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Historics: Indy 500 veterans Pro-Am grid nearly full says SVRA

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The starting grid for the Indy 500 Legends race on Sunday, June 8, is nearly complete, says the Sports Car Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) in a press release issued on Monday, May 12. According to SVRA, 21 of the promised 24 spots for the race are filled with former drivers of the famed Indianapolis 500. The "Indy Legends Pro-Am" race is the featured event of the inaugural Brickyard Invitational historic race weekend, June 6-8, to be held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jaques Lazier, Robby McGehee, Scott Harrington and Jack Miller are the new names added to the growing roster of drivers returning to competition at IMS. They join a field of 17 names previously announced: two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., 1992 Rookie-of-the-Year Lyn St. James, Willy T. Ribbs, Mark Dismore, Geoff Brabham, Alex Lloyd, Johnny Parsons Jr., Davey Hamilton, Robby Unser, Pete Halsmer, Rocky Moran, Eliseo Salazar, Dick Simon, 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. Bobby Unser was recently announced as the leader of the Brickyard Invitational high-speed oval experience.

Jaques Lazier is a six-time starter of the Indianapolis 500 and holds the distinction of being the race’s most recent relief driver when he filled in for Robby Gordon who had to depart for Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte after rain delays in 2004. Lazier, the brother of 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, drove for a number of top teams during his Indy car career including Target-Chip Ganassi, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Team Menard. He won the Chicagoland Speedway Indy car race in 2001 for Menard.

McGehee, a five-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, won the race’s 1999 Rookie-of-the-Year trophy. Harrington began his motorsports career on two wheels earning success in both AMA Motocross and Supercross. He transitioned to four wheels racing in Formula Atlantic and SCCA Can-Am, where he won the 1992 series championship. He earned a starting spot in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and later won the Rookie-of-the-Year award for the series in 1999, his first year running the full season.

Jack Miller, also known as the “Racing Dentist” because he is a practicing dentist, competed in three Indianapolis 500s from 1997 through 1999 as well as five seasons in the Indy Racing League and five more in Indy Lights.

"The interest in our Brickyard Invitational and our feature ‘Indy Legends’ Pro-Am is so rewarding," said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. "While the Pro-Am continues to exceed expectations and we will have more announcements so look for news about the cars and drivers of the other road races and the oval experience as well. I think fans are going to be surprised and delighted."

The Pro-Am will be a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course. 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. Indianapolis 500 veterans will be paired with amateur drivers, each taking a 20-minute stint. Five minutes will be allotted for driver change.

While the Pro-Am takes place on Sunday, racing of several groups of other historic and vintage race cars will take place all weekend at IMS. Races or laps will happen on both the famed oval and the road course areas of the track, and in-field camping will be available for fans.

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