IndyCar: 2022 CART Alumni Reunion Night 2

The second night of the CART Alumni Reunion was held at the Andretti Autosport shop in Indianapolis last night.  Almost 100 people attended the event with the highlight of the evening being the shop tours conducted by Paul “Ziggy” Harcus.

Current Andretti Autosport headquarters. A new $200-million, 575,000-square-foot facility is being built in Fishers, IN
A rendering of the new Andretti Global facility

Ziggy has been in the CART and IndyCar series for many years.  From 1994-2005, he worked for PacWest Racing and Kelly Racing as Team Manager.  In 2005, he became Director of Operations for the Champ Car World Series and was in that position for three years.  He is currently the Team Manager at Andretti Autosport.


Tours at Andretti Autosport for CART Alumni        Lucille Dust for

Several of his former teammates from the series were on the shop tours, and they compared stories of how the team had more time for pit stops  because the fuel cells were larger back in those days and allowed them more time to change the tires.

When AR1 asked Ziggy if the Andretti Autosport team would have six cars in the 2023 Indy 500, he laughed and said “No”.  He explained that the team had plenty of cars to run that many entries but they do not have the personnel to accommodate the extra car count.  He also stated that they are starting to have the mechanics sign contracts because good help is so hard to keep.


CART Alumni Dinner at Andretti Autosport           Lucille Dust for

After dinner, Paul Layton, president of the CART Alumni committee, started the program off with a Zoom call with Wally Dallenbach Sr and his wife Pepe.  The former Chief Steward of the CART series from 1981 until 2004 was unable to attend due to travel  issues but was pretty happy to see the audience of old friends.

Dallenbach is remembered for making safety improvements during his tenure and for the respect drivers and owners showed him for his wise way of negotiating with them.

The night continued with Paul Page talking about the beginning of televising the races and starting the IndyCar Radio Network.  His wife, Sally Larvick, was also involved in starting up some IndyCar broadcasts.


Paul Page                                   Photo Courtesy of Facebook

Page was the lead announcer for the CART Series on NBC from 1979 to 1987.  He then moved to ABC/ESPN from 1988 to 2004, covering the Indianapolis 500, CART, and IRL races.

Page also reminisced about the PPG-sponsored pace car girls and the FedEx-sponsored series from 1997-2000, telling a story about how the FedEx Cup had Jimmy Vasser’s name spelled wrong when he won his 1996 Championship with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.   Page informed someone of the error, and it was corrected before Vasser was awarded the trophy.


Mario Andretti gets a seat fitting and instructions from McLaren F1 personnel Friday at Laguna Seca

Mario Andretti also had a special video message for attendees while he was in  Monterey, California.  The 82-year-old explained he was sorry to not be at the reunion, but he was checking  off an item on his bucket list, driving a McLaren F1 car at WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend.  He promised to attend the next reunion in person.

The final items were a video with pictures of CART members and drivers that have passed away since 2018 and Paul Leyton brought memories back with things you heard on the radio.  That brought heaps of laughs from the crowd.

AR1 will update you on future events as they become available.  It will be good to see more alumni come out and enjoy the friendship that for many years made us family.

Lucille Dust reporting live from Indianapolis


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