INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 20, 2005) – Andretti Green Racing announced today it will field Indy Racing League Pro Series entries in 2006 for drivers Jonathan Klein and Jaime Camara. The cars will be Andretti Green Racing entries, and will be prepared and maintained by Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
Klein, the 18-year-old son of Klein Tools chairman and chief executive officer Richard T. Klein Jr., spent the 2005 season in the Star Mazda Championship racing for Andersen Walko Racing. Klein posted two top fives and six top-10 finishes during the season, including a runner-up finish in the season finale at Mazda Raceway.
Camara, who hails from Goiana, Goias, Brazil, ran the full Pro Series slate in 2005 behind the wheel of the CELG-Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry. Camara posted two wins, three poles, five top fives and 11 top 10s on the way to a fifth-place finish in the series standings.
2006 will mark Andretti Green's second year of competition in the Pro Series. Working in conjunction with Keith Duesenberg Racing this past season, Andretti Green Racing entered Marco Andretti in six Pro Series events, earning three wins, three poles and five top-five finishes.
By running two full-time entries in the Pro Series, Andretti Green will earn six additional testing days for its IndyCar Series program with Klein and Camara each gaining an opportunity to test the first half of each day.
Klein, Camara and the rest of the Pro Series field will open the 2006 season on March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Homestead-Miami 100.
"I just found out this was going to happen on Friday, so I'm not sure it has really even set in yet. This opportunity is overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. I'm just really excited to get the chance to run with Sam and Andretti Green in the Pro Series. Sam has quite a record in this series, but he has also done so many great things with his foundation. I've already started to think about ways I can help out and try to make an impact to help people who are dealing with paralysis."
"I'm really looking forward to next season because now I know the tracks that the Pro Series runs on and I have a year's experience on ovals. 2006 is going to be much better than this season and I think we have a good shot at winning the championship. If we can be consistent from the beginning until the end of the season, I don't think we'll have any problems."
Sam Schmidt, Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports:
"I am clearly very excited to be working with everybody at Andretti Green, especially Michael, Kim and Kevin. My relationship with Michael has increased a lot over the last 12 months because of his willingness to become involved with my foundation and that means a tremendous amount to me personally. So, when this opportunity came up, I thought it was an honor and a compliment to Sam Schmidt Motorsports that, if AGR were going to run anyone in the Pro Series, that they would utilize our services.
"On the driver side, I think Jonathan and Rick Klein are just superb people. I'm really going to enjoy working with Jonathan because he brings a fresh mind and a 'sponge-type attitude' with him. As far as Jaime goes, we have year's worth of experience and I know we can build on that. He's already proven to be a winner and I think we can look to improve on what we achieved last year and move up a few spots on the points ladder."
Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:
"Andretti Green is excited about the opportunity we have in front of us for the 2006 IRL Pro Series. We always welcome the opportunity to help develop young talent and we're very excited about the prospect of working with both Jonathan and Jaime. The rules package and the prize money package that the league has created for the Pro Series provides real incentive for teams like Andretti Green to participate. It's also special for us to continue our relationship with Sam. We had a great association with Sam off the racetrack last year, and it's great to be able to strengthen that tie by working together on and off the track in 2006."
Contact: Al Larsen, (317) 872-2700 ext 239, firstname.lastname@example.org