Eleven IndyCar Series drivers entered in PRI karting event

The Masters division for the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IndyCar Series All-Star Karting Classic on Dec. 11 will resemble an IndyCar Series race grid.

Eleven IndyCar Series drivers are entered in the event to be held in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry trade show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

Scheduled to compete are Marco Andretti, Townsend Bell, Ed Carpenter, Jay Howard, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Raphael Matos, Vitor Meira, Will Power, Buddy Rice, Alex Tagliani and Dan Wheldon. Also entered are former series drivers Bryan Herta and Max Papis.

For many of the drivers, the competition on a course set up in a parking lot of the convention center will be a return to their roots. For Vision Racing’s Carpenter, it’s also a second day of track activity before he joins his family at Walt Disney World. He joined Meira and Matos in testing Dec. 9-10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Karting is where it all began for me, but it’s one part of my driving that I’ve never completely stepped away from," said Power, who competed for KV Racing Technology in 2008. “I still drive karts regularly both here in Indianapolis and back home in Toowoomba (Australia). The karts are so fast and the tracks are so demanding that it’s the best way to keep your eye in between races or during the off-season.

“And on top of all those benefits, it’s a huge amount of much fun and something you can do with your friends, whether it’s other drivers or just your mates. So you can understand why so many drivers keep racing karts through their whole careers. Any training you do that’s also fun is always great."

Firestone Indy Lights drivers Bobby Wilson, Cyndie Allemann and James Davison are entered in the Karters division race.

Action begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free with a PRI show credential. A 30-minute highlight show will be broadcast by FOX in April.

“We are very excited to have the All-Stars Karting Classic return," said Steve Lewis, producer of the PRI Trade Show. “Kart racing is where many of the drivers now enjoying successful careers at upper-level auto racing series began. The All-Stars line-up last year featured a tremendous array of pro drivers, and everyone can look forward to another stellar group of Stars karters and great racing action."

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