Twenty-six cars entered for IndyCar Series season opener

Twenty-six cars are entered for the IndyCar Series 2008 season opener, the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300, at Homestead-Miami Speedway March 29, marking the first time since 2001 that the season will start with that many cars on track and the first time since 2003 that a race other than the Indianapolis 500 has featured that many starters.

The increase in car count is a result of the IndyCar Series TEAM program that was introduced last October as well as the recent unification of open wheel racing. The TEAM announcement generated a two-car program by Roth Racing. Five former Champ Car teams have entered nine cars for the season.

The IndyCar Series opened the 2001 season at Phoenix International Raceway with 27 starters. That same season CART opened the year in Mexico with 28 starters – the last time that series began a season with at least 24 starters.

The initial entry list does not list any rookies. Eligibility for the Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year award will be determined following a test on the oval at Homestead-Miami March 24-25 by the drivers transitioning to the IndyCar Series.

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