Howard set for Indy 500 debut
12 March 2011 – After coming tantalisingly close to an Indy 500 debut on two previous occasions, Jay Howard now looks set to compete in the 200-lap contest for the first time in his racing career. The English driver has received substantial support to claim a race seat in 2011, with Rahal Letterman Langan Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports planning to merge in order to accommodate Howard ahead of the race on May 30.
The 29-year old from Basildon has succeeded at Schmidt’s outfit in the past, claiming the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights title with two victories and five other podium finishes to his name. Both Schmidt and RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal have a proven track record in the historic event, and are eager to give Howard an opportunity as the 'No. 88 Service Central' entry in the 100th running of the Indy 500 this year.
"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a very special place and we have always taken great pride in performing well there," Schmidt told the official IZOD IndyCar Series website. "Having the chance to work with a team like Rahal Letterman Lanigan gives us even more reason to be optimistic about our chances for success. Jay Howard is a very talented driver and we look forward to a promising month of May."
Rahal added: "I think Jay has always been right on the brink of breaking through in IndyCar racing and our plan is to provide him with everything he needs to take that next step. Between Sam’s team and ours, we have the experience, knowledge and ability to provide an entry that will allow Jay to show his skills."