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Current Grand-Am stalwarts Michael Shank Racing announced at Mid-Ohio this weekend their intent to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series come 2012...
---With a long history in open-wheel racing, Shank will return to his roots in 2012 when he brings Michael Shank Racing into the IZOD IndyCar Series.
SPEED.com has learned the Ohio-based GRAND-AM team has purchased a 2012 Dallara chassis with the goal of fielding a full-time IndyCar Series program next season.
MSR’s current stable of Daytona Prototypes will continue to run in GRAND-AM, with Shank growing his team by fielding dual programs.
"It’s very exciting to hear that there is new interest from new owners," said IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard. "We welcome Michael and his team and look forward to his success in the IZOD INDYCAR Series"
Shank, who finished 16th in his lone IRL start at Las Vegas in 1997, came to prominence as a successful team owner when he ran Sam Hornish Jr. in the Toyota Atlantic series. After shifting to running sports cars in GRAND-AM, Shank has earned a reputation for delivering wins and solid results on a modest budget.
MSR has also proven to be a popular destination for open-wheel drivers during the annual Rolex 24 at Daytona race, with ex-Champ Car ace AJ Allmendinger and current IndyCar star Justin Wilson having driven for the team.
The team will likely use Judd engines in 2012, and driver news isn't expected until early next year.
A formal announcement from the team is expected shortly.
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