January 24, 2013 – Barracuda Racing is proud to announce that Alex Tagliani will return to the team as driver of the No. 98 entry.
A veteran of the IZOD IndyCar Series, Tagliani has a proven track record of speed and focus. A pole position at Texas and leading laps in five of the fifteen scheduled races were highlights of Tagliani’s 2012 season. In addition, the French Canadian driver also qualified in the Firestone Fast Six in all but two races after the team’s engine manufacturer change at Indianapolis.
“The 2012 season was strong for us, despite the challenges we faced, and the results don’t reflect all our successes,” said Tagliani. “In our second season together at Barracuda Racing, we can only climb upward as a team.”
“I really think that with Todd engineering, and the experience that Bryan [Herta] and Steve [Newey] bring to the table, our car will be even more competitive. It will be great to show that we are a factor, that we are moving up in the field.”
The 2013 IndyCar season will feature plenty of opportunities for Barracuda Racing to achieve success in the team’s Honda-powered, Dallara DW12. Tagliani has already been mentioned as a favorite for the return of the Triple Crown trophy and oval championship. In addition, his sights will be set on a third consecutive pole at Texas Motor Speedway and his life-long goal of winning the Indianapolis 500.
Team owner Bryan Herta feels confident in the goals his team has set.
“The combination of Alex and all the BHA crew and engineering group really worked well last year, and we all agreed that having Alex return would give us our best chance to win races and compete on every type of track the Indycar schedule throws at us,” commented Herta. “The expectations are higher this year for Alex, our partners, and ourselves. It is great to see all the pieces coming together, everyone on the Barracuda Racing program are excited about this season.”
Not only is Tagliani returning with Barracuda Racing, the team takes pride in the return of their entire No. 98 crew for a second year. To lead engineer Todd Malloy, this component is an integral part of a smooth transition from last season.
“Chemistry is perhaps the most over-used and under-defined word in sport, but it is real, and Alex is at the center of the chemistry that makes this team work as well as it does,” said Malloy. “I’m thrilled that we have re-signed Alex for 2013.”
“Last year was truly a formative year for Barracuda Racing. It was our first full season in IndyCar and it really didn’t start in earnest until we re-joined the Honda family in time for the Indy 500. From that point forward, everyone could see Alex’s true talents. That’s the part of it seen by the general public. What they don’t see is everything off track, and in that regard Alex is as dedicated as they come. He really, truly is imbedded in this team. He spends a lot of time with all the crew at the shop and is very meticulous about all the details involved with getting the car and the team’s performance up to championship-winning caliber. So we can’t wait to start racing in 2013.”
With an exciting season ahead of him, Tagliani heads to Napa, California, today for some fun at the official Barracuda Worldwide Partner Kickoff. Then two months from today, on March 24, 2013, the IZOD IndyCar Series season kicks off on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL.