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MSR Indy's Michael Shank has not signed an engine lease deal for the upcoming Indianapolis 500, which could leave the event with only 32 car-and-driver combinations just 10 days before Indianapolis Motor Speedway opens for practice.
"That went away a week ago," Shank said Wednesday of a team-imposed deadline to finalize arrangements. "People just keep saying, 'Give us another day,' but I don't know how much longer I can go. I can't handle it emotionally."
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, who has been trying to help Shank, is in China securing details for the August race in Qingdao.
Shank, a one-time Indy Racing League driver and owner of the sports car team that won the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, has a driver (Jay Howard), a collection of sponsors and a car for the 500. He wants a Chevrolet or Honda engine lease, but both manufacturers are not interested in expanding their programs.
There could be a Lotus engine for use after the manufacturer released Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. But Shank isn't interested in Lotus after its lackluster showing so far this season. Lotus did not participate in the April 4 test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
IMS action is set to open May 10 with the annual Rookie Orientation Program. Full practice begins May 12. Indy Star
05/01/12 Michael Shank is set to release a statement regarding his inability to sign an engine lease deal for the upcoming Indianapolis 500.
Barring a quick turn of events, that statement will say MSR Indy will not participate, leaving the 500 with only 32 car-and-driver combinations.
“That went away a week ago,” Shank said today of a team-imposed deadline. “People just keep saying, ‘Give us another day,’ but I don’t know how much longer I can go. I can’t handle it emotionally.”
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, who has been trying to help Shank, is in China securing details for the August race in Qingdao. IndyStar
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