Dana set for Hemelgarn

Infiniti Pro Series runner-up Paul Dana is close to confirming that he will graduate to the IRL IndyCar Series with the returning Hemelgarn Racing team in 2005

Dana set for Hemelgarn

The 29-year-old has been testing a 2002-specification Dallara-Chevrolet with the team over the winter, and although he sat out this week's Homestead test while final details were ironed out, Dana is confident that his deal will be concluded in time for the first round in March.

"It is going to happen," said Dana. "We are going to be at the first race in Homestead. It's just that we've been unable to do a formal announcement yet."

Ron Hemelgarn's team was absent from the IRL last year after being unable to find the sponsorship to continue its long-running association with Buddy Lazier, a partnership that began in the 1990 Champ Car season and included victory in the 1996 Indianapolis 500. The team contemplated a return to Champ Cars, but that deal failed to come to fruition, so Hemelgarn instead concentrated on Dana's IPS programme.

The team has yet to finalise an engine deal for 2005, but Dana is confident that this will soon be resolved.

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