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Robert Buddy Lazier
Nationality
Date of Birth
October 31, 1967
Place of Birth
Vail, Colorado
Date of Death
Years Active
1996-current
Starts
99
Wins
8
Poles
2
Best Finish
1st (2000)


Robert Buddy Lazier is a current IndyCar Series driver, 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner, and 2000 IndyCar Series Season champion. One of the IRL’s first top drivers, he has spent most of his career driving the #91 car for Hemelgarn Racing. His most successful season was in 2001, when he won 4 races (at Pikes Peak, Richmond, Nashville, and Kentucky) and finished 2nd in points. His brother, Jaques Lazier, is also an active IndyCar Series driver.

Before the IRLEdit

After failing to qualify for two CART races in 1989 with a family-owned operation, Lazier made his debut for Hemelgarn Racing at Portland in 1990. That year, he scored his first CART point at Vancouver, finishing 12th. Lazier’s best season was in 1992, where he scored 10 points and finished in 19th place in the series’ standings. At various times in his CART career, Lazier also drove for the Leader Card team, Dale Coyne Racing, Walker Racing, Project Indy, and Team Menard.

Lazier has attempted to qualify for every Indianapolis 500 since 1989, and has made it into every field since 1995.

1996Edit

Lazier began the season strong, winning the pole for the series’ first-ever race at Walt Disney World Speedway in January.

Because he missed the Phoenix race due to injury, the ultra-quick Lazier only finished 14th overall in the series’ standings.

1996-97Edit

In the league’s marathon season, Lazier consistently had decent finishes despite adapting to three different chassis and engine combinations: the Reynard-Cosworth his team used in 1996, the Dallara-Infiniti (for two races), and the Dallara-Oldsmobile that the team began using at the 1997 Indianapolis 500. The switch to Oldsmobile began a relationship with parent company General Motors that lasted through 2005.

1998Edit

1999Edit

2000Edit

2000 saw Lazier win his only IRL championship, winning races at Phoenix and Kentucky along the way. He won the championship by 18 points over Scott Goodyear. Lazier finished second at Indianapolis for the second time in three years, finishing only behind non-regular competitor Juan Pablo Montoya.

Hemelgarn Racing switched to the Riley & Scott chassis at the beginning of 2000, giving the chassis manufacturer its first legitimate contender for the series title. Lazier finished 2nd and 1st at Disney World and Phoenix, respectively, but abandoned the car after Las Vegas, switching back to the Dallara chassis for Indianapolis.

2001Edit

2002Edit

2003Edit

2004Edit

Lazier was only able to compete at Indianapolis due to lack of sponsorship. Starting 28th, he completed 164 laps before retiring with a fuel system issue. He was credited with finishing 23rd.

2005Edit

Despite running a limited schedule, Lazier proved one of the most competitive drivers in the series in 2005. Driving for series powerhouse Panther Racing as a teammate to Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge, Lazier made six starts driving the #95 Jiffy Lube/Pennzoil and #2 Rockstar Energy Drink Dallara-Chevrolets. Lazier finished in the top 10 four times in 2005, and 18th in his one start in the #2, which came at Milwaukee.

2006Edit

2007Edit

For the second time in his IRL career, Lazier only managed to compete at Indianapolis. With his fourth team in as many seasons, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, he drove the team’s signature #99 car. Lazier qualified 22nd, the last driver to make the field in second day qualifying. He finished 19th, two laps down, in the rain-shortened event.

2008Edit

For the second year in a row, Lazier only has been confirmed to run at Indianapolis. This year, however, he returns to Hemelgarn Racing, driving a purple #91 car painted similarly to the car he won the 2000 championship with. Lazier barely squeezed into the field, qualifying 32nd on the last day of qualifying.

Outside the IRLEdit

Lazier made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Billy Ballew Motorsports. He started 22nd and finished 24th in the race.

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