Kelley Racing filed entries for the season-opening Toyota Indy 400 and the Indy Japan 300, becoming the first team to post confirmation of its attendance at the start of the 2004 Indy Racing League season.

The Indianapolis-based team named 1996 co-champion Scott Sharp as driver of its #8 Delphi Dallara-Toyota, with John Worth serving as chief mechanic. Paul Harcus was named team manager.

Sharp is regarded as the IndyCar Series' iron man, having started a record 74 consecutive races. He will add to that streak by taking the green flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Toyota Indy 400 on 29 February.

The 2001 Indianapolis 500 pole winner won an IRL event for the seventh consecutive season when he captured last year's inaugural Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi - the first IRL event held outside of the United States. Sharp will defend his title when the series returns to Japan on 17 April.



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