Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Indianapolis 500 Entry List Set, Still Holes to Fill

The entry list for the 96th Indianapolis 500 was released last night with 33 cars and 32 drivers. Today, that number reached 34 cars and 33 drivers.

Yesterday, 17 Chevrolets and 16 Hondas were on the initial entry list, including one-offs AJ Allmendinger, Carlos Muñoz, Ryan Briscoe, Conor Daly, Townsend Bell, Michel Jourdain, Jr. and Pippa Mann. A 33rd, driver-less entry, the #40 Ed Carpenter Racing entry was a surprise. The only owner-driver in the Izod IndyCar Series, Ed Carpenter made it known the entry was meant to be removed. The #40 Ed Carpenter Racing entry has remained on the entry list.

Today, a 33rd driver and team pair was announced with 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier and a family run operation, Lazier Partners Racing, Inc. Buddy's father Bob Lazier is the owner of the team. Buddy Lazier will drive the #91 Chevrolet, the same chassis driven by Jean Alesi last year as a Lotus. The last time Buddy Lazier drove a Chevrolet at Indianapolis was in 2005 for Panther Racing. He qualified 9th and finished 5th, the highest starting and finishing Chevrolet. This will be Lazier's first attempt at Indianapolis since failing to qualify in 2009.

A 17th Honda could still be in the works, however reports of a third Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry for 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice appears to have hit a snag.

Bryan Clauson and Jay Howard are both reportedly trying to scrape together deals for the Indianapolis 500 and rumors are swirling that Kurt Busch, who is due to test tomorrow for Andretti Autosport, may try to do the Indianapolis 500-Coca Cola 600 double this year, a year earlier than originally stated.

As of now, 11 Americans, 4 Brits, 3 Frenchmen, 3 Brazilians, 2 Australians, 2 Canadians, 2 Colombians, one New Zealander, Japanese, Swiss, Mexican, Spaniard and a Venezuelan officially make up the entry list.