[Source: Michael Shank Racing press release]
COLUMBUS, OH – April 23, 2012- Michael Shank Racing (MSR Indy) has filed an entry for the 96th Indianapolis 500 with Firestone Indy Lights champion Jay Howard. MSR Indy principal Michael Shank filed the entry last week and with the funding in place to compete in the race, the team awaits to receive an engine program.
“Filing the entry is just the first step for us,” said Shank, who oversaw his team’s victory in the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“We have the sponsor package in place, and we believe Jay (Howard) is the kind of driver who could really shine in the 500. The challenge remains for us to acquire the right to utilize a engine to practice, qualify, and race in the Indianapolis 500. We look forward to making everything final, and will be making announcements regarding the program when appropriate.”
The team took delivery of a Dallara DW12 chassis in January and has been working to develop the commercial support necessary to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
“Competing in my first Indy 500 last year was a dream come true,” said Howard, who ran as high as seventh in the 2011 Indy 500 before a right-rear tire issue beset him during the race. “We’ve worked really hard to put the sponsorship in place and look forward to receiving an engine to compete this year.”
MSR Indy is a partnership between former driver Michael Shank, current NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger, and Columbus area businessman Brian Bailey. MSR Indy is based in the 20,000 square-foot Michael Shank Racing shop outside of Columbus, Ohio. The program runs in parallel with Michael Shank Racing’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series effort, which opened the 2012 season with a victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“Entering the Indianapolis 500 is something I’ve been working on all my life, and this is a day I’ve been thinking about ever since stepping out of an Indy car and retiring as a driver,” continued Shank.