"Buddy has been counting the days before he could get going again," said team co-owner Bob Lazier. "He's worked hard, the whole family has as well, and I think we're more thrilled than the first time we were there."
Bob Lazier revealed that Buddy had almost entered last year's event, with the possibility that he would take Alesi's back-up car on the final day of qualifying when it hadn't been needed.
“It was thought that Buddy would have been able to get into the back-up car, but as it turns out the only guy he would have bumped would have been Jean,” said Bob, himself a former racer who was the 1981 CART Rookie of the Year and who competed in that year's Indy 500. "So that kind of fell apart, and that was a disappointment for Buddy because he was on his way back to racing.”
The Laziers will reveal the network of sponsors financing their Indy 500 in due course. They have also been in discussions with existing IZOD IndyCar Series teams to form a technical alliance to help them get up to speed in this year's event. and are in negotiations with an experienced race engineer.
Buddy Lazier has already tapped a former long-time Hemelgarn Racing colleague to work for him with the announcement that Dennis Lacava will be the crew chief
Lazier's entry brings the total number of drivers entered for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 to 33. A second car initially listed as being entered by Ed Carpenter Racing with a driver to be announced has now been withdrawn by the team.
Another former winner of the event, Buddy Rice, is also thought to be lining up a 2013 entry and Buddy's brother Jaques Lazier is similarly said to be looking for a race seat. English racer Jay Howard is said to be working on securing a late race deal as is two-time USAC National Drivers Champion Bryan Clauson who started last year's race with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, while Katherine Legge said last week that she hadn't given up hope of making the race either despite her split with Dragon Racing.
At 45, Lazier displaces Dario Franchitti as the oldest driver bidding to make the 33-car grid for this year's 'greatest spectacle in motorsport' which will take place on Sunday, May 26.
Click here for the updated 2013 Indy 500 entry list