[Source: Lazier Partners Racing]
1996 WINNER BUDDY LAZIER TO ENTER 2014 INDIANAPOLIS 500
Vail Native To Drive No. 91 UI Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research Car
VAIL, Colo. (April 10, 2014) – Lazier Partners Racing (LPR) announced today that it will enter the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race with driver Buddy Lazier. It will be the second consecutive year the family-organized team will enter the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Lazier, the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2000 Verizon IndyCar Series champion, will drive the No. 91 University of Iowa Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car.
“We are a team that is going to take our experience racing for championships and apply that leadership to make great things happen for well-meaning organizations that support great causes,” said team co-owner and Buddy’s father Bob Lazier. “Our support of the University of Iowa’s Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research is personal to our family and right in line with the goals and purpose of our team. We want to win on the track, and we want to help people achieve their goals every day off the track.”
For its effort in 2014, LPR has chosen to bring awareness to the University of Iowa’s Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research. The research center specializes in engineering cures for rare, inherited retinal diseases. In 2013, Stephen Wynn, the chairman and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts, Limited and who suffers from a rare eye disease, committed $25 million to aid the research on the UI campus.
Jacqueline Lazier, the 12-year-old daughter of Buddy and Kara Lazier, was born with a rare eye disorder called Aniridia, which is characterized by a complete or partial absence of the colored part of the eye (the iris). Aniridia can cause reduction in visual acuity (sharpness) and increased sensitivity to light. The Aniridia, combined with glaucoma, has caused Jacqueline to lose vision in her right eye.
Lazier Partners Racing was formed just one month before the 2013 Indianapolis 500 in Vail, Colo., by the Laziers and family business partners and friends.
“It took a monumental effort in 2013 to organize the team in such a short period of time and make the race,” the elder Lazier said. “Now, we’ve had an entire year to organize the team, and we have raised the expectations for this year’s Indianapolis 500.”
This year’s Indianapolis 500 will be Buddy Lazier’s 18th start in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. In addition to his 1996 Indy 500 win, Lazier has finished second twice (1998 & 2000), fourth (1997) and fifth (2005).
“Though I was happy to be back in the race in 2013, I was not happy with our performance race day,” said Lazier. “Over the years I’ve obtained a great deal of experience at Indianapolis, and I really enjoy working through the driving and engineering challenges that the Month of May can bring. With Chevrolet power and augmented by corporate support from Phillips Energy Partners and Herman Miller, I am confident we’ll have a competitive program in 2014.”
With the fewest amount of practices laps by any driver in the 2013 field, Lazier posted a four-lap average qualifying speed of 223.442 mph. He started 32nd in last year’s race before finishing 31st, retiring after 44 laps with a mechanical issue.
The elder Lazier, Bob, and Buddy’s brother, Jaques, are also both veterans of the Indianapolis 500. Bob made the race in 1981, while Jaques has six Indy 500 starts.
Practice for the Indianapolis 500 begins on Sunday May 11. Qualifying for the Indy 500 is on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18. The 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 25, and will be live on ABC.