LONG BEACH, California — James Davison became the 35th confirmed driver for next month’s Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil when he was named today to drive the No. 33 Chevrolet entered by AJ Foyt Racing along with partners Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, Hollinger MotorSport and Belardi Auto Racing.
Davison, a 31-year-old Australian, will be attempting to qualify for his fourth Indy 500.
“I am honored to be driving for the legendary A.J. Foyt with Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi at the Indianapolis 500,” said Davison. “This will be my first full program in the four years that I have been a part of the event now. We have expectations to meet and I cannot wait to get after it.”
Davison’s Indianapolis 500 performance last year as a substitute for the injured Sebastien Bourdais caught the attention of the Byrd brothers, who put together the deal for this year. The brothers are sons of the late Jonathan Byrd, who first entered a car in the Indy 500 33 years ago.
“The Byrd family is excited to once again partner with the AJ Foyt Racing team, together with Brad Hollinger and Brian Belardi, to give James Davison the opportunity to win the Indy 500,” said David Byrd, a principal of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing.
Davison’s entry is the third for AJ Foyt Racing, paired with full-season drivers Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist.
The announcement of Davison’s entry follows that of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which named JR Hildebrand on Wednesday to drive the team’s No. 66 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Salesforce. Hildebrand will be paired with Sage Karam in the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet as Dreyer & Reinbold fields two Indy 500 entries for the first time since 2011.
“We’ve had 37 cars start the Indy 500 over the past close to 20 years now,” team owner Dennis Reinbold said. “We’re looking forward to adding to that number and really going out there and trying to do whatever we can to win the race.”