News & Multimedia

Buddy Lazier To Return To Indianapolis

Another former Indianapolis 500 champion has been added to the entrant list for the 97th running May 26.

Buddy Lazier will attempt to qualify May 18-19 in the Chevrolet-powered No. 91 Lazier Partners car for Lazier Partners Racing, which is owned by former Indy 500 competitor and Buddy’s father, Bob Lazier, of Colorado.

Buddy Lazier is the 33rd driver announced and the team is the 34th entrant. He won the 1996 500 Mile Race in the No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing-Delta Faucet-Montana car, leading 43 laps, after starting fifth. Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves, both with three victories, and 2008 winner Scott Dixon are the others entered who have drank the milk in Victory Circle.

In 16 starts at the Speedway, Lazier has five top-five finishes. He last qualified for the 33-car field on Bump Day in 2008 in a Hemelgarn Racing-prepared car, starting 32nd and finishing 17th.

Lazier also was the 2000 IZOD IndyCar Series champion (two victories, three second-place finishes in nine races) and 2001 runner-up to Sam Hornish Jr.

“This all happened roughly 10 days ago and we’re literally putting everything together now. Sponsors are coming by the day, but we’re all heading to Indianapolis to get it done,” said Lazier, 45, who last attempted to qualify in 2009. “When I was 19 years old I was trying to pass my rookie test in a machinist’s union car that was given to us with an all-voluntary crew. So I’ve done it where it’s last minute and I’ve been there with some of the best teams of their era.

“I have so many miles around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that I feel comfortable with the racetrack. I haven’t driven this new rules package (twin-turbocharged V-6 Chevrolet engine and new chassis) but I was around with turbo-charged engines before the Indy Racing League was formed. I’m looking forward to it.

“I know the car will be fast. I just don’t know how much track time we’ll get before qualifying.”

Lazier Partners purchased from Lotus the 2012 Dallara chassis that Jean Alesi drove for Fan Force United in the Indianapolis 500. As the name states, the entrant has multiple partners, with sponsor announcements pending.

“We had a good opportunity to buy this car, which is basically brand new,” said Lazier, whose family owns and manages a ski resort. “We were sitting around with a bunch of friends who are businessmen and skiers talking about how we could buy this car, put a team together and run Indy. I come back the next day and these guys bought it. Then I had to explain that we need a run budget, we have to lease the engine, but the process continued.”   

Lazier, who has logged more than 2,600 race laps on the 2.5-mile oval, served as Alesi’s driver coach for the month.

“It was thought that Buddy would have been able to get into the back-up car, but as it turns out the only guy he would have bumped would have been Jean,” said Bob Lazier, the 1981 CART Rookie of the Year who started 13th that same year in the Indy 500 (blown engine relegated him to 19th). “So that kind of fell apart, and that was a disappointment for Buddy because he was on his way back to racing.”

Lazier Partners has been in discussions with IZOD IndyCar Series teams to form a technical alliance. Dennis Lacava, longtime chief mechanic with Hemelgarn Racing, will be the crew chief and details are being worked out with a veteran race engineer, according to Bob Lazier.

“Buddy has been counting the days before he could get going again,” Bob Lazier said. “He’s worked hard, the whole family has as well, and I think we’re more thrilled than the first time we were there.”

 

 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Buddy Lazier To Return To Indianapolis
 
Buddy Lazier To Return To Indianapolis
Another former Indianapolis 500 champion has been added to the entrant list for the 97th running May 26.
Read More
Related Media
Georgia Street
 
Downtown Georgia Street to Host Free "Rock-IN-Roar 500" Music Festival on May 20
Rock-IN-Roar 500 is a free music festival and community celebration that officially “drops the green flag” on Race Week in Indianapolis.
Read More
Colts Draft Party
 
Indianapolis Colts to Host Fourth and Fifth Round Draft Selections at IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hosting the Indianapolis Colts’ Official Draft Party for the fourth and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft. Come out to IMS from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, to witness the Colts’ selections. The event is free and there will be Colts player and cheerleader appearances. You will be able to watch live picks for the rounds made by Colts personalities and Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. There will be complete draft coverage along with fun activities and games from the Indianapolis Colts organization as well.
Read More
Rick Mears vs. Dan Wheldon
 
#ChampsOfThe500 Challenge Reaches Final First-Round Matchups
The final first-round matchups in the "Champions of the 500" bracket challenge are open for voting to determine who will join Helio Castroneves, A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser, Bobby Unser and Bill Vukovich in the quarterfinal round.
Read More
Tony Stewart
 
NASCAR Drivers Turn Test Laps in Advance of July's Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard
NASCAR drivers Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Chase Elliott and Stewart turned laps at IMS on Tuesday and Wednesday for a Goodyear tire test in advance of the Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard on July 22-24.
Read More
Darius Rucker
 
Multi-Platinum Recording Star Darius Rucker to Perform National Anthem at 100th Indianapolis 500
Three-time GRAMMY Award winner and multi-platinum recording artist Darius Rucker will perform the national anthem before the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,149
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Not to be outdone, fellow @IndyCar driver @TonyKanaan bowled a strike! #PacersPlayoffs https://t.co/lZvp5dt4nV
about 7 hours ago