Alex Tagliani didn’t forget Bruno Junqueira’s gracious act at last year’s Indianapolis 500, and the Brazilian driver will compete for a starting berth this May in a second FAZZT Race Team car.
Junqueira qualified a Conquest Racing car on Bump Day in the 30th position. But he stepped out of the entry for Tagliani, who had failed to make the field.
“Because we have enough sponsorship to run a second car at Indianapolis, we felt it important to give that chance to Bruno,” said Tagliani, who is competing full time in the IZOD IndyCar Series with the first-year FAZZT Race Team. "Last year, with Bruno as the second driver in the team I was at, he let his spot in the field go after I had a mishap in qualifying. And it turned out, I had a pretty good race at the Indy 500 so it is nice way to say thank you to Bruno for what he did for me last year."
Tagliani started 33rd and finished 11th, earning Chase Rookie of the Year honors. In two IZOD IndyCar Series races this season, he has finished sixth (St. Petersburg) and 19th (Brazil, started second but was involved in contact early).
Junqueira, a native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, started from the pole at Indy in 2002 (231.342 mph four-lap average in a Chip Ganassi Racing car) and has led 52 laps at the historic 2.5-mile track.
“I am thrilled with the opportunity to compete for the FAZZT Race Team at the Indianapolis 500," said Junqueira, who has competed in the race five times and will drive the No. 33 entry. “The team will give me the resources and support to compete in a car that has the capabilities of winning at the Indianapolis 500. To win at Indianapolis has always been a dream of mine.
“I've had some very competitive opportunities at Indianapolis and in each year I've led laps and scored two top-five finishes at the Speedway. I hope that in 2010 I am able to complete my dream of a win at Indianapolis since I have been so close in the past.”
Tagliani, Jim Freudenberg, Andre Azzi and Jason Priestley are co-owners of FAZZT Race Team.
"When we formed the FAZZT Race Team, we had a few goals in mind,” Freudenberg said. “One of those goals was that if we had the opportunity to field a second entry at Indianapolis that we wanted to put Bruno in that car. Bruno is an extremely talented driver and is the perfect complement to our current program.
“We are also excited that Bruno will be piloting the No. 33 car at Indianapolis as that is the car number he drove to the pole position in 2002, and we are hoping that number will serve him well again in 2010."
Opening Day at the Speedway is May 15.
Back to Top