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2013 Indy 500: Buddy Lazier joins the line-up

The entry list for this year's Indianapolis 500 has officially reached 33 drivers with confirmation that former race winner Buddy Lazier is to return.
Buddy Lazier is to make his first attempt to start the Indianapolis 500 since 2009, with the announcement that he'll be driving the #91 Lazier Partners car for Lazier Partners Racing, owned by Lazier himself and his father Bob.

Lazier made 16 starts in the Indy 500 between 1991 and 2008, and won the 500-mile race in 1996. He was also the IndyCar series champion in 2000 driving for Hemelgarn Racing.

“This all happened roughly 10 days ago and we're literally putting everything together now," said Lazier. "Sponsors are coming by the day, but we're all heading to Indianapolis to get it done.

It will be Lazier's first outing in the new-era DW12 Dallara and the latest specification engines that were introduced to the IZOD IndyCar Series at the start of the 2012 season.

"I have so many miles around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that I feel comfortable with the racetrack," he said. "I haven't driven this new rules package but I was around with turbo-charged engines before the Indy Racing League was formed. I'm looking forward to it.

“I know the car will be fast. I just don't know how much track time we'll get before qualifying," he added.

The single Dallara chassis acquired by the fledgling team is actually the same one that Jean Alesi qualified and started last year's Indy 500 in, with Lazier acting as the former F1 driver's coach in the run-up to race day. Alesi's bid didn't go very far, though: powered by a Lotus engine, it was ordered to the garage by race control just minutes into the race for not maintaining sufficient pace.

“We had a good opportunity to buy this car, which is basically brand new,” explained Lazier. “We were sitting around with a bunch of friends who are businessmen and skiers talking about how we could buy this car, put a team together and run Indy. I come back the next day and these guys bought it!"

At least Lazier won't be struggling with a Lotus engine in the back of it: he's struck a deal with Chevrolet for a unit, so there will be no power disadvantage.

"I had to explain that we need a run budget, we have to lease the engine, but the process continued," added Lazier of how the deal to field a car in this year's race gathered momentum.




Related Pictures

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Buddy Lazier attempting to bump his way into the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: D Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Buddy Lazier speaks to the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Buddy Lazier at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: D Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Buddy Lazier at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his team after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his team owner Roger Penske after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his wife Liz after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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