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Historics: Indy 500 driver Buddy Lazier joins SVRA Pro-Am

The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced via press release on Thursday, May 15, that another Indianapolis 500 winner will compete in the "Indy Legends Pro-Am," the featured race over its June 6 – 8 "Brickyard Invitational" historic/vintage race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Buddy Lazier will join fellow Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Al Unser Jr. in a field of other names from Brickyard history.

Historics: Indy 500 racer Buddy Lazier joins SVRA Pro-Am
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Historics: Indy 500 racer Buddy Lazier joins SVRA Pro-Am
Photo by Gavin Lawrence/Getty Images

Unlike any other competitor in the Pro-Am, Lazier is entered in this year’s Indianapolis 500 with his Lazier Partners Racing Dallara Chevrolet sponsored by the Wynn Institute for Vision Research at the University of Iowa. His career record in the race is noteworthy. This year will be his 18th Indianapolis 500 and he has not only won the race but also has garnered six top-ten finishes, securing the runner-up spot twice.

"I am looking forward to trying out the IMS road course particularly with these muscle cars,” said Lazier, who won the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and also the IndyCar championship in 2000. "The fans at Indy are always so great and just watching and hearing these special vintage race cars is going to be as much fun for me as for them."

Lazier is an accomplished road racer as well, having competed in SCCA Can-Am, IMSA GT and winning the American IndyCar Series championship in 1988. He was a two-time representative of the Indy car series to the International Race of Champions (IROC), winning the 2002 Chicagoland Speedway race and finishing second in the championship.

The cars for the Pro-Am will be 1967 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of “Group 6,” with an engine displacement limit of 355 cubic inches. The Indianapolis 500 veterans will be paired with amateur drivers, each taking a 20-minute stint. Five minutes will be allotted for driver change.

Lazier joins brother Jaques who announced his entry in the Pro-Am earlier this week. In addition to the Laziers and Unser 19 other drivers have entered over the past month. These include former Indianapolis Rookies-of-the-Year Lyn St. James and Robby McGehee as well as Willy T. Ribbs, Mark Dismore, Geoff Brabham, Alex Lloyd, Johnny Parsons Jr., Davey Hamilton, Robby Unser, Pete Halsmer, Rocky Moran, Eliseo Salazar, Dick Simon, Scott Harrington, Jack Miller, Rick Treadway, Spike Gehlhausen, Billy Roe and John Hollansworth. Parnelli Jones, who won the 1963 Indianapolis 500, will pace the field as part of his duties as Brickyard Invitational Grand Marshal. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser will lead the Brickyard Invitational high-speed oval experience.

"We are so proud to have such an accomplished driver of Buddy’s stature racing with us,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “It’s really exciting that he will be running in this year’s Indianapolis 500 as well; everyone at SVRA wishes him the best."

The "Legends" Pro-Am will take place on Sunday, June 8, at International Motor Speedway. That race, and the entire historic racing weekend, are open to spectators; tickets are available for purchase. Camping will also be available within the speedway.

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