Roth Seeks Indy Double
March 17, 2004 | 12:36 A.M. EST
Roth, from Toronto, joins a growing list of drivers who honed their skills in the official Indy Racing League development series before moving to the IRL IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Three Menards Infiniti Pro Series veterans - series champions A.J. Foyt IV and Mark Taylor, and inaugural Freedom 100 winner Ed Carpenter - race full time in the IndyCar Series this season.
"The goal from the start of joining the Menards Infiniti Pro Series has been to move up," Roth said. "We've been waiting for this day. That's been the ultimate mission, to get into the 500 and bring the team up to the IndyCar Series level. We're on track.
"This is the progression we were after with Roth Racing. It just happened a bit sooner. An opportunity presented itself, and we took it. I'm pursuing a lifelong dream, and we're going to be ready.
The 88th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entries must be postmarked by midnight March 31. Qualifications for the 33-car starting field begin on Pole Day, Saturday, May 15.
Roth, 45, plans to be the first driver ever to perform a "May double" at Indianapolis, racing in both the Freedom 100 on Saturday, May 22 and the 88th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30.
"It's an opportunity to go out in a car I know and get used to the track in the Pro Series car and then shift over to the IndyCar Series car," Roth said. "The fact that I run a Pro Series car will make it a lot easier. I know the Pro Series cars and will be able to get used to the track."
Roth Racing also is the first team that started in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series to climb to the IndyCar Series.
In the Indianapolis 500, Roth will drive the No. 25 Roth Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, pending completion of the Rookie Orientation Program. Butch Winkle is the chief mechanic, with Mark Moore the team manager.
Roth has made 13 career starts in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, with a best finish of fourth in 2002 at Chicagoland Speedway. He finished seventh in the season opener Feb. 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in his Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.