Open-wheel racing fans will see a familiar face behind the wheel of a second car for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) when practice opens May 11 for the 98th Indianapolis 500, as veteran Alex Tagliani was announced Thursday as the second driver for Indianapolis-based SFHR.
2011 Indianapolis 500 polesitter Tagliani will join the team’s full-time IndyCar Series driver, Josef Newgarden, in the team owned by Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman. Tagliani, a native of Lachenaie, Quebec, will drive the No. 68 SFHR/RW car. The team is hoping to run Tagliani in additionasl races as well in the second half of the 2014 IndyCar Series.
“It has always been our goal at SFHR to hire talent for credentials, and I am excited to have that opportunity again to include Tag in our Indianapolis 500 lineup, alongside Josef,” SFHR co-owner Fisher said. “Wink has helped us bring the proper individuals together to provide a solidly prepared effort toward success at Indy. We continue to have the support of the RW Motorsports founder, Steve Weirich, for this second program and are looking forward to building on to this second entry even further during the second half of the season.”
Tagliani was the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2009 after climbing to an 11th-place finish after starting 33rd. In 2011, he made history during the 100th anniversary of the world’s most prestigious race by becoming the only Canadian driver to win the pole.
“I am very excited about this opportunity with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing for this year’s Indy 500,” Tagliani said. “I love this race, and this track has always been a comfortable fit for me. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity with SFHR, and I will do my best to contribute to the success of the team.
“I need to really thank Sarah and Wink for this chance to go back to Indianapolis to win this race. It’s been a pleasure working with them. This has the potential to develop into a longer association because I really love what this team is about. You couldn’t ask for a better team to attack the ‘500.’ They have the ability to surprise a lot of people! I’m looking forward to working with Josef and trying to help SFHR win the big one.”
Tagliani has made five career Indianapolis 500 starts, with a best finish of 10th in 2010. He has started in the first two rows twice, on the pole in 2011 and fifth in 2010. He has led 23 laps during his Indianapolis 500 career.
“SFHR is thrilled to welcome Alex to our second seat at Indianapolis for the 500,” SFHR co-owner Hartman said. “We are excited to bring a seasoned veteran to our program who has demonstrated his capabilities at the Speedway. As a whole, we are committed to elevating the entirety of our team and are confident this is a step in the right direction. As we start our partnership at the Indy 500, the idea is to hopefully add additional races to Alex’s entry for the second half of the season.”