Friday, May 15, 2009

Indy 500 Update: Tomas Scheckter to Join Justin Wilson at Dale Coyne Racing

Dale Coyne Racing just announced that South African driver Tomas Scheckter will drive the #19 car, with new teammate Justin Wilson.

I had a chance to visit the Dale Coyne garage and catch a few minutes with Scheckter.

"I'm just excited to be on the team," he said. "Today, I'm getting comfortable in the car, trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible."

The team's focus today is just getting Scheckter in the show, and then worry about race day later. That's the way it is in Indy Car, just a series of small steps: get up to speed, get in the field, and then race.

"We're still just getting the car together," said Scheckter, referring to the #19 Monavie car he'll be driving. While I was there, there were at least eight guys swarming around the chassis like horny bees on a drunk flower. Given the condition of the car, you would think there wouldn't be any way this thing is going to be ready to go in three days, but these guys are pros. They'll have it done in a couple hours.

Scheckter joined the Indy Racing League in 2002, driving for Eddie Cheever's Red Bull Cheever Racing, racking up some big wins and accomplishments.
  • Winner of the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, 2005

  • Winner of the Michigan Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway, 2002

  • Winner of the MBNA Pole Award at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nashville Super Speedway, 2005

  • Winner of the MBNA Pole Award at Kansas Motor Speedway, 2002

  • Winner of the MBNA Pole Award at Michigan International Speedway, 2002, 2003

  • Winner of the MBNA Pole Award at Texas Motor Speedway, 2002, 2003, 2005

  • Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the year, 2002

Before he joined the Indy Racing League, Scheckter won the Formula Opel Euroseries championship in 1999, with eight victories and eight poles. He then drove in the Formula 3 Series in 2000, and was runner-up in the British Formula 3 Championship with two wins and two poles.

You can follow Scheckter at
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