Hemelgarn Racing

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United States Hemelgarn Racing
Indy500winningcar1996.JPG
Founded 1985
Team principal(s) Ron Hemelgarn
Lee Kunzman
Current series USAC Silver Crown Series
Former series CART, IndyCar
Noted drivers Arie Luyendyk
Stan Fox
Buddy Lazier
Drivers'
Championships
2000

Hemelgarn Racing is an American auto racing team owned by Ron Hemelgarn. The team debuted in 1985, and competed in the CART & Indy Racing League ranks until the team originally shut down in 2010. The team returned to competition in 2015, and currently competes full-time in the USAC Silver Crown Series with driver Justin Grant.

The team won the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and 2000 Indy Racing League Championship with driver Buddy Lazier.

The team had a best finish of 7th in the CART standings. Along with Lazier's Indy 500 win in 1996, the team also had two second-place finishes at the Indy 500 in 1998 and 2000.

Along with A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Hemelgarn was unique in having competed in at least one race in every season of the Indy Racing League's existence from 1996 through 2008.

CART series history[edit]

Early years[edit]

The team was founded in 1985 and participated part-time in the CART series with largely outdated equipment and three different drivers. In 1986 the team bought new March chassis and participated full-time with Jacques Villeneuve and part-time with Scott Brayton, putting both in the field of the team's first Indianapolis 500.

Arie Luyendyk replaced Villeneuve for 1987 and finished 7th in points. In 1988 Scott Brayton raced full-time for the team while three other drivers fielded part-time entries. For 1989, seven different drivers took turns behind the wheel, as the team struggled to find consistency. Buddy Lazier first joined the team in 1990 and competed in his first six CART races with the team. Lazier was bumped from the field and failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, while Billy Vukovich III did qualify his Hemelgarn machine for the 1990 Indy 500, finishing 24th in a two-year-old Lola-Buick.

1991[edit]

Hemelgarn teamed up with Dale Coyne Racing to field a car at Road America and Toronto for Lazier in 1991. The team fielded three cars at the 1991 Indianapolis 500. Indy legend Gordon Johncock, veteran Stan Fox, and Buddy Lazier, who made the race for the first time. Lazier was involved in a spin on the first lap and finished last. Johncock, however, charged from 33rd starting position, and battling an illness, came home in a surprising 6th place. Fox in 8th place gave the team two cars in the top ten.

1992-1995[edit]

In 1992 the team only participated at Indianapolis as costs to run the series full-time increased rapidly. In 1993 the team fielded a car for pay driver Brian Bonner in a pair of road races.

For 1994 and 1995, Hemelgarn ran Indianapolis only, with veteran Stan Fox as the primary driver. Jeff Andretti (1994) and Jim Crawford (1995), respectively, were entered as second drivers, but neither were able to qualify. Fox was running in the top ten late in the race in 1994, but spun out and crashed in turn one with four laps to go. In 1995 Fox qualified 11th, but was involved in a terrible crash at the start. He was critically injured, suffering a closed-head injury, which ended his driving career.

Indy Racing League success[edit]

1996-2001[edit]

With the founding of the Indy Racing League in 1996, the team was eager to return to full-time racing and re-signed former Hemelgarn stalwart Buddy Lazier to pilot their full-time entry and fielded additional cars for Brad Murphey and Stéphan Grégoire in the Indy 500.

Buddy Lazier scored the team's first pole position at the 1996 IRL season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Lazier scored the first win of his Indy car career and Hemelgarn's first as a team in a gutsy drive while recovering from a back injury in the 1996 Indianapolis 500. This win cemented Lazier and sponsor Delta Faucet with the team for years to come. Lazier was one of the top drivers in the league, consistently scoring top-tens and finishing in the top-ten in points every year.

In 2000, Lazier and Hemelgarn captured the Indy Racing League championship and finished second in the Indy 500 behind the dominant "500" rookie Juan Pablo Montoya. The team nearly repeated their championship ways in 2001, with Lazier capturing four wins and finishing second in points, albeit well back from champion Sam Hornish, Jr.

With Lazier behind the wheel, Hemelgarn posted eight wins, and 18 top three finishes over six seasons.

Struggles and closure[edit]

2002-2005[edit]

As 2002 came, the team began to struggle. The influx of former CART teams had begun and Lazier only managed an 8th-place finish in points and only registered a pair of top five finishes. 2003 was even worse as the team struggled with under-powered Chevrolet engines compared to the new Honda and Toyota powerplants and Lazier finished a dismal 19th in series points, prompting Delta Faucets to leave the team.

In 2004 the team was only able to field a car for Lazier in the Indy 500. In 2005 the team returned to full-time competition with new ethanol sponsorship brought by driver Paul Dana who was injured after three races and replaced by Jimmy Kite.

2006[edit]

Hemelgarn's 2008 Indy 500 entry for Buddy Lazier

The team hit rock bottom in 2006. The team was able to broker a deal with driver P. J. Chesson, with financial backing from NBA star Carmelo Anthony. Jeff Bucknum joined the team as a second team car, and under the moniker "Car-Melo", the two cars qualified for the 2006 Indianapolis 500. On the second lap, however, the two cars tangled in turn two and crashed out together, finishing 32nd and 33rd (last and second-to-last). Following the devastating result, Ron Hemelgarn let his crew go and suspended the team's operations, leaving Chesson without a ride for the rest of the year.

2007-2009[edit]

It was unknown if and when Hemelgarn Racing would return to the track until the team filed an entry for the 2007 Indianapolis 500. Little was heard of the entry until a deal was put together on the Friday before the final weekend of qualifying with Racing Professionals to jointly field a former Hemelgarn chassis (bought by RP) for Richie Hearn. Hearn solidly put the car in the field after only 26 laps of practice on Bump Day and finished the race in the 23rd position.

In 2008 Buddy Lazier returned to the team for the Indianapolis 500 and made a last minute run on Bump Day to put the car into the field. With little practice, Lazier struggled with the handling of the car and finished 17th five laps down. The team attempted to repeat 2008's relative success in 2009, but despite running lap times similar to what they had run the previous year, Lazier was not able to wring enough speed from the car to make the field.

In April 2010, SPEED TV's Robin Miller reported that Hemelgarn Racing had ceased operations.[1]

Return (2015-present)[edit]

The team reopened at the start of 2015, and began competing full-time in the USAC Silver Crown Series. Austin Nemire raced for the team in 2015 and 2016. Nemire had two top 5s (Iowa - 2015 and Gateway - 2016), and finished 8th in points standings during both seasons.

Hemelgarn joined forces with Chris Carli Motorsports & driver Justin Grant for the 2017 season. The combination had success as they finished 4th in the points standings & won the Bettenhausen 100 at Illinois State Fairgrounds [2].

Grant returned to the team for the 2018 season, and so far has 1 win this season (at Terre Haute Action Track) [3].

List of Hemelgarn drivers[edit]

CART[edit]

IndyCar / Indy Racing League[edit]

USAC Silver Crown Series[edit]


Complete Racing Results[edit]

Complete PPG CART Indycar World Series results[edit]

(key)

Year Chassis Engine Drivers No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Pts Pos Pos
Longhorn Racing
1979 PHX ATL INDY TRT MCH WGL TRT ONT MCH ATL PHX
Penske PC-6/7 Cosworth DFX United States Tom Bagley 11 8 8 7 9 8 4 6 6 6 7 32 5 9 8th 1,208
United States Steve Krisiloff 71 23 19th 279
1980 ONT INDY MIL POC MDO MCH WGL MIL ONT MCH MXC PHX
Longhorn LR-01 Cosworth DFX United States Al Unser 5 16 27 20 24 13 7 19 13 4 5 3 15 8th 1,153
1981 PHX MIL ATL MCH RIV MIL MCH WGL MXC PHX
Longhorn LR-02 Cosworth DFX United States Al Unser 8 17 5 6 7 11 14 5 3 14 2 2 10th 90
1982 PHX ATL MIL CLE MCH MIL POC RIV ROA MCH PHX
Longhorn LR-03/B Cosworth DFX United States Al Unser 10 21 8 17 3 4 DNQ 23 17 2 18 7th 125
Primus Motor Sports
1983 ATL INDY MIL CLE MCH ROA POC RIV MDO MCH CPL LAG PHX
Longhorn LR-03 Cosworth DFX United States Chris Kneifel (R) 72 12 27 9 26 8 22 13 24 8 9 15 17th 19
1984 LBH PHX INDY MIL POR MEA CLE MCH ROA POC MDO SAN MCH PHX LAG CPL
Primus 84 Cosworth DFX United States Chris Kneifel 72 DNQ 9 15 23 8 DNQ 15 DNS 25 29th 9
United States John Paul Jr. 17 17th 28
Hemelgarn Racing
1985 LBH INDY MIL POR MEA CLE MCH ROA POC MDO SAN MCH LAG PHX MIA
Lola T900 Cosworth DFX Republic of Ireland Michael Roe (R) 71 21 DNQ 7 8 26 27th 11
United States Spike Gehlhausen 14 18 42nd 0
Argentina Enrique Mansilla 9 10 12 31st 8
United States Scott Brayton 26 18 DNQ 22nd 15
1986 PHX LBH INDY MIL POR MEA CLE TOR MCH POC MDO SAN MCH ROA LAG PHX MIA
March 86C Cosworth DFX United States Scott Brayton 71 24 13 27 19 39th 0
Buick 3300 V6 tc 30
Cosworth DFX Canada Jacques Villeneuve Sr. 8 15 5 5 19 24 11 19 10 19 16 6 15th 38
81 20
1987 LBH PHX INDY MIL POR MEA CLE TOR MCH POC ROA MDO NAZ LAG MIA
March 87C Cosworth DFX Netherlands Arie Luyendyk 71 14 3 18 4 16 6 19 7 5 4 4 11 4 6 11 7th 98
United States Rich Vogler 81 20 43rd 0
March 86C Buick 330 V6 tc DNQ
United States Johnny Parsons DNQ NC
March 87C Cosworth DFX United States Scott Brayton 91 12 5 10 22 25 22nd 14
1988 PHX LBH INDY MIL POR CLE TOR MEA MCH POC MDO ROA NAZ LAG MIA
Lola T88/00 Cosworth DFX Canada Ludwig Heimrath 71 14 25 23 26 19 12 7 28th 7
Judd AV 19 21
Cosworth DFX United States Ken Johnson (R) 12 36th 1
United States Tom Sneva 22 45th 0
Judd AV 81 27
Cosworth DFX United States Gordon Johncock 71 6 21st 16
85 6
Judd AV United States Scott Brayton 91 15 23 10 9 16 14 11 26 10 24 23rd 12
Cosworth DFX 18
Buick 3300 V6 tc 31
1989 PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH POC MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T89/00 Judd AV Canada Ludwig Heimrath 71 24 DNS DNQ 17 DNQ 26th 4
Lola T88/00 9 13 22 25 17
Finland Tero Palmroth 27 43rd 0
United States Billy Vukovich III 81 12 34th 1
Buick 3300 V6 tc United States Gordon Johncock 91 31 40 0
Lola T89/00 Judd AV 21 15
Belgium Didier Theys 9 12 21st 9
Lola T88/00 20 26
Canada Scott Goodyear 23 48th 0
Lola T89/00 23
1990 PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH DEN VAN MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T88/00 Buick 3300 V6 tc United States Billy Vukovich III 81 24 34th 0
Cosworth DFS 13
United States Buddy Lazier (R) 91 DNQ 30th 1
Judd AV DNQ
Buick 3300 V6 tc DNQ DNQ 13 24 DNS 26 DNQ 12 23 DNS 14
1991 SFR LBH PHX INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH DEN VAN MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T90/00 Buick 3300 V6 tc United States Buddy Lazier 71 33 22nd 6
Lola T88/00 United States Davey Hamilton 81 DNQ NC
Lola T91/00 United States Stan Fox 91 8 24th 5
Lola T90/00 Cosworth DFS United States Gordon Johncock 92 6 20th 8
1992 SFR PHX LBH INDY DET POR MIL NHA TOR MCH CLE ROA VAN MDO NAZ LAG
Lola T91/00 Buick 3300 V6 tc United States Pancho Carter 81 DNQ 31st 2
United States Stan Fox 91 27 59th 0
United States Gordon Johncock 92 29 61st 0
1993 SFR PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE TOR MCH NHA ROA VAN MDO NAZ LAG
Lola T91/00 Buick 3300 V6 tc United States Stan Fox 91 31 54th 0
Lola T92/00 Belgium Didier Theys 92 22 42nd 0
1994 SFR PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE TOR MCH MDO NHA VAN ROA NAZ LAG
Reynard 94i Ford XB V8t United States Stan Fox 91 13 37th 0
Lola T92/00 Buick 3300 V6 tc United States Buddy Lazier 94 DNQ 36th 0
United States Jeff Andretti DNQ 44th 0
1995 MIA SFR PHX LBH NAZ INDY MIL DET POR ROA TOR CLE MCH MDO NHA VAN LAG
Reynard 95i Ford XB V8t United States Stan Fox 91 30 46th 0
Reynard 94i United States Davey Hamilton 95 DNQ NC
Lola T92/00 Buick 3300 V6 tc United Kingdom Jim Crawford 96 DNQ NC

IRL/IndyCar Series[edit]

(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine Drivers No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Pts Pos Pos
1996 WDW PHX INDY
Reynard T95i Ford XB V8t France Stéphan Grégoire 9 16 7 27 13th 165
Reynard T94i United States Brad Murphey 10 23 34th 12
Reynard T95i United States Buddy Lazier 91 17 Wth 1 14th 159
1996–97 NHA LSV WDW PHX INDY TXS PPIR CLT NHA LSV
Reynard T94i Ford XB V8t United States Brad Murphey 9 18 27 38th 25
Dallara IR7 Infiniti VRH35ADE V8 United States Johnny Unser 18 19 24th 107
United States Lyn St. James 90 13 42nd 22
Reynard T95i Ford XB V8t United States Buddy Lazier 91 19 24 8th 209
Dallara IR7 Infiniti VRH35ADE V8 5 21
Oldsmobile Aurora V8 4 17 8 1 12 31
1998 WDW PHX INDY TXS NHA DOV CLT PPIR ATL TXS LSV
Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile Aurora V8 United States Johnny Unser 9 25 40th 5
United States Buddy Lazier 91 15 28 2 11 7 2 13 7 17 6 3 5th 262
1999 WDW PHX CLT INDY TXS PPIR ATL DOV PPIR LSV TXS
Dallara IR9 Oldsmobile Aurora V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 10 18 C1 7 14 5 21 2 4 11 10 6th 224
United States Johnny Unser 92 C1 32 15 13 13 23 27th 57
2000 WDW PHX LSV INDY TXS PPIR ATL KTY TXS
Dallara IR-00 Oldsmobile Aurora V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 2 1 22 2 7 26 2 1 4 1st 290
United States Stan Wattles 92 23 43rd 7
2001 PHX HMS ATL INDY TXS PPIR RIR KAN NSH KTY GAT CHI TXS
Dallara IR-01 Oldsmobile Aurora V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 3 20 6 18 4 1 1* 5 1 1 13 11 17 2nd 398
United States Stan Wattles 92 16 26 12 32nd 36
94 DNQ
United States Chris Menninga (R) 92 19 16 19 33rd 36
United States Steve Knapp 93 DNQ NC
2002 HMS PHX FON NAZ INDY TXS PPIR RIR KAN NSH MCH KTY GAT CHI TXS
Dallara IR-02 Chevrolet Indy V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 22 7 7 23 15 8 15 18 7 12 13 3 15 3 7 8th 305
2003 HMS PHX MOT INDY TXS PPIR RIR KAN NSH MCH GAT KTY NAZ CHI FON TXS
Dallara IR-03 Chevrolet Indy V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 11 19 21 13 10 20 13 14 12 11 16 13 16 19th 201
United States Richie Hearn 21 18 28th 39
2004 HMS PHX MOT INDY TXS RIR KAN NSH MIL MCH KTY PPIR NAZ CHI FON TXS
Dallara IR-04 Chevrolet Indy V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 23 33rd 12
2005 HMS PHX STP MOT INDY TXS RIR KAN NSH MIL MCH KTY PPIR SNM CHI WGL FON
Dallara IR-05 Toyota Indy V8 United States Paul Dana (R) 91 10 21 20 27th 44
United States Jimmy Kite 32 22 13 19 13 14 13 10 17 18 13 22nd 163
2006 HMS STP MOT INDY WGL TXS RIR KAN NSH MIL MCH KTY SNM CHI
Dallara IR-05 Honda HI6R V8 United States P.J. Chesson (R) 91 12 17 17 33 22nd 54
United States Jeff Bucknum 92 32 20th 97
2007 HMS STP MOT KAN INDY MIL TXS IOW RIR WGL NSH MDO MCH KTY SNM DET CHI
Dallara IR-05 Honda HI7R V8 United States Richie Hearn 91 232 31st 12
2008 HMS STP MOT LBH KAN INDY MIL TXS IOW RIR WGL NSH MDO EDM KTY SNM DET CHI SRF
Dallara IR-05 Honda HI7R V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 17 37th 13
2009 STP LBH KAN INDY MIL TXS IOW RIR WGL TOR EDM KTY MDO SNM CHI MOT HMS
Dallara IR-05 Honda HI7R V8 United States Buddy Lazier 91 DNQ NC
  1. ^ The 1999 VisionAire 500K at Charlotte was cancelled after 79 laps due to spectator fatalities.
  2. ^ In conjunction with Racing Professionals.

References[edit]

External links[edit]