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Ribbs at Indy, talks return in 2011

Two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Willy T Ribbs was spotted taking a keen interest in proceedings on Carb Day at the Brickyard, prompting speculation that he may return a little closer to the action in 2010.

Ribbs, the first African-American to compete in the blue riband race, admitted that owning a team is something that he has toyed with, and is aware of the significance of being involved in a future 500.

"It's in the talking stage right now," he admitted, "There's a lot of chin music in this business, but it is definitely being talked about. In 2010, it would be too soon, but in 2011, it could be done real well. It would be perfect because the 75th anniversary was when I was here, so to come back as a team owner in the 100th... mind blower."

Ribbs joined the CART series in 1990, running a car part-funded by comedian Bill Cosby, before making his Indy 500 debut the following year. He contested a second 500 in 1993 but did not race there again despite remaining, and taking top ten finishes, in the CART series. Ten years ago, he made a single Indy Racing League appearance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but was classified only 26th after a crash. Returning to Indianapolis, however, is like a homecoming.

"Indy is really my second home," he emphasised, "The energy here is incredible. When I was here in '91, it was a tough month, but you could just feel the energy. The energy kept me going. And this is the biggest race on the planet. It was then, it is now, and it will always be the biggest race auto race in the world."

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