IndyCar veteran Buddy Lazier has joined the recently-confirmed Milka Duno and Nelson Philippe in expanding the known entry list for this year's Indianapolis 500 to 31 drivers.
Lazier, the 1996 Indy 500 winner, will fill the now-familiar #91 car fielded by Hemelgarn Johnson Racing as he attempts to make the field at the Brickyard for the 17th time. While it will be a second consecutive year at Indianapolis with the Hemelgarn team's latest iteration, having 32nd and finished 17th in 2008, it will be a 13th year at Indy with team owner Hemelgarn, who shared his 1996 success, as well as the 2000 Indy Racing League title
Lazier's confirmation takes the field to 31, with ten cars remaining unfilled as the month of may prepares to dawn, and takes the number of previous winners entered to five, joining Helio Castroneves (2001-02), Dan Wheldon (2005), Dario Franchitti (2007) and reigning 500 'champion' Scott Dixon.
Duno and rookie Philippe were confirmed, at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and HVM Racing respectively, in the build-up to Sunday's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway, where the Colombian made her seasonal debut alongside DRR rookie Mike Conway. Philippe will drive a new entry rather than one on the initial list issued by the IMS, increasing the total to 41 comprised of 77 cars. The Frenchman is the fifth rookie in the field, joining Conway, Stanton Barrett, Robert Doornbos and Raphael Matos.
Rookie orientation for this year's 500 starts next Tuesday [May 5] and continues into Wednesday, while the reduced practice/qualifying procedure kicks off as the ROP comes to an end on 6 May. The race itself is scheduled for Sunday 24 May.