Andretti brings on John "TZ" Tzouanakis for Indy Andretti Autosport is pleased to announce John "TZ" Tzouanakis will be joining the Indianapolis-based team for the 2013 Indianapolis 500. Tzouanakis will serve as the Pit Strategist for Andretti Autosport's fifth Indy 500 entry, the No. 26 Unistraw Chevrolet piloted by Indianapolis rookie Carlos Munoz.
"After spending my career working my way up the ranks with Newman/Haas, I'm looking forward to again working with Michael (Andretti) and taking my career to new levels," said Tzouanakis. "The Mazda Road to Indy program features drivers with great potential, and the opportunity to work with one of those drivers for his first Indy 500 will be a great new chapter to my career."
During his 30-year tenure with Newman/Haas Racing, Tzouanakis has worked alongside drivers that include Mario and Michael Andretti, Sebastian Bourdais, Nigel Mansell and Cristiano da Matta. With eight open-wheel championships under his belt with Newman/Haas, and as a well-known figure in the racing community, the racing veteran offers a wealth of experience and competitive attitude that cemented his name at the top of the board for potential candidates. Prior to his Newman/Haas reign, Tzouanakis worked with Chaparral Cars during the 1980 Indy 500 and championship run of Johnny Rutherford.
"TZ is a great addition to our team," said team owner Michael Andretti. "I had the opportunity to work with him in the past, and I think he brings a great deal of racing experience to the table. We look forward to having him on board to help Carlos (Munoz) through his first Indy 500."
Munoz, a Colombian native, is currently competing full-time on the Firestone Indy Lights circuit for Andretti Autosport. The May 18 Pole Day will mark his first Indy 500 qualifying attempt alongside Andretti teammates Marco Andretti (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet), James Hinchcliffe (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet), E.J. Viso (No. 5 Team Venezuela Chevrolet) and reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet). Andretti, Hinchcliffe, Viso and Hunter-Reay are each running full-season efforts with Andretti Autosport for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
The 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place May 26 at the famed 2.5-mile oval in Speedway, Indiana. Qualifying will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network May 18 while race day coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins at 12:15 p.m. ET on May 26, live on ABC.