American Robert Buddy Lazier began his career in the 1980s by competing in such series as the IMSA GT Championship, the SCCA Canadian-American Challenge Cup and the American Indycar Series. He won the American Indycar Series championship, the secondary series utilized used chassis and engines from the CART, in 1988. In 1989 – 1995 Lazier raced sporadically in CART, and in 1996 he moved to the newly formed Indy Racing League. Lazier competed in its inaugural season in 1996 for Hemelgarn Racing in the No. 91 Reynard 95I-Ford Cosworth XB. At the season-opening Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway, Lazier recorded the series’ inaugural pole position. He led for 28 laps, but retired due to brake failure after 61 laps. At the Indy 500 Lazier initially qualified in 7th place but was promoted to 5th after Arie Luyendyk’s time was disallowed and pole sitter Scott Brayton was fatally injured during practice. Lazier was among the leaders all day. With 10 laps to go he was running in 3rd place behind Davy Jones and Alessandro Zampedri but passed both of them over the next two laps and led the rest of the way to win his first IndyCar race, leading a total of 43 laps. Lazier finished 14th in the 1996 IRL championship with 159 points.
|1996||Indy Racing League|
|Buddy Lazier||91||Hemelgarn Racing|
|Reynard 95I||Ford||Delta Faucet / Montana|