Chastain Motorsports reunites Indy 500 run
Ten years after he formed Chastain Motorsports to field a car in the Indy Car Series, Indianapolis entrepreneur Tom Chastain is reunited key members of the team for a 10-year anniversary Indianapolis 500 program.
Veteran crew chief, Darrell Soppe, who held the same position on Chastain's original team will once again head the program and be reunited with the team's original driver, Stephan Gregoire.
Chastain was one of the original team owners who joined the Indy Car Series when a totally new Indy Car chassis was first introduced in 1997. In its two seasons of competition, Chastain Motorsports became known for its distinctive "blue car" and achieving results that far surpassed its resources. With Gregoire at the wheel, the team finished in the top 10 in half of its races and came within a fraction of a second of victory in finishing second when Tony Stewart won his first IndyCar Series race at Pikes Peak in 1997. Chastain's new car will once again sport its distinctive blue livery as well as its original number, 77.
"Growing up in Indianapolis, I never dreamed I would ever be able to field a car in this race," said Chastain. "We had a real promising program back in the '90s with very talented and dedicated people and encouraging results, but we couldn't find a way to financially sustain ourselves. Being a part of Stephan's effort last year is what made me think about doing the '500' again. When I realized that 2007 would mark 10 years since the launch of my original team, that just gave me the reason I needed to return to the Speedway."
Gregoire is a seven-time veteran of the Indianapolis 500 and competed in last year's race in the EFFEN Vodka Team Leader Special. Chastain's company, electrical contracting firm Miller-Eads, was an associate sponsor of that effort and his limited involvement whetted his appetite to once again field his own team.
Chastain has already invested in equipment for the program. "We've purchased two beautifully prepared Panoz chassis, plus equipment and support from Rahal Letterman Racing," said Chastain. "I intend to field a quality program not only for this year, but also again in 2008."
Sponsorship for the effort is being generated through an innovative program for the promotion of the Linux computer operating system. The massive community of individuals who have collectively developed Linux is being mobilized to promote Linux using the visibility of the world's most famous race as the communication platform. The cherubic penguin mascot of Linux, affectionately known as Tux, will be featured on the car. The Linux community leader on the project, Bob Moore, in conjunction with Lobby4Linux.com and Acceleration Marketing have established a web site on this unique sponsorship program at www.Tux500.com. IRL PR