Roger Yasukawa will make a fifth IndyCar Series appearance at Twin Ring Motegi at the far end of the 2009 schedule, having inked a deal with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
The US-based Japanese driver will join team regular Mike Conway for the event, which makes the switch to the end of the season after holding down a regular spot in April since joining the IRL. So far, Yasukawa's deal is for the one event, but he is already familiar with Dreyer & Reinbold, having raced with the team at various points in his interrupted IndyCar career.
Just under half of his 38 IRL starts have come with the team co-owned by Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl, and Yasukawa is keen to make a good impression on home soil after failing to make the cut at Indianapolis last season.
"I am very excited that I will be racing again at the Indy Japan this year," he said, "I ended my Indy 500 last year with results that I did not expect, but I feel confident about this year racing with a solid team.
"I started talking with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing right after the Indy 500 last year, and we finally came to an agreement. The team has geared up their engineering staff this year, and I am very confident that we are going to be competitive in the race. I would like to thank Dennis and Robbie for giving me this opportunity."
Yasukawa has a best finish of seventh, but remains a favourite among the locals at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, and those involved within the team are enthusiastic about putting Yasukawa on the track.
"We love going to race in Japan every year," Reinbold said. "and to be a part of a program to put Roger on the grid in front of his home crowd makes us excited.
"The Japanese fans are very enthusiastic, and that energy is infectious. We couldn't be happier to be a part of that pride when we race in the Indy Japan 300 in September with Mike and Roger."
IndyCar rookie Conway made his 2009 debut with the team in a newcomers-only session at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday [23 February] ahead of the first open test of the season, which follows over the next two days.