Howard gets ride for Texas: Jay Howard will reprise his Indianapolis 500 role as the driver of the No. 88 Service Central Sam Schmidt Motorsport/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car in the Firestone Twin 275s on June 11 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 1.5-mile oval will play host to two 114-lap races (with a one-hour intermission) on the same evening. The grid for the first race will be set by traditional qualifying on June 10, and the starting lineup for the second race will be determined by a blind draw following the first race.
"Service Central has believed in me from the start and it's very exciting to return with them to the Texas Motor Speedway," Howard said. "Our Indy 500 effort was strong all month long and to have it end the way it did was unfortunate. We are looking ahead to Texas and plan another hard-fought effort with Rahal Letterman Lanigan. I must thank the entire group at TBC Retail Group and their four retail brands - NTB, Big O Tires, Tire Kingdom and Merchant Tires for the opportunity."
Howard was running in the top half of the field early in the 100th anniversary Indy 500 on May 29 when his outing was cut short by a Lap 62 crash triggered by a loose wheel as he came off of pit lane. He finished 30th in his first 500 Mile Race.
"Jay had a fantastic run going at the Indy 500, but it just wasn't meant to be," Schmidt said. "We really appreciate the support of Service Central and their brands that are making it possible for Jay to have another shot at Texas."
Howard, the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion, has made 10 IZOD IndyCar Series starts, including Texas Motor Speedway in 2010 with Sarah Fisher Racing.
"We are entering into an event where anything can happen, but as we showed in Indianapolis, our team is ready for anything that does happen," said RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal. "Jay impressed us on race day and we are very optimistic that he can have another good weekend for us in Texas."
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