SVRA Heroes & Friends: Indy Car
Al Unser returned to racing in wheel-to-wheel competition for the first time in 23 years at the 2017 Brickyard Invitational. Teaming the SVRA CEO Tony Parella as his co-driver, Unser delivered a steady performance for a 16th place finish in the B Production class. “Big Al” had previously served as grand marshal of the 2015 Brickyard Invitational and returned in 2016 to auction for charity with Motostalgia. He was also co-grand marshal of the 2016 Portland Vintage Racing Festival. “Big Al” is one of only three drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. A three-time Indy car champion (1970, ’83, ’85) he was a rare breed that drove any type of car on any venue, including sports cars, stock cars, modified and dirt cars. The four-time Hoosier Hundred victor drove and won in sprints, midgets, Formula 5000 and stock cars to name a few. A Hall of Fame super star, Al was USAC stock car rookie of the year in 1967 and IROC champion in 1978. In his final Indianapolis 500 win in 1987 he broke Ralph De Palma’s 67-year-old record for most career laps led in the historic race. He retired in 1994 after setting the mark at 644 laps.
Al Unser Jr.
Al Unser Jr. has driven in all four Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races and won the inaugural contest with co-driver Peter Klutt in 2014. He finished on the podium in 2016 and 2017. Unser was co-grand marshal at the 2016 Portland Vintage Racing Festival. He is a two-time Indy car champion (1990 and 1994) and the winner of 34 Indy car races including the 1992 and ’94 Indianapolis 500s. A versatile driver, “Little Al” was a winner in World of Outlaws sprint car racing; 1982 Can-Am champion and IROC champion in 1986 and again in 1988. He’s also a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1986 and ’87. Like his father “Big” Al Unser and Uncle Bobby Unser he enjoyed tremendous success as a star driver for Roger Penske’s team, which provided his winning entry for the 1994 “500.”
Bobby Unser is grand marshal of the 2016 Brickyard Invitational and has led the event’s oval exhibition races in 2014 and 2015. Bobby, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1968, 1975 and 1981, also captured the national driving championship in 1968 and again in 1974. A versatile talent, the International Hall of Fame driver won the 1975 IROC series and scored more Pikes Peak Hill Climb victories than anyone in history. A proven winner in sprint cars and midgets he also competed in NASCAR, Formula One and sports cars. An outstanding development driver, Unser is credited with much of the input to the design of the “Gurney Flap,” an integral element of racing wings. He was also vital to the development of the first in-house Penske chassis to win the Indianapolis 500.
Buddy Lazier raced in the 2014 inaugural Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. Buddy’s mastery of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval is undisputed with an exceptional record of finishes. He not only won the 1996 Indianapolis 500 but also has amassed six top-ten finishes, including the runner-up spot twice. He won the Indy car series championship in 2000. 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 Indy car to the IROC series, winning the 2002 Chicagoland Speedway race and finishing second in the championship.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya drove a Corvette in the 2014 SVRA Sebring Group 10 race. Montoya, perhaps the most versatile driver of the current era, has raced and won at the top levels of motorsport: Formula One, NASCAR and Indy car – a claim no current driver can make today. He won seven Formula One races including the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix. Montoya’s other greatest moments came at the Indianapolis 500 where he is a two-time winner despite only competing there four times. He won in 2000 but did not return until 2014 when he finished fifth. He won the race in 2015. Montoya was also the CART Indy car champion in 1999 – his rookie season. After Formula One he competed at the highest levels of NASCAR and scored two victories.
Parnelli Jones served as grand marshal at the 2014 Brickyard Invitational. The winner of the 1963 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Parnelli could have won the classic several times despite only competing seven years. Jones was a sure winner in 1962 and 1967 before mechanical maladies dashed his hopes. He broke the 150 MPH barrier at the great track and is revered as one of the storied Speedway’s greatest ever. Inducted into no less than six auto racing halls of fame, Jones is well known for amazing diversity behind the wheel. He amassed an incredible number of wins across many forms of the sport. In addition to Indy cars he enjoyed tremendous success in sprint cars, midgets, off-road vehicles, sports cars and stock cars. His achievements in the glory days of Trans Am in the early 1970’s at the wheel of a Boss 302 Mustang added to the legend of that brand.
Paul Tracy returned for his second Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am in 2017 after winning the B Production class in 2016 in co-driver Gary Moore’s Mustang. Tracy is a 2014 inductee into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame. He enjoyed a 20-year career at the top level of North American open wheel racing. During that time he amassed an amazing 31 race wins and a 2003 series championship while driving for some of the premiere teams in the sport, including Penske Racing, Newman-Haas, Team Kool Green, Forsythe and A.J. Foyt. Tracy is a seven-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 with a best finish of second in 2002 in a controversial result that still has bench-racers debating the outcome. In 2006, 2007 and 2012 Tracy drove in several Grand-Am sports car races including the 24 Hours of Daytona in each of those years.
Tom Sneva served as honorary steward at the 2015 Brickyard Invitational. Sneva, who was the 1983 Indianapolis 500 champion, started the historic race 19 times and boasts one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments at IMS. In 1977 he became the first man to qualify for the “500” at over 200 MPH. That feat won him the pole, an accomplishment he earned two more times in 1978 and ’84. The Motorsports Hall of Fame Driver (2005) was also fastest qualifier in 1981 but started 20th because rules at the time put him behind those who cut their speeds on their first attempt. Sneva also finished second three times in 1977, ’78 and ’80. Tom won 14 poles and 13 victories in his Indy car career. He was Indy car champion in 1977 and 1978 driving for the renowned Penske Racing. He also raced in top-tier NASCAR events eight times, earning a seventh in the 1983 Daytona 500.
A.J. Foyt IV
A.J. Foyt IV has competed in two Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Ams, earning a podium finish in 2016. He is a six-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 from 2003 to 2010. He holds the record as the youngest driver to start the classic at 19. A.J. got his start as a nine-year-old in Junior Dragsters, winning two titles. He later raced SCCA formula cars, taking the Southwest Regional Championship in 2001 and finishing third in the national championship to win SCCA rookie-of-the-year. After a taste of USAC Silver Crown racing he stepped up to grandfather A.J. Foyt’s Infiniti Pro Series team in 2002, taking four impressive wins and the season championship. During his Indy car career he also raced for Vision Racing, securing that team’s best-ever finish with a third place at Kentucky Speedway in 2007. Foyt also raced in NASCAR Busch (now Xfinity) and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Alex Lloyd has raced in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He is a veteran of four Indianapolis 500s with a best finish of fourth in 2010. Alex was the Indy Lights champion in 2007, winning eight of 16 races. He started racing karts in Europe at age nine and became British Open champion at age 14. His career progressed and in 2001 he was racing competitively in Formula Ford. The British Race Driver’s Club (BRDC) named Lloyd “young driver of the year” after a runner-up finish to Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton in the 2003 Formula Renault series. This led to a Formula One test with McLaren in 2004. After racing off and on in Formula 3000 Lloyd traveled to the United States where he enjoyed great success with the Indy Lights series and that led to his Indianapolis 500 rides. Most recently Alex competed in Pirelli World Challenge (2014).
ARIE LUYENDYK JR.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. raced in the 2015 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He is the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk Sr. Active in social media Luyendyk created a sensation by becoming a reality television star on ABC’s “The Bachelorette” series. A versatile driver, he currently competes in the TORC (The Off Road Championship) series with his own team. He has a varied resume of racing experiences, including Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Truck Series, four seasons with Indy Lights, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring – all to go along with his 2006 Indianapolis 500 start. Luyendyk was a consistent top finisher in Indy Lights, scoring a win, four pole positions and 13 podiums. He was voted series most popular driver four consecutive years.
Brazil’s Ana Beatriz, also known as “Bia” to friends and fans, has competed in two “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races, in 2016 and ’17. She is a four-time veteran of the Indianapolis 500. Ana got started racing karts in Brazil at age 12, winning one of her country’s top championships in 2003. She also entered Brazilian Formula Renault in 2003 and won that season’s rookie-of-the-year award. She spent three seasons in the Formula Renault series, scoring three wins and three poles in 2005. After a year in the Brazilian Formula Three championship she came to America to go racing in the Indy Lights Series. She earned significant success there with two wins, seven podiums and the rookie-of-the-year trophy in 2008. Ana was also presented the Tony Renna “Rising Star” award that same year. Her race victories made her the first woman to win in Indy Lights history. Ana qualified for four successive Indy 500s and her last appearance was in 2013. Most recently she has competed in the Brazilian Stock Car series with such notables as former Formula One winner Rubens Barrichello. Ana competed in the 2016 “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am.
Bill Vukovich II
Bill Vukovich II served as 2016 Brickyard Invitational Honorary Steward. He qualified for 12 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races, with a best finish of second in 1973. He followed that up the very next year with an impressive third place. Vukovich won the race’s rookie-of-the-year trophy in 1968 while driving for the legendary auto racing promoter J.C. Agajanian. In his 17-year Indy car career he had 158 starts and 85 top-ten finishes including a victory at Michigan International Speedway in 1973. Vukovich, who scored an impressive 23 wins in top-level midget car racing, was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.
Billy Roe has competed in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Roe qualified for the Indianapolis 500 twice in 1997 and 1998. From 1997 through 2002 he started in 16 Indy car races, fielding his own car at Las Vegas in 1997. Prior to Indy car he competed in Formula Atlantic and Indy Lights races. He also raced in the Infiniti Pro series for two years following his appearances in the Indianapolis 500. Early in his career he raced Formula Super Vee. Roe holds the IMS track record for electric motor powered Indy cars with a lap at 106.897 mph on May 11, 2011.
Bob Lazier has raced in all four Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am contests, winning in 2015. The patriarch of the famous Lazier racing family, Bob raced in the 1981 Indianapolis 500. A skilled road racer, he earned three top-five finishes on his way to winning the Indy car Rookie-of-the-Year Award in 1981. A successful businessman and self-made man, he is the founder of the highly acclaimed Tivoli Lodge in Vail. Action oriented and an avid skier he started racing cars in 1969 and cut his teeth in SCCA road racing. He progressed steadily through the open wheel ranks in VW Gold Cup, Formula Vee, Super Vee, Formula 5000 and on to Indy cars.
Cory Witherill competed in both the 2016 and ‘17 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races. He owns the distinction of being the only Native American Navajo driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. He earned that honor in 2001 when he cracked the field on the traditionally tense “bump day” – the final rounds of qualifying. Despite starting on the last row he steadily worked his way forward to finish 19th. Beginning in 1999 Witherill spent much of his time before and after his Indy 500 appearance competing in versions of the Indy Lights Series. In six seasons he scored eight podium finishes including a victory in the 100-miler at Nashville Speedway during the 2002 season. In addition to the Brickyard Invitational, Witherill is considering a return to racing as he recently tested an IMSA Prototype Challenge (PC) car for BAR1 Motorsports with an eye to competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Darren Manning has raced in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Ams, beginning in 2015. He boasts a varied resume, starting in karting at age 10. By 18 he was racing Formula Vauxhall, scoring two victories. Manning graduated to British Formula 3 with two wins including the support race for the 1998 British F1 Grand Prix. Moving to Japan in 1999 he captured that country’s Formula 3 championship. He tested for the Williams Formula One team and was hired as test driver for BAR Honda F1 in 2000. By 2003 he was racing in Indy car with Walker Racing and then in 2004 with Ganassi Racing. After a stint in A1 Grand Prix he returned to Indy car with the A.J. Foyt. Manning competed in four Indianapolis 500s with a best placement of ninth in 2008. He also finished second in the 2007 24 Hours of Daytona.
Davey Hamilton has raced in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Ams, starting in 2015. He competed in 11 Indianapolis 500s with three top-10 finishes including a fourth place. Hamilton finished in the runner-up spot twice in the Indy car season championship and in 2014 raced in Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Truck Series. He is renowned for his mastery of super-modified and sprint car racing. Hamilton is also a leader both on and off the track. He was founder of the “King of the Wing” sprint car series and has been active as an Indy car owner. He has served as an expert commentator on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.
Davy Jones has competed in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also leads the customer experience performance academy for SVRA series sponsor Jaguar during race weekends. Chicago-born Davy, first gained notice when he placed third in the 1983 British Formula 3 championship behind Ayrton Senna. Bernie Eccelstone tested him for a Brabham Formula 1 seat the same year. Jones later competed in the New Zealand Formula Atlantic series, winning that country’s grand prix in 1984 and ’87. In 1986 he scored BMW McLaren’s only IMSA GTP victory at Watkins Glen. A top-tier sports car driver, he brought home the overall win in both the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1990 24 Hours of Daytona. In an Indy car career spanning nine seasons, including six Indianapolis 500s, his best finish came at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in 1996 when he was second.
Dennis Firestone has raced in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Ams since 2015. He is a five-time starter of the Indianapolis 500 with a top-ten finish in 1981. He was rookie-of-the-year for the Indy car series in 1980, finishing in the top five twice. On his way up the ladder he competed in the American Super Vee series, USAC Gold Crown and the USAC Mini-Indy series where he won the 1979 championship. Firestone also races regularly in SVRA events, especially in his Crossle Formula Ford.
Dick Simon has competed in all the Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races to date. He is one of the most wonderful characters of Indianapolis 500 history. Brimming with personality he saw the promotional value for his sponsors of being the first car to take to the track when practice opened in May. A veteran of 17 Indianapolis 500s he scored a best finish of sixth in 1987. He was a highly respected car owner and team manager helping to launch the careers of such notables as two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk and 1992 Rookie-of-the-Year Lyn St. James.
Donnie Beechler competed in his third consecutive Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am in 2017. He is a four-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 and drove for the great A.J. Foyt in his final appearance in the race. He had 36 career starts in Indy car races, finishing on the podium twice. Beechler is a long-time midget and sprint car driver competing in the USAC Silver Crown series and at prestigious events such as the Chili Bowl midget car classic. Like Hamilton and Kite, he will be making his second SVRA “Indy Legends” Pro-Am start. Beechler was inducted into the Springfield, Illinois Sports Hall of Fame 2016.
Eliseo Salazar raced in the 2014 and 2015 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His results at the Indianapolis 500 were impressive with two front-row starts and finishes of third, fourth, sixth and seventh. Salazar scored his only Indy car victory in the final race of the 1997 Indy Racing League season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, driving a Dallara-Oldsmobile for a team managed by Dick Simon. A versatile talent, Salazar competed in Formula One, Le Mans, World Rally Championship racing and, of course, the Indianapolis 500. In Indy car racing he not only drove for Simon but also the legendary A.J. Foyt for three years. He remains the only Chilean-born driver to compete in Formula One.
Eric Bachelart competed in the 2015 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He is a former champion of the Indy Lights series (1991) and a two-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and ’95, competing in numerous Indy car races during those years. Belgian-born, he was a star in that country’s touring car series, PROCAR, competing in races for Audi and Peugeot. He has also competed in sports car endurance racing, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona. Another highlight of Bachelart’s career is a third-place finish in the French Formula Three championship. He is also known as the owner of Conquest Racing that has fielded entries in Indy car, Indy Lights and American Le Mans racing.
Geoff Brabham has raced in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races since 2015. Brabham also raced and won Group 2 races in Ron Hornig’s 1971 Brabham BT35 Formula B racer at the 2016 Brickyard Invitational and the national championship meet at COTA, also in 2016. He has also presented the Brabham Trophy to the owner of the best example of a Brabham racecar at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway/SVRA events. He won the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans and is also a 10-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, with a best finish of fourth in 1983. He was active in the Indy car series during the 1980’s, recording eight podium finishes and 31 top tens. Brabham was the star driver of the dominant Nissan team that won four successive IMSA GTP championships from 1988 through 1991. During this time he scored an amazing 23 overall victories including the 12 Hours of Sebring. Early in his career he won the 1981 Can-Am series championship. Geoff’s outstanding success earned him six invitations to compete in the elite IROC series.
George Follmer has served in a number of ceremonial roles for the SVRA, including grand marshal for the 2016 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. He also was a speaker at the banquet for the event at Sebring in 2016. Follmer, a three-time Indianapolis 500 starter, reigned as champion of both the Trans-Am and Can-Am series in 1972. Prior to that he was the 1965 SCCA United States Road Racing Champion and the 1970 SCCA Formula 5000 Continental Champion. Follmer drove in Formula One for the American-owned UOP Shadow team to score a podium finish in the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix. In 1974 he won an IROC race at Riverside and in 1969 won the Indy car race at Phoenix. He competed in NASCAR in 1974 to score three top-five finishes. After retiring he returned to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and his team earned a podium finish for Porsche.
James Hinchcliffe raced a Formula BMW at the 2015 SVRA national championships at COTA. He began racing with karts as a youngster and in 2003 raced F2000 at age 16. Hinchcliffe won three Formula BMW races in 2004 and won three more times in the 2005 Star Mazda series. A Canadian, Hinchcliffe represented that country in the 2006 A1 GP. He also competed in Formula Atlantic that year, scoring a win in Portland. He spent two more seasons in Formula Atlantic, earning another win and 11 podiums. He entered Indy Lights in 2009 and 2010 to win three races and 11 podiums during that time. He has been in Indy car since 2011 driving for Newman-Haas, Andretti Autosport and Schmidt-Peterson and has won four races. Born in 1986, Hinchcliffe remains a top star in the Indy car series. His engaging wit has earned him numerous opportunities for motorsports TV commentary.
Janet Guthrie served as honorary steward at the 2014 and 2015 Brickyard Invitational. She is best known as the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. A Michigan University educated physicist, Janet started racing SCCA regionals in 1963 and by 1972 was racing fulltime. In 1976 she became the first woman to compete in the top ranks of NASCAR at the World 600. The following year she raced in the Daytona 500 to finish 12th and be named rookie-of-the-year. Just months later she made history when she qualified for the Indianapolis 500. She competed in three Indianapolis 500 races with a best finish of 9th and two Daytona 500s with a best finish of 11th. She has two class wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring and is a published author with her 2005 autobiography. She was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Jaques Lazier has competed in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am since the 2014 inaugural. He 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.
Jimmy Kite has competed in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am race since 2015. He is a five-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, and first qualified for the big show in 1998. He made his name driving midgets and sprint cars and really got the attention of the motorsports world in 1997 by winning one of short track racing’s biggest trophies – the USAC Silver Crown Copper World Classic. In addition to his 34 starts in Indy car competition Kite has also ventured into ARCA stock car and NASCAR truck racing. He is currently affiliated with Dodge and performance customer outreach program.
Johnny Parsons has raced in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. The son of 1950 Indianapolis 500 winner Johnnie Parsons, he earned great success in his own right with 12 Indianapolis 500 starts and best finishes of fifth in 1977 and 1985. He is a highly decorated sprint and midget driver and was voted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1994. He has a career total of 29 midget feature wins including the prestigious 1986 Copper World Classic. He also won two USAC Silver Crown races and five sprint car features. Parsons also enjoyed success in the USAC Mini-Indy Series with two fourth-place showings in five races. Johnny has served as an expert commentator on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Network.
Johnny Unser has competed in the Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am three times since 2015. He scored a podium finish with the runner-up spot in the B Production class in 2017. Johnny’s father Jerry was the first of the famous family to crack into the Indianapolis 500 field in 1958. Unfortunately he lost his life practicing at the track the following year. Following Dad’s footsteps, Johnny is a veteran of five consecutive Indianapolis 500s beginning in 1996. Johnny raced in 20 Indy car races including his five Indianapolis 500 drives. His best finish was a ninth at Phoenix. He remains active in the sport as an Indy car official, technical advisor and spokesperson for Cooper Tires as well as mentor to young, aspiring drivers including his daughter, Loni.
John Martin has raced in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He is a five-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, but also boasts outstanding credentials in road race competition. Martin, who was featured on the cover of Vintage Motorsport magazine in 2014, the year he first entered the Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am, launched his career in sports car racing. An excellent mechanic, he converted his 1963 Corvette Sting Ray into an A-Production race car and went Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing. He was national champion in 1964 and went professional in 1966. He drove an AMC Javelin in the classic days of Trans Am and tackled the Indianapolis 500 in 1972. He is one of those amazing competitors who wore several hats as driver, mechanic, engineer and owner.
Josele Garza raced in his first Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am race in 2016 and returned in 2017. He won the 1981 Indianapolis 500 rookie-of-the-year award at age 19 and went on to compete in the event seven times. He was the youngest driver to qualify for the race until A.J. Foyt IV arrived in 2003. Garza cracked the top 10 in 1984 and holds a career total of 13 laps led. In 88 Indy car series starts he recorded 33 top-10 finishes with a best placement of second at the 1986 Michigan 500 behind racing legend Johnny Rutherford. His victory in the 1980 USAC Mini-Indy Pocono race along with two runner-up finishes at other races, earned him second place in the series championship at just age 18. A Mexican, his reputation earned him a Brabham Formula One test during practice for that country’s grand prix in 1986. He tested with the Minardi Formula One team in 1987.
Larry Foyt made his SVRA debut in the 2016 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He is president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises. The three-time Indianapolis 500 starter is also a founding partner with A.J. Foyt IV in a new venture, Foyt Family Wines. He began his racing career in karting in 1993 and was 1996 Texas state champion. In 1997 he began racing Formula 2000 and won two SCCA races in 1999. He raced stock cars with the American Speed Association in 2000 and by 2001 competed in the NASCAR Busch Series. He moved full-time into the top-tier Cup competition in 2003. By 2006 after his final Indianapolis 500 the Texas Christian University graduate began to take on more management responsibility at A.J. Foyt Enterprises. The team’s breakthrough victory with driver Takuma Sato at the famous Long Beach Grand Prix in 2013 was a testimony to his management abilities.
LYN ST. JAMES
Lyn St. James has raced in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. She also served as grand marshal at Portland in 2015 and occasionally races with SVRA in various events. Lyn is a seven-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 and the event’s rookie of the year in 1992. St. James raced in 15 Indy car races in her career. While many fans know Lyn best for her Indianapolis 500 achievements, she is an accomplished road racer and has earned numerous laurels at the wheel of a variety of racecars. She is a two-time competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1989 and ’91). She was even more successful in 62 IMSA GT events, amassing a record of six wins, 17 top-five and 37 top-ten finishes. Her 1985 GT victory at Watkins Glen remains the only time a woman has scored a win in that series driving solo. She raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring nine times, winning the GTO class in 1990, and was a two-time winner in the GTO Class at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Lyn raced in 53 Trans Am races with seven top-five finishes. She has held 31 international and national closed-circuit speed records and is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.
Mark Dismore has raced in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – scoring B Production podium finishes in 2016 and 2017. Dismore, a veteran of seven Indianapolis 500s, came back from a devastating accident at IMS in 1991 to nearly win the race ten years later before gearbox failure dashed his chances. He captured the attention of the American open wheel community in 1990 when he dominated the Toyota Atlantic (Pacific Division) championship, winning eight of ten races on the schedule. Just two years after his devastating injuries at Indianapolis he won overall at the 1993 24 Hours of Daytona driving Dan Gurney’s All American Racers Toyota prototype with Rocky Moran and P.J. Jones. He returned to Indy car racing and won the 1999 Texas Motor Speedway 500. Throughout his career he competed in 64 Indy car races and earned invitations to the elite IROC series in 2000 and 2001.
Max Papis has raced in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Ams, finally scoring a B Production victory in 2017. He has driven in virtually every major series this side of drag racing. This includes Formula One, NASCAR, Indy car racing, Le Mans as well as V8 Supercars and IROC. He competed in two Indianapolis 500s for 1998 race winner Eddie Cheever and won three Indy car races for Bobby Rahal’s team. In NASCAR he raced Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. He competed in seven 24 Hours of Le Mans contests, scoring a class podium in five of those events along with top-10 overall finishes on four occasions. Papis also won two 24 Hours of Daytona races and started in more NASCAR contests than any European driver in history.
Pete Halsmer has competed in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He also raced in 33 Indy car races, including two Indianapolis 500s, from 1980 to 1985 with a best finish of second. He had a highly decorated career in sports car racing, winning six Trans Am races, two International Motorsports Association (IMSA) GTO championships and three class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona. He drove for Jack Roush from 1986 through 1989 enjoying his Trans Am success as well as the 1989 IMSA GTO championship. Halsmer won his second GTO championship in 1991 while driving for Mazda. The following year he was invited to compete in the prestigious IROC series.
PJ Chesson raced in the 2015 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. A starter in the 2006 Indianapolis 500, he cut his teeth at age 12 in go-karts and quickly proved his potential to graduate to sprint cars in 1998. Chesson demonstrated his talent in the World of Outlaws series by scoring three feature wins and 28 top ten finishes in the span of two seasons. He also won Australia’s South Pacific Sprint Car Championship in 2004. A force in the Indy Lights series, Chesson won three races in 2004 and finished fourth in points despite not completing the entire season. One of the more colorful characters in racing, Chesson is remembered for acquiring a tattoo of the event logo at the Indianapolis 500 after qualifying for the race.
Richie Hearn raced in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Ams. He was Toyota Atlantic champion in 1995, and first appeared in the Indianapolis 500 in 1996. He finished third in that race, the top-placed rookie in the field. He competed in six other “500’s” with a best finish of sixth in 2002. His last appearance in the historic race came in 2007. Hearn won the 1996 Las Vegas Speedway Indy car race and finished fourth in the Indy Racing League (IRL) championship point standings that year.
Rick Treadway has competed in all the Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races. He raced in the IndyCar series for two years, qualifying for the 2002 Indianapolis 500. Treadway groomed his racing skills in a variety midget racing series beginning in 1998 through 2001. In two years of racing in the Indy car series he scored two top-ten finishes including a fifth place at Texas in 2001. He is the son of Fred Treadway who won the 1997 Indianapolis 500 as a car owner.
Robby McGehee competed in the 2014 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He is a five-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 with a best finish of fifth when he won the race’s 1999 rookie-of-the-year trophy. McGehee competed in 38 Indy car races from 1999 through 2004. He recorded 13 top-ten finishes including a second-place at Texas in 2000 where he lost to Scott Sharp by a scant 0.059 seconds. Prior to entering Indy car racing McGehee finished second in the Formula 2000 season championship after scoring victories at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1998.
Robby Unser has competed in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am race, winning with an A Production 1965 Cobra in 2016. He is the son of three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser, but is an accomplished driver in his own right. He competed in two Indianapolis 500s finishing fifth and eighth. He was Indy Racing League rookie of the year in 1998. He drove in a total of 21 Indy car races with eight top-ten finishes including two in the runner-up spot. He spent the 1996 and 1997 racing seasons in Indy Lights, scoring a fourth place finish at Michigan. True to his family’s legacy he won nine Pikes Peak Hill Climb events.
Roberto Guerrero competed in the 2016 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am and entered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race a second time in 2017. He raced in 15 Indianapolis 500s beginning with his rookie-of-the-year performance in finishing second in 1984. He also won the Indy car series rookie-of-the-year award the same year. He finished second in the 1987 Indy 500 after leading late in the race. In his first four “500’s” Guerrero never finished out of the top four. He set the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record in 1992 at 232.482 mph, the first driver to win the pole with a speed over 230. In addition to his impressive results in the Indianapolis 500, he scored two race wins at Phoenix and Mid-Ohio. In an Indy car career that spanned 17 years he also earned numerous pole positions and 41 top ten finishes. Guerrero also spent two seasons in Formula One with the Ensign and Theodore teams. His achievements garnered him an invitation to the elite IROC series in 1988.
Rocky Moran raced in the first Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am in 2014. He is a veteran of three Indianapolis 500s and won the 1993 24 Hours of Daytona for Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR) factory entry with co-drivers Mark Dismore and P.J. Jones. Moran competed in 24 Indy car races between 1981 and 1990 with a best finish of sixth. He first cracked the starting lineup for the Indianapolis 500 qualifying for four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team. Since retiring Moran has coached young drivers in the Mazda Road-to-Indy ladder system. He is the father of current driver Rocky Moran Jr. who has competed in Indy Lights and Formula Atlantic races.
Scott Goodyear competed in the 2014 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He remains best known for narrowly missing victory in the Indianapolis 500 three times – in 1992, ’95 and ’97. He finished second in 1992 to Al Unser Jr. in the closest finish in history at 43 thousands of a second. Goodyear appeared a sure winner in 1995 but was penalized for passing a slow pace car. In 1997 he scored an additional second-place in another of Indy’s closest finishes behind teammate Arie Luyendyk. He competed in 11 Indianapolis 500 races and raced in Indy car from 1987 through 2001, winning five races including two Michigan 500s. He was invited to the IROC series in 2001. Goodyear drove in a variety of cars with highlights such as a third place overall in the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans and winning the 2003 “Six Hours at the Glen.”
Scott Harrington has competed in all four Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Ams. He has also raced with the SVRA events such as COTA in 2014. He is currently a professional driving coach and one of his clients, Bill Able, won a Group 8 SVRA national championship in 2014. Harrington began his motorsports career on two wheels winning both AMA Motocross and Supercross events. He transitioned to four wheels to race and win in Formula Atlantic and SCCA Can-Am, where he took the 1992 series championship. Harrington also competed in Indy Lights and Infiniti Pro as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. 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. Harrington competed in 15 Indy car races with two top five finishes.
Spike Gehlhausen competed in the 2014 and 2015 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races. He is a veteran of five Indianapolis 500s, finishing tenth in 1979 and starting fourth in 1980. He competed in the Indy car series from 1975 through 1986. Gehlhausen also drove in USAC Gold Crown and Silver Crown races during his career. He is currently president at Ultra Chemical, Inc., a manufacturer of environmental products and fire retardants.
Stephan Gregoire competed in the 2015 Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. He is a former French Formula 3 champion who also raced extensively in both Indy cars and sports cars. He earned a seventh place overall finish in his first crack at the Le Mans 24 and a fourth-place in the GT class at the Sebring 12-hour, both in 2003. He competed in 46 Indy car races, including seven Indianapolis 500s. He was second at the Pikes Peak IRL race in 1997 and cracked the top ten at Indianapolis with an eighth in 2000. Despite having no prior oval experience and being the youngest driver in the field he qualified seventh fastest for the 1993 Indianapolis 500.
Tom Bagley has competed in three Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am races. He is one of those drivers who accomplished much with limited resources. A three-time Indianapolis 500 starter, Bagley captured the Indy car rookie-of-the-year trophy in 1978. He competed in 42 Indy car races in his career, dicing it up with the leading drivers of the day with top four finishes on three occasions and placing in the top ten 23 times during a period when some of the greatest legends in history were at the zenith of their careers. During his sterling rookie season he drove for the legendary car builder A.J. Watson.
Wade Cunningham is a three-time SVRA Group 2 Formula Ford national champion in the COTA invitational. He has won the title from 2013 through 2015. Cunningham, born in New Zealand, established himself as a driver to watch when he won the Karting World Championship in 2003. He moved to the United States to race in the 2004 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship and scored seven podium finishes plus won four pole positions. Cunningham burst into the Indy Lights in 2005 to win the series championship with 10 podium finishes in 14 races including a victory at Fontana. He remained in the series through 2010, scoring eight career victories including three on the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Freedom 100. Cunningham drove in five Indy car series races in 2011 and 2012 for Sam Schmidt Motorsports and A.J. Foyt Enterprises. He competed in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 for Foyt.
Willy T. Ribbs
Willy T. Ribbs has raced in every Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am race. He has served in other capacities at SVRA events, such as a dinner speaker at Sebring (2016) and grand marshal for Portland (2017). The first black driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, Ribbs started the race in 1991 and 1993. He was also the first black driver to test for a Formula One team, getting that opportunity in 1986 with Bernie Ecclestone, who owned the Brabham team at the time. Ribbs also competed briefly at the top level of NASCAR as well as in their truck series. He was Trans Am’s most prolific winner across three seasons, 1983 through 1985, when he scored 18 of his 19 career-total victories, including 13 for Jack Roush-prepared Mercury-Ford Capris. He was series rookie-of-the year in 1983, winning five times and more than any other driver. After becoming Trans Am’s all-time money winner Ribbs moved to Dan Gurney’s IMSA Toyota team for two years and picked off 10 overall victories.
Sarah Fisher competed in her first Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am in 2017 and came away the winner of the A Production race. Fisher is a veteran of nine Indy 500s, more than any other woman. She is also the first woman to compete full time in the Indy Car series. There she earned standout results as the first woman to earn a pole position with a record-setting performance at Kentucky Speedway in 2002. Also at Kentucky she was the first woman to finish on the podium in 2000 and backed it up with a runner-up finish at Homestead in 2002. Fans voted her Indy Car’s Most Popular Driver for three consecutive years, 2001-2003. She won a similar trophy in 2005 in the NASCAR West Series. Fisher enjoyed early success winning championships in karting and quarter midgets. She climbed the ladder of midget and sprint cars, including World of Outlaws. After her driving career, she became the first woman to own a full-time Indy car team in 2008 and scored a victory with driver Ed Carpenter in 2011.
Jimmy Vasser returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in his first Brickyard Invitational “Indy Legends” Pro-Am in 2017. Vasser has been a force in Indy car racing for 25 years, scoring 10 victories as a driver and winning the 2013 Indianapolis 500 as a team owner with Tony Kanaan at the wheel. Driving for Jim Hayhoe, he burst on the scene at Indianapolis in 1992 by setting the speed record for rookies during qualifying at 222.313 mph. During his 15 seasons as an Indy car driver, Vasser drove for several top teams, including six years with Chip Ganassi where he won an Indy car championship in 1996. He also drove for Bobby Rahal, Pat Patrick, and Stefan Johansson before joining forces with Kevin Kalkhoven and moving into a partnership to form KV Racing in 2004.