In 1999 Robby McGehee finished fifth in his first Indianapolis 500, earning the race’s Rookie of the Year honor. The Chesterfield, Missouri resident finished 21st and 11th in 2000 and 2001. McGehee got Indy attention last year for another reason altogether. On the opening day of practice he hit the wall at the Brickyard, becoming the first driver to test the “softer” walls. McGehee was OK, but the car wasn’t. Cahill Racing wasn’t able to get the car ready in time and McGehee missed the race. To make matters worse, Cahill didn’t enter another race the rest of the year, making McGehee a free agent. After bouncing around with three other teams in 2002, he found himself on the outside looking in 2003. At least until last weekend, that is. McGehee, who hasn’t raced all season qualified for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. He’ll start 31st of 33 drivers. Last Friday, he called John Barnes of Panther Racing to see if they’d found a driver for their third car. Barnes invited him to Indianapolis and less than three hours after that conversation, McGehee was in Indy. Less than 48 hours after that McGehee had a spot in the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 which gets underway Sunday afternoon. He’s the only Missourian in the field.
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