INDIANAPOLIS -- Jacques Villeneuve is ready to make an IndyCar comeback. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports said Wednesday it has hired Villeneuve to race in this years Indianapolis 500, 19 years after the Canadian driver first drank the milk in Victory Lane. "IndyCar is growing again and thats why last year when I started watching races again, every time I watched I felt almost angry I wasnt there," the 1995 race winner said on a satellite hookup from France during a news conference held at the teams Indy headquarters. At age 42, Villeneuve seemed content being a television analyst, musician and RallyCross driver. But when Schmidt and co-owner Rick Peterson, also from Canada, made a serious offer, he couldnt refuse. The 500 is scheduled for May 25. Villeneuve certainly has a compelling resume. As an Indy rookie in 1994, he qualified fourth and finished second to Al Unser Jr., and was named the races rookie of the year. The next season, the reigning CART rookie of the year was even better. He qualified fifth at Indy, forced Scott Goodyear into a costly mistake on the final restart and eventually held off Christian Fittipaldi to become the first and only Canadian winner of the race. Villeneuve completed all 400 laps at Indy in those two starts and won the 1995 CART title, too. But after starting 33 races, winning six poles and five races in two IndyCar seasons, Villeneuve had a chance to become an international star. So he headed to Europe and joined Formula One -- the series that made his late father, Gilles, a household name. Like his dad, who died in a 1982 F1 qualifying crash, Villeneuve excelled on the world stage. In 163 career starts between 1996 and 2006, the younger Villeneuve reached the podium 23 times, won 11 races, 13 poles and claimed the 1997 world championship. At that point, American open-wheel racing wasnt even on the radar. His journey back to North America began in 2007 when Villeneuve made the move to American stock cars. Over the next seven seasons, he dabbled in Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Le Mans series as well as sports cars. Villeneuve regained interest in IndyCars last season as he watched how close and competitive the races had become. To him, it reminded him of the series he left almost two decades earlier. Suddenly, he was interested in making a return -- if he could find the right car and the right team. "To get this opportunity is a gift," Villeneuve said. "A lot of people say when you have kids, you slow down. I want my kids to see me race." Schmidt is the winningest team owner in Indy Lights history and already employs two full-time drivers in the better-known IndyCar series -- Russias Mikhail Aleshin and Frances Simon Pageland. In previous years, Schmidt has always found a way to compete at Indy. Getting Villeneuve might be the biggest coup of all for his low-budget team. "Indy is a special place. We go there not to exist but to win the race," Schmidt said. "To see a guy that finished second and finished first there, I dont think hes going to have any problem going back." Villeneuve becomes the fifth 500 winner on this years entry list. The others are three-time winner Helio Castroneves of Brazil, two-time winner Scott Dixon of New Zealand, 2000 winner Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia and Brazils Tony Kanaan, the defending champ. Another trip to Victory Lane would give Villeneuve two more milestones. He would break Al Unsers record for the longest gap between first and last victories. Unser went 17 years between his first Indy crown in 1970 and his record-tying fourth win in 1987. Villeneuve also would break Gordon Johncocks record for the longest gap between first and second wins at Indy, 1973 and 1982. Villeneuve isnt motivated by records. He wants to win. "Im a racer," he said, explaining he does not plan to retire anytime soon. "Ive got to find ways to get better and better and better, and Im going there with a team thats very experienced and has been very successful as well." ORLANDO, Fla. -- Trey Burkes last trip to Orlando was a forgettable one. He struggled through several summer league games just weeks after being selected with the No. 9 pick in the NBA draft. This visit was a more successful experience. Burke had a career-high 30 points and eight assists, Gordon Hayward added 15 points and the Utah Jazz held off the Orlando Magic 86-82 on Wednesday night. Orlando had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Jameer Nelsons layup rolled off the rim and was rebounded by Utah with just 3 seconds left. Hayward then hit a pair of free throws. The Jazz snapped a two-game losing streak and extended their win streak over the Magic to six games. Burke, who was passed over by the Magic when they grabbed Victor Oladipo with the No. 2 pick, said he wasnt trying to make any statement. "That wasnt my main goal, but I definitely wanted to come out and be really aggressive today," Burke said. "For me, Im trying to do whatever it takes for the team to win. I saw early on that my shot was falling, that I could get in the paint and get some good looks so I just tried to stay aggressive." Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he thinks his young team took a big step forward after some rough outings. "I think the experience for this young group of guys goes a long way, to teach them how to finish games and how to stay in there," he said. "Even when we lost our lead there, they came in that fourth quarter and made some big plays for us." The Magic lost for the sixth time in seven home games. They continue their season-long six-game homestand Saturday against Sacramento. Nelson led Orlando with 17 points. Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 14 rebounds and Tobias Harris finished with 14 points and 10 boards, a season high after he returned recently from an ankle injury. Burke (Michigan) and Oladipo (Indiana) were college rivals, with each getting the better of the other at times. This one went to Burke. Orlando played without leadingg scorer Arron Afflalo, who was scratched with an illness.dddddddddddd. Afflalo, who is averaging a career-high 21.6 points, had started every game this season. With Harris starting in his place, the Magic showed for a while that they are more than a just one-man team. They just couldnt figure out a way to slow down Burke. Oladipo guarded Burke on a few possessions, but was off offensively. He had three points on 1-for-12 shooting. "He was just comfortable out there," Oladipo said of Burke. "When hes comfortable, hes very effective." Orlando trailed by six heading into the fourth quarter, but rallied to a 76-69 lead with just under eight minutes to play. But Utah responded with a 9-0 spurt to retake the momentum. The Magic tied it again, but never regained the lead the rest of the way. Harris was 10 for 31 in four games coming into the day. He finished a modest 5 for 14 from the field against the Jazz. But he was a lot more active that he had been in his previous three games. He got involved on the offensive end early on against the Jazz and seemed a lot more comfortable, scoring six in the first quarter. Harris then faltered down the stretch, like so many of his teammates. "There were maybe one or two shots in the first half that we talked about, we thought were forced a little bit," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "But besides that, I looked down and they had good shots throughout the course of the night. I dont think our guys were selfish at all." For Utah, Burke said he hopes its effort will be something the Jazz can build on as they continue their five-game road trip. "That shows where this team can be in the future. We have a lot of options," Burke said. "Pretty much everybody out there can put the ball in the basket, and once were playing together, thats when were best with it." NOTES: Burke has scored at least 20 points in four games this season. ... The Jazz have now had three 30-point scorers in their last four games. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China
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