Giaffone Gets Indy Ride

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Brazilian Felipe Giaffone will take over the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold ride from recently retired driver Robbie Buhl for the remainder of the 2004 Indy Racing League Season. Giaffone, the 2001 Bombardier Rookie of the Year, will slip into the cockpit for the open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Giaffone has had 39 IRL starts, with 13 Top Fives, and 26 Top Ten finishes during his three seasons. He has one win at Kentucky (2002) and has led 285 career laps. His record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway includes two top ten finishes in three career starts.

"We couldn't be more pleased to have Felipe join the team," said Dennis Reinbold. "He was the first call that Robbie and I made, and we're eager to get started with him on board. We have great expectations for the season and we’ll work hard to compete for wins all year long."

Giaffone was named Rookie of the Year in 2001, and placed fourth in his first Indianapolis 500 with Treadway/Hubbard Racing. He finished fourth in points with Mo Nunn Racing in 2002, logging his first IRL win at Kentucky Speedway, and returned with Nunn again in 2003 until he was sidelined with a broken leg suffered during a race accident at the Kansas Motor Speedway. He returned to run the final three races of the year, but finished 20th in points after missing five mid-season events.

Buhl announced his retirement to his team on Thursday, and Giaffone was at the Dreyer & Reinbold Race Shop on Friday morning to meet with the team and its owners. A deal was in place by Friday evening, and the weekend was spent pouring a new seat and making mechanical adjustments for the new driver.

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