 2009 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 24 and will be broadcast live by ABC, the IMS Radio Network and XM145/Sirius 211. Opening Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6. Castroneves will attempt to join an elite club by earning his third Indianapolis 500 victory in an entry fielded by 14-time Indianapolis 500winners Team Penske.

Just eight drivers have won the race three times or more since the inaugural event in 1911. Franchitti and Dixon are historic new team mates for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009. They won the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series title in the same season in 2007 and 2008, respectively, marking the first time in history that team mates entered a season with that distinction.

 Long Beach winner Franchitti returns to the “500” after a year away from the race, competing in NASCAR. Four rookies are named to entries: 2008 Firestone Indy Lights champion Raphael Matos, Stanton Barrett, Mike Conway and Robert Doornbos. Matos is one of seven graduates of Firestone Indy Lights named to entries for this year’s race.

Other veterans of the premier ladder series for the Indy Car Series and Indianapolis 500 named to entries include 2002 champion A.J. Foyt IV, 2007 champion Alex Lloyd, Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Hideki Mutoh and Graham Rahal.

This year also marks the first time that three of the most famous names inAmerican auto racing – Andretti, Foyt and Petty – will participate in “TheGreatest Spectacle in Racing.” Popular veteran John Andretti is named to drive the entry fielded by Richard Petty Motorsports/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. It’s the first Indy entry for legendary seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. 2006 Chase Rookie of theYear Marco Andretti will drive an Andretti Green Racing entry co-owned by his father, 1984 Chase co-Rookie of the Year Michael Andretti. Foyt IV will drive one of three entries fielded by A.J. Foyt Enterprises, owned by Foyt’s grandfather, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.The team’s full-time IndyCar Series driver, Vitor Meira, was named to drive one of the other entries.

Two women will attempt to race in the Indianapolis 500, as 2005 Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick and popular veteran Sarah Fisher were named to entries. Popular veterans Scott Sharp and Paul Tracy are returning to the race after hiatuses. 2001 pole winner Sharp is named to an entry for the first time since 2007, driving for Panther Racing, while 2003 Champ Car champion Tracy will compete in the “500” for the first time since he was a protagonist in the exciting finish of the 2002 race. Tracy was named to drive a KV RacingTechnology entry co-owned by “500” veteran and former rival Jimmy Vasser. Andretti Green Racing filed four entries, more than any other team.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is involved in four entries, with three of its own entries and one under the Richard Petty Motorsports/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing banner.


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

Former pole winners (4): Helio Castroneves (2003, 2007), Scott Sharp (2001),Tony Kanaan (2005), Scott Dixon (2008).

Rookies (4): Stanton Barrett, Mike Conway, Robert Doornbos, Raphael Matos.

U.S. born (11): John Andretti, Marco Andretti, Stanton Barrett, EdCarpenter, Sarah Fisher, A.J. Foyt IV, Davey Hamilton, Graham Rahal, RyanHunter-Reay, Danica Patrick, Scott Sharp.

Foreign born (17): Ryan Briscoe, Australia; Helio Castroneves, Brazil; MikeConway, England; Scott Dixon, New Zealand; Robert Doornbos, Netherlands;Dario Franchitti, Scotland; Tony Kanaan, Brazil; Alex Lloyd, England;Raphael Matos, Brazil; Vitor Meira, Brazil; Mario Moraes, Brazil; HidekiMutoh, Japan; Will Power, Australia; Paul Tracy, Canada; E.J. Viso,Venezuela; Dan Wheldon, England, Justin Wilson, England.

Youngest: Graham Rahal, 20.

Oldest: Davey Hamilton, 46.

Most previous starts: Scott Sharp, 13.

*** 2009 IMS tickets: Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. Beginning in 2009, theSpeedway celebrates its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversar yof the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500Mile Race in 2011.

Tickets for the three events in 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway –the Indianapolis 500, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP – can be purchased online at any time. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS GroupSales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

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