INDIANAPOLIS -- Buddy Lazier will try to become a two-time
winner of the Indianapolis 500 in his new ride with Panther Racing.
Lazier won for Hemelgarn Racing in 1996, the first year the 500
was sanctioned by the Indy Racing League. He will join Panther
drivers Tomas Enge and Tomas Scheckter for the race on May 29 and
might drive for the team in other IndyCar Series events this year.
"The Indy Racing League is really growing and there are a lot
of opportunities,'' the 37-year-old driver from Vail, Colo., said
Thursday. "There were some opportunities that landed all at once,
but I felt like this was the best fit for me right now.''
Lazier, the 2000 IndyCar Series champion, has started 12 races at
Indianapolis. He finished second in 1998 and 2000. He was 23rd last
year, and hasn't finished better than 15th since 2000.
He said he will have an early look at the repaved speedway when
he participates in tire tests next month on the 2½-mile oval.