1996 Indianapolis 500 and 2000 IndyCar Series champion Buddy Lazier has confirmed that he will once again be bidding to make the grid of the Greatest Spectacle in Motorsport after being formally entered in next month's Indy 500 with his race team Lazier Partners Racing.
LPR was formed last year only just in time to put together a scratch bid for the 2013 race with Lazier at the wheel, but a year on their planning is much more advanced and the the team is hoping for a much more competitive time of it in the 98th running of the event.
"It took a monumental effort in 2013 to organize the team in such a short period of time and make the race," said Bobby's father and team co-owner Bob Lazier, who himself competed in the 500 back in 1981. "Now we've had an entire year to organize the team, and we have raised the expectations for this year's Indianapolis 500."
Although Lazier made the grid in 32nd place last year, an early mechanical failure on lap 44 left him classified in 31st place in the final standings - something the driver is determined to improve upon this time around.
"Though I was happy to be back in the race in 2013, I was not happy with our performance race day," said Buddy Lazier, who also was the runner-up in in the Indy 500 in 1998 and 2000. "Over the years, I've obtained a great deal of experience at Indianapolis and I really enjoy working through the driving and engineering challenges that the Month of May can bring.
"With Chevrolet power and augmented by corporate support from Phillips Energy Partners and Herman Miller, I am confident we'll have a competitive program in 2014," he added.
The #91 entry will carry the name of the University of Iowa Stephen A Wynn Institute for Vision Research, a cause close to Lazier's heart as his 12-year-old daughter Jacqueline was born with a rare eye disorder called Aniridia characterized by a complete or partial absence of the coloured part of the eye which can cause reduction in visual acuity and increased sensitivity to light. In Jacqueline's case, she has already lost vision in her right eye but she remains a committed young racer and recently won a Colorado karting championship.
"Our support of the University of Iowa's Stephen A Wynn Institute for Vision Research is personal to our family and right in line with the goals and purpose of our team," explained Bob Lazier. "We want to win on the track, and we want to help people achieve their goals every day off the track.
“We are a team that is going to take our experience racing for championships and apply that leadership to make great things happen for well-meaning organizations that support great causes,” the elder Lazier added.