Andretti Files Indy 500 Entries
March 26, 2003 | 11:29 A.M. EST
"This is a bit of a strange feeling for me," Andretti said to Brian Barnhart, the Indy Racing League's senior vice president, racing operations. "Along with being here to file entries for Andretti Green Racing drivers Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon, I am also here to turn in my own for the Indy 500. It's the first time I have to do this and I'll say that it feels kind of odd to be handing in the one for my very last race."
Along with filing his official Indy 500 entry in the #7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, Andretti also confirmed that Andretti Green would also field Tony Kanaan in the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, Dario Franchitti in the #27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone as well as Dan Wheldon, who will make his IndyCar Series debut with AGR at the Indy 500, in the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
"We are extremely excited to be fielding four cars for this race," added Andretti. "We believe that we have clearly demonstrated our ability to run a first-rate organization and are confident that we can be competitive in Indianapolis this year. While I believe that any of our drivers could win the Indy 500, I certainly have my sights set on winning this race for the first time in my career."
With a racing record that includes 15 IndyCar Series seasons with at least one victory; 309 CART starts (for which he is the series all-time leader); 313 IndyCar starts; 6,659 career laps led including 398 laps led at the Indianapolis 500 in six races (which leaves him 12th on the all time laps led list and most of any driver who has yet to win the race); 13 Indianapolis 500 starts and the1991 CART Championship, Andretti remains one of the most dominant and talented drivers in American racing history.
"I'm very happy with all that I have achieved in my career over the past twenty years," said Andretti. "The one goal that I still have is to win this race. I've tried thirteen times to win it and for one reason or another I never have. It's important to me and I am going into this race with my heart and mind set on winning it. It would be a storybook ending to my career."