Indy 500 Driver Profiles

Sunday, May 26, 2002

Profiles of the 33 starters and alternate in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, in starting order with car number in parentheses, age, hometown, car chassis-engine, four-lap qualification average in mph, and biographical information: (w-former winner; r-rookie):Row 1

1. (33) Bruno Junqueira, 25, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, G Force-Chevrolet, 231.342. Driving for Ganassi Racing, fifth in CART standings after winning at Motegi, Japan, last month, his second career win. Won six Brazilian Karting championships, started competing in Brazilian Formula Three in 1994. Won South American Formula Three title before going to Europe for Formula 3000 series. Formula 3000 champion in 2000. CART rookie in 2001, finished fifth in first race at Indianapolis.

2. (24) Robbie Buhl, 38, Lakewood, Ohio, G Force-Infiniti, 231.033. Driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, 22nd in IRL points. Indy Lights series championship in 1992 and passed Indy 500 rookie test in 1993 but crashed twice and did not qualify. Began racing Formula Fords in England in 1984. Won Barber Saab Pro Series title in 1989, setting records for wins and poles. Finished third at Orlando in IRL debut in 1996 and won at Orlando in 2000. Best finish in six races at Indy was sixth in 1999.

3. (2) Raul Boesel, 44, Curitiba, Brazil, Dallara-Chevrolet, 230.613. Third front-row start in 13 starts at Indy. Oldest of six Brazilians in lineup. Driving for Team Menard. Qualified last year but replaced by fellow Brazilian Felipe Giaffone for race because of a sponsor obligation. Given a ride this year by Menard after rookie PJ Jones was injured in a crash during practice. Began racing in 1979 and in 1980 had nine Formula Ford victories. Drove 10 Formula One races in 1982. Also started on the front row at Indianapolis in 1993 and 1994. Best Indy finish was third in 1989.Row 2

4. (21) Felipe Giaffone, 27, Sao Paulo, Brazil, G Force-Chevrolet, 230.326. Fourth in IRL points, driving for Mo Nunn Racing. Started racing Karts in Brazil, was 1995 Toyota Atlantic rookie of the year. Drove in Indy Lights in 1998-2000, with first victory at Michigan in 2000. Cousin of Affonso Giaffone, who was 32nd at Indy in 1997. Finished 10th as a rookie at Indianapolis in 2001 after replacing qualifier Raul Boesel because of a sponsor obligation.

5. (17) r-Tony Kanaan, 27, Sao Paulo, Brazil, G Force-Chevrolet, 230.253. Driving for Mo Nunn Racing, 19th in CART points. Fifth in the Italian Formula 3 series in 1995 and the 1997 Indy Lights champion. Made CART debut in 1998 with 10 top-10 finishes and was the series' rookie of the year. Only CART victory came in 1999 at Michigan. Moved from Forsythe Racing to Nunn in 2000 but missed four races after breaking his arm in qualifying at Detroit. Ninth in CART series in 2001, with best finish third in Japan.

6. (51) w-Eddie Cheever, 44, Phoenix, Dallara-Infiniti, 229.786. Car owner and driver, 15th in IRL points. Twelve previous starts at Indy, including victory in 1998. Indy 500 and CART rookie of the year in 1990. Won Italian and European karting championships at age 15, moved up to Formula Fords and was teammate of Danny Sullivan on Formula Three circuit. In 1987-88, won seven world sports car prototype races. Only American driver to compete in Formula One in 1989. Has won five IRL races and finished third in series in 2000.Row 3

7. (4) Sam Hornish Jr., 22, Defiance, Ohio, Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.585. Defending IRL series champion and points leader this season with two victories in four races for Panther Racing. Twenty-fourth in first start at Indianapolis in 2000 and 14th last year. Was seventh in Toyota Atlantic series in 1999, the top rookie in points. Won World Karting Association U.S. Grand National championship in 1995 with nine victories and 38 top-five finishes in 54 races. Had seven world karting victories in 1993 and 19 in 1994.

8. (8) Scott Sharp, 34, Norwalk, Conn., Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.486. Driving for Kelley Racing. Fifth in IRL points after victory last month at Nazareth, Pa. Started from pole at Indianapolis last year but finished 33rd after first-lap crash. IRL series co-champion in 1996. Son of six-time SCCA national champion Bob Sharp. Won first SCCA race entered in 1984 and won SCCA GT2 national championship for team headed by his father and actor Paul Newman in 1986. Best finishes in seven races at Indy were 10th in 1996 and 2000.

9. (23) Sarah Fisher, 21, Columbus, Ohio, G Force-Infiniti, 229.439. Third woman to race at Indianapolis, finished 31st in 2000 and 2001. Driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, 25th in IRL standings this season. Second-place at Homestead, Fla., last year the best finish by a woman in Indy-car history. Became youngest driver in an IRL race when she finished 25th at Texas Motor Speedway in 1999. Started racing quarter-midgets at age 5. Three-time Western Karting Association national champion.Row 4

10. (52) r-Tomas Scheckter, 21, Cape Town, South Africa, Dallara-Infiniti, 229.210. Son of 1979 Formula One champion Jody Scheckter. Driving for Cheever Racing teammate-owner Eddie Cheever and 19th in IRL points. South African karting champion in 1995. Drove Formula Fords in 1997. Won Formula Opel Euroseries championship in 1999 and was runner-up in the British Formula 3 series in 2000. Test driver for Jaguar's Formula One team and runner-up in the Formula Nissan championship in 2001.

11. (31) Robby Gordon, 33, Orange, Calif., Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.127. Driving for Team Menard. Best finish in seven starts at Indy was fourth in 1999, when he was leading the race before running out of fuel on next-to-last lap. Began racing IMSA GTO series in 1990 and won 24 Hours of Daytona three times. Made NASCAR debut at Daytona 500 in 1991 and first start at Indy in 1993. Competed in both Indy 500 and NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 on same day in 2000 and will attempt another "double" on Sunday.

12. (7) w-Al Unser Jr., 40, Albuquerque, N.M., Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.058. Eighth in IRL points with Kelley Racing. Two-time Indy 500 winner who returned in 2000 for the first time since IRL-CART split. Got first IRL victory at Las Vegas. Was 29th and 30th at Indy the past two years. Qualified for 15th start. Finished no worse than fourth in five of six races at Indy from 1989-94, with victories in 1992 and 1994. Father, Al Unser Sr., won Indy four times; uncle, Bobby Unser, won three times.Row 5

13. (3) w-Helio Castroneves, 27, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dallara-Chevrolet, 229.052. Won Indy 500 as rookie in 2001. Moved from CART to IRL with Team Penske this season, and third in points behind Sam Hornish Jr. and Penske teammate Gil de Ferran. Began racing go-karts in 1987. Second in the Brazilian Formula Three series in 1984. Competed in Indy Lights 1996-97 and made CART debut in 1998 with Bettenhausen Motorsports. Joined Penske in 2000, finishing seventh and fourth in CART points the past two years.

14. (6) Gil de Ferran, 34, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.671. Two-time defending CART champion, was second behind Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves at Indy in 2001. Joined IRL this season and second in points behind Sam Hornish Jr. Born in France, began driving go-karts at 5. Won Brazilian Formula Ford championship with seven victories in 1987. Moved to England in 1988 and competed in Formula Three series. Won British Formula Three title in 1992, competed in Formula 3000 in 1993-94. CART rookie of the year in 1995.

15. (9) Jeff Ward, 40, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., G Force-Chevrolet, 228.557. Driving for Ganassi Racing. Finished third and was Indy 500 rookie of year in 1997, runner-up to Kenny Brack in 1999, fourth in 2000. Tenth in IRL points this season. Born in Scotland. Started racing motocross at 5 and won five AMA national motocross or supercross titles from 1984-90. Drove Indy Lights 1993-96. Worst finish in five Indy 500 starts was 24th last year.Row 6

16. (34) r-Laurent Redon, 28, Lyon, France, Dallara-Infiniti, 228.106. Driving for Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing, seventh in IRL points. Raced go-karts in 1990-93, was 1995 French Formula 3 champion. Finished ninth in 1997 Intercontinental Formula 3000 championship. Formula One test driver for Minardi in 1998 and Benetton in 1999. Won three races in the European Le Mans series in 2001 and drove in the final two IRL races of the season, with best finish seventh at Chicagoland.

17. (5) r-Rick Treadway, 32, Indianapolis, G Force-Chevrolet, 228.039. Driving for Treadway Racing, 18th in IRL points. Son of car owner Fred Treadway. Graduate of Indiana State University. Started racing go-karts in 1996, drove midget cars in 1998-99 and in USAC Silver Bullet series in 1999. Finished second in Indianapolis Regional Speedrome midget car series and took IRL rookie test in 2000. Made IRL debut in 2001, with fifth at Texas his best finish.

18. (53) r-Max Papis, 32, Como, Italy, Dallara-Infiniti, 227.941. Seventh in CART points with Sigma Autosport, driving at Indy for Cheever Racing. Began racing karts in 1982. Moved up to Italian Formula Three championship in 1989 and Formula 3000 in 1993. Made Formula One debut in 1995 and joined CART the next year. CART's most improved driver in 1998, earned first victory at Homestead in 2000. Sixth in CART points in 2001 with Team Rahal, with wins at Portland and Laguna Seca.Row 7

19. (19) Jimmy Vasser, 36, Las Vegas, Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.743. CART champion in 1996. Ninth this season, driving for Team Rahal. Best finishes in seven starts at Indy were fourth in 1994 and 2001. Was seventh in 2000 in first race since IRL-CART split in 1996. Made road racing debut in 1984 with five victories in 11 SCCA Formula Ford starts. Also has raced in Formula Atlantic, SCCA Corvette Challenge, American Racing, Canadian Formula 2000 and SCCA Pro Sports 2000 series.

20. (91) w-Buddy Lazier, 34, Vail, Colo., Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.495. Indy 500 winner in 1996 and IRL series champion in 2000, when he was runner-up at Indy for the second time. Also runner-up in 1998. Making 10th start this year. Father, Bob Lazier, was 19th at Indy in 1981. Brother Jaques was 13th as Indy rookie in 2000. Buddy started racing Formula Fords in 1985, and won title of 125cc Motocross series same year. Had IRL-record four victories in 2001, when he finished second to Sam Hornish Jr. in series points.

21. (22) w-Kenny Brack, 36, Karlstad, Sweden, G Force-Chevrolet, 227.240. Indy 500 winner in 1999, moved to CART's Team Rahal next season, when he was that series' rookie of the year. Led CART with four victories in 2001 and was runner-up to Gil de Ferran for CART championship. Started racing go-karts and Formula Fords in Sweden. Drove Formula Three 1988-89, Formula Opel 1990-91 and won Renault Clio Scandinavian championship with nine victories in 1992. Tested Formula One car in 1993 and drove Formula 3000 in 1994-96. Joined IRL in 1997 and was series champion in 1998.Row 8

22. (20) Richie Hearn, 31, Henderson, Nev., Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.233. Third as a rookie at Indy in 1996. Only other start was in 2000, when he was 27th. Driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 24th in IRL points. Started racing go-karts at 8, winning more than 200 international events and seven national titles. In 1991, won Pilote-Elf1 International competition in Formula Renault. Came back to U.S. to win rookie of the year in Dodge/Shelby Pro Series. Won Toyota-Atlantic championship in '95. Won IRL race at Las Vegas in 1996, then moved to CART in 1997-99.

23. (98) Billy Boat, 36, Glendale, Ariz., Dallara-Chevrolet, 226.589. Slowest qualifier for second straight year; only the fourth to do that. Set USAC record for consecutive victories in any series with 11 straight wins in the Western States midget series in 1995. Bumped from the Indy lineup in qualifications in 1996, was seventh as a rookie in 1997 and started from the pole in 1998, when he finished 23rd. Set IRL record with six poles in 1998. Finished third at Indy in 1999. Driving for Curb-Agajanian, 11th in IRL points this season.

24. (55) w-Arie Luyendyk, 48, Rosemalen, Netherlands, G Force-Chevrolet, 228.848. Indy 500 winner in 1990 and 1997, made a comeback in 2001 after one-year retirement. Holds record for career Indy winnings with $5.77 million in 16 starts. On the pole at Indy for the third time in 1999, finished 22nd after crashing while leading the race. Holds track records of 237.498 mph for one lap and 236.986 mph for four laps in qualifying. Also set race record of 185.981 mph for 500 miles in 1990. Began racing European Series Formula Vee in 1972. Indy 500 and CART rookie of the year in 1985.Row 9

25. (39) Michael Andretti, 39, Nazareth, Pa., Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.713. Driving for Team Green, sixth in CART points with series-record 42nd career victory last month at Long Beach. CART champion in 1991, returned to Indy in 2001 for first time since CART-IRL split. Best finishes in 12 Indy starts were second in 1991 and third in 2001. Has led more laps at Indy (398) than any other non-winner. Father, Mario Andretti, won 1969 Indy 500. Began racing go-karts in 1972. Was 1982 Super Vee champion. Made Indy-car debut in 1983 and was Indy 500 co-rookie of the year in 1984.

26. (44) r-Alex Barron, 31, Menifee, Calif., Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.580. Driving for Blair Racing, 20th in IRL points. Was 1997 Toyota Atlantic champion and rookie of the year. Made CART debut in 1998, starting 17 races for Dan Gurney's All-American Racers. Drove for Gurney, Team Penske and Coyne Racing in 1999-2000. Best finish was eighth at California. Started twice for Blair in 2001 and made IRL debut with 21st-place finish for Sam Schmidt Motorsports last August. Won three U.S. karting titles in 1995 and had six top-10 finishes in Formula 2000 in 1996.

27. (12) r-Shigeaki Hattori, 38, Okayama, Japan, Dallara-Infiniti, 228.192. Driving for Bradley Motorsports, 27th in IRL points. Began racing go-karts in Japan in 1979. Raced in Formula Toyota Esso Challenge Cup series in 1992-94 and competed in Formula Atlantic after moving to United States in 1995. Drove in Indy Lights series in 1996-98, winning two races. Raced in CART with Bettenhausen Motorsports in 1999 and in IRL with Treadway Vertex-Cunningham in 2000. Qualified at Indy in 2001 but bumped from lineup.Row 10

28. (27) r-Dario Franchitti, 29, Edinburgh, Scotland, Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.177. CART points leader this season with Team Green. Second in season-opening race in Mexico. Finished among the top seven in CART series three of the past four years, including runner-up in 1999 to Juan Montoya. Made CART debut in 1997 with Hogan Racing and had seven victories with Team Green in 1998-2001. Began racing go-karts in Scotland. Drove in the British Formula 3 series in 1995 and in FIA International Touring Car series in 1995-96. Married to actress Ashley Judd.

29. (26) Paul Tracy, 33, Scarborough, Canada, Dallara-Chevrolet, 228.006. Teammate of Michael Andretti and Dario Franchitti with Team Green, 15th in CART points. Returning to Indy for first time since 1995. Best finish in four Indy starts was 20th as a rookie in 1992. Started racing go-karts in 1983. Had 74 wins in 82 starts to take Canadian Junior championship once and Canadian Senior championship three times. Drove Forumla 2000 in 1987 and American Racing Series in 1988. ARS champion in 1990, made Indy-car debut in 1991. Has 18 career victories.

30. (14) Airton Dare, 24, Bauru, Brazil, Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.760. Driving for A.J. Foyt, 12th in IRL points. IRL rookie of the year in 2000, including runner-up at Pikes Peak and 25th at Indianapolis. Eighth at Indy in 2001. Raced Indy Lights in 1997-99 with two wins. Began racing career in jet-ski competition in Brazil and still rides as a hobby on non-race weekends.Row 11

31. (11) Greg Ray, 35, Plano, Texas, Dallara-Oldsmobile, 227.155. The 1999 IRL champion, hired by A.J. Foyt last month after Eliseo Salazar was injured. Started on the pole at Indy and led 26 laps in 2000 but was first out after crash on 68th lap. Best Indy finish in five starts was 17th in 2001. Champion in Formula Ford 2000 series in 1992 and SCCA Formula Atlantic series in 1993. Won three races in 1999, which tied IRL record at the time.

32. (30) r-George Mack, 30, Inglewood, Calif, G Force-Chevrolet, 227.150. Driving for the new 310 Racing team, is 17th in IRL points. Passed IRL rookie test in January, joins Willy T. Ribbs as the only black drivers to compete at Indy. Had more than 200 karting victories in California from 1986-98. Won the International Karting Federation Grand National Championship in 1994. Test driver for U.S. Formula 2000, Star Mazda and NASCAR late-model teams from 1995-2001.

33. (99) Mark Dismore, 45, Greenfield, Ind., Dallara-Chevrolet, 227.096. Best finish in six Indy starts was 11th in 2000. Started fourth and led 29 laps in 2001. Signed with Sam Schmidt Motorsports last month. Began racing karts in 1968 and won 40 grand national kart races through 1989. Made Indy-car debut at Mid-Ohio in 1989, won Formula Atlantic Pacific Division championship in 1990. Won 24 Hours of Daytona in 1993 and at Nazareth in 1994 in only Atlantic start.Alternate

(81) Billy Roe, 45, Gilbert, Ariz., G Force-Chevrolet, 212.283. Driving for Zali Racing, 31st in IRL points. Eliminated in crashes in only previous starts at Indy, finishing 22nd in 1997 and 30th in 1998. Qualified this year but bumped from lineup. Worked as mechanic for eight race teams. Began racing karts, stock cars, midgets and sprints. Competed in Toyota Atlantic series 1991-95, passed IRL test in 1996. Career-best 12th at Nashville in 2001.

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