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INDY 500: 2000 Winners to Defend Title at 85th Indianapolis 500

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
March 21, 2001

Chip Ganassi Racing files two entries; Dreyer & Reinbold Racing also fields entry

INDIANAPOLIS - Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc., which fielded the winning car for Juan Montoya in the 2000 Indianapolis 500, filed two entries March 20 for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing with rookies Nicolas Minassian and Bruno Junqueira as the drivers.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing also filed an entry, with team co-owner Robbie Buhl nominated to drive.

The 85th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 27. Entries must be postmarked by April 11. All drivers will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race.

Minassian, a native of France now living in Carmel, Ind., will drive the #33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with an identical backup car entered. Minassian was runner-up to his new teammate Junqueira in the FIA Formula 3000 Championship last season before moving with Junqueira to the United States to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Simon Hodgson is the chief mechanic for the entry assigned to Minassian.

Junqueira, a native of Brazil now living in Indianapolis, will drive the #44 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with an identical backup car entered. Barry Wanser is the chief mechanic.

Mike Hull and Steve Gough are the team managers for both Ganassi entries. Gough was the chief mechanic for race winner Montoya last year.

Chip Ganassi Racing entered the Indianapolis 500 last year for the first time since 1995, with drivers Montoya and Vasser.

Buhl, from Cleveland, will attempt to make his sixth career start at Indy in the #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Team Purex G Force/Infiniti/Firestone, with an identical backup car entered. His best finish at Indianapolis is sixth in 1999. He has three career top-10 finishes at Indy, placing ninth as a rookie in 1996 and eighth in 1997.

John O'Gara is the chief mechanic, and Jim Robinson is the team manager.

Dreyer & Reinbold's entry is the first so far this year for Infiniti-powered cars. Buhl and Eddie Cheever Jr. are the two drivers who use the Infiniti engine in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series.

Text provided by Paul Kelly

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