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IndyCar drivers at a glance

26 Marco Andretti Andretti Green

Age: 22

Hometown: Nazareth, Pa.

Notable: He failed to finish seven times in 2008, derailing a season in which he led 330 laps, fourth-most in the series. His lone career win came in his rookie year, 2006, at Infineon.

98 Stanton Barrett Team 3G

Age: 36

Hometown: Bishop, Calif.

Notable: A veteran movie and TV stuntman and a stock car driver with experience in all three top NASCAR series, Barrett has longtime crew chief Owen Snyder to aid his transition into IndyCar.

6 Ryan Briscoe Team Penske

Age: 27

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Notable: Last year was a breakout as Briscoe earned his first two series victories. In his second full season with Penske, he is now thrust into the role of a serious title contender.

20 Ed Carpenter Vision Racing

Age: 28

Hometown: Indianapolis

Notable: He earned his first two career top-five finishes in 2008, fifth at Indianapolis and Homestead. But four DNFs, all after contact, helped keep him down in 15th in points.

21 Ryan Hunter-Reay Vision Racing

Age: 28

Hometown: Boca Raton

Notable: A deal for Hunter-Reay was announced this week, securing a ride for a driver with one IRL victory (last year at Watkins Glen with Rahal Letterman) and two Champ Car wins since 2003.

24 Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold

Age: 25

Hometown: Bromley, England

Notable: Conway has spent his career in stepladder series in Europe, including the past two years in the GP2 series. He won the British Formula 3 International championship in 1996.

9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing

Age: 28

Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand

Notable: Dixon won his second IRL title with a season for the ages in 2008 — his first Indianapolis 500 triumph was one of a record-tying six victories.

06 Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan

Age: 27

Hometown: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Notable: The former Formula One driver won twice in Champ Car for Team Minardi USA in 2007, then spent last year in a variety of series around the world.

10 Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing

Age: 35

Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland

Notable: The 2007 series and Indy 500 champ is back after a year in NASCAR. After Ganassi's No. 40 Sprint Cup team folded partway through '08, Ganassi signed Franchitti to his IndyCar team.

11 Tony Kanaan Andretti Green

Age: 34

Hometown: Salvador, Brazil

Notable: The 2004 champ didn't have a great '08 — but perhaps only by his standard. He won at Richmond to extend his streak of seasons with at least one victory to six and was third in points.

2 Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon Racing

Age: 27

Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Notable: The rookie captured the Indy Lights championship last season for Andretti Green and won three times including one of the two St. Petersburg races.

14 Vitor Meira A.J. Foyt Racing

Age: 32

Hometown: Brasilia

Notable: A.J. Foyt's new driver holds the series record for starts without a victory (93) but has finished in the top five 27 times and has been second eight times, including last year's Indy 500.

5 Mario Moraes KV Racing

Age: 20

Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Notable: He heads into his second IndyCar season with a more promising team, having recorded three top-10 finishes last season for Dale Coyne including seventh at Watkins Glen.

27 Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green

Age: 26

Hometown: Tokyo

Notable: He was the 2008 series rookie of the year with seven top-10 finishes including second at Iowa. He was 10th in points.

7 Danica Patrick Andretti Green

Age: 27

Hometown: Roscoe, Ill.

Notable: She led only four laps in 2008, but three of them were the biggest of her career — the last laps in Japan for her first win. Now team owner Michael Andretti calls the shots for her in the pits.

3 Will Power Team Penske

Age: 28

Hometown: Toowoomba, Australia

Notable: As Helio Castroneves stands trial in Miami, Power stands in for him at Penske. Power won the final Champ Car race, last year at Long Beach.

02 Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan

Age: 20

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Notable: The defending St. Petersburg Grand Prix champion finds himself as the driver with the most IndyCar starts on his team, 16. His three best finishes in '08 came on road or street courses.

13 E.J. Viso HVM Racing

Age: 24

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Notable: His season highlight in 2008 came in St. Petersburg, where he led 12 laps and moved up 11 spots from the grid to finish fourth, the lone top-five result in his first season.

4 Dan Wheldon Panther Racing

Age: 30

Hometown: Emberton, England

Notable: The St. Petersburg resident moves from Ganassi, where he won six times in three seasons, to Panther Racing. His new team once dominated but has not won a race since 2005.

19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing

Age: 30

Hometown: Sheffield, England

Notable: He won at Belle Isle last year but lost his ride with Newman/Haas/Lanigan after last season. He finished second in Champ Car points in 2006 and again in '07.

23 Darren Manning Dreyer & Reinbold

Age: 33

Hometown: North Yorkshire, England

Notable: Manning signed this week after being replaced at A.J. Foyt Racing at the end of last season. He finished a career-best second last year at Watkins Glen.

34 Alex Tagliani Conquest Racing

Age: 36

Hometown: Montreal

Notable: The Champ Car veteran replaced the injured Enrique Bernoldi in the last two races for Conquest last season. Tagliani finished in the top 10 in Champ Car points six straight years, 2002-07.

IndyCar drivers at a glance 04/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 2, 2009 10:59pm]
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