No engine, no Shank for Indy 500

UPDATE

Michael Shank

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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