Lazier Partners Racing was formed 12 months ago from a "what if" discussion between friends in Vail, Colo., that evolved into "yes we can" effort for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in May.
This year, the group comprised of family, friends and business partners has had a more generous amount of time to prepare for another run to the checkered flag. On April 10, Lazier Partners Racing announced it will enter the 98th Running of the Indy 500 while focusing public attention on another group that's been close to the longtime racing family.
“It took a monumental effort in 2013 to organize the team in such a short period of time and make the race,” said co-owner Bob Lazier, who competed in the 500 Mile Race in 1981. “Now we’ve had an entire year to organize the team, and we have raised the expectations for this year’s Indianapolis 500.”
Buddy Lazier, the 1996 Indy 500 winner and 2000 IndyCar Series champion, will attempt to make his 18th start in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 25. Last year, he started 32nd and retired with a mechanical issue that resulted in a 31st-place showing.
“Though I was happy to be back in the race in 2013, I was not happy with our performance race day,” said Lazier, who also was the runner-up in 1998 and 2000. “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.”
Lazier will drive the No. 91 University of Iowa Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research car. The research center specializes in engineering cures for rare, inherited retinal diseases. 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, combined with glaucoma, has caused Jacqueline to lose vision in her right eye.
“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,” Bob Lazier said. “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.”
Practice on the 2.5-mile oval begins May 11, with qualifications on May 17-18.