The team was formed in late 1997, to compete in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League (now IndyCar Series), by six owners: open-wheel racing team manager John Barnes, Indianapolis car dealer Gary Pedigo, former radio personality Mike Griffin, television production executive Terry Lingner, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh and Indianapolis director of corporate government affairs Doug Boles. For their first season in 1998, the team fielded the #4 Pennzoil G-Force GF01B-Oldsmobile Aurora L47 V8 for Scott Goodyear.
Goodyear went into semi-retirement starting in 2001 and second-year driver Sam Hornish, Jr. became the new driver of the #4 Pennzoil Dallara IR01-Oldsmobile Aurora L47 V8. Hornish would win the season-opening Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway after starting in 2nd place and leading 140 of 200 laps. Hornish would then win the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway after leading 142 of 200 laps. Hornish would only have one finish outside of the top 10 during the season (a 14th-place finish at the Indianapolis 500) and his worst finish in the top 10 was a 6th-place finish at the Harrah's 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Hornish would also receive his first two pole positions of his career during the season at the Gateway Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway and the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (although both races had their starting lineup determined by entrant standings). Hornish would clinch the championship at the next-to-last race of the season, the Delphi Indy 200 at Chicagoland Speedway, with a 2nd-place finish. Hornish would then win the season-ending race at Texas after leading 115 laps. Hornish would win the championship with 503 points, beating Lazier by 105 points.
For 2002, Hornish returned to drive the #4 Pennzoil Dallara IR02-Chevrolet V8. At the season-opening Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hornish qualified on the pole position and led for 166 of 200 laps to win the race. Hornish would then win the Yahmaha Indy 400 at California Speedway after leading for 73 laps and passing Jaques Lazier for the lead on the final lap on the main straightaway. During the season, Hornish would battle for the points lead with Marlboro Team Penske teammates Hélio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran. Hornish then had three races where he failed to finish better than 17th place (Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway) and would drop to 3rd place in points behind the Penske drivers following the Indianapolis 500 (where Hornish finished in 25th place, ten laps down, due to contact with the wall). Hornish would then win the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway after leading only the final 2 laps of the race. Hornish would reclaim the points lead following the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway with a 2nd-place finish. After the following race, the Gateway Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway, Hornish was 8 points behind new leader Castroneves and 1 point behind de Ferran. Hornish would then win the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway by 0.0024 over Al Unser, Jr. after qualifying on the pole position and leading for 102 of 200 laps. Following the race, Hornish led Castroneves by 12 points and de Ferran by 38 points. De Ferran was injured in the race and would miss the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. At Texas, Hornish started in 3rd place and led for 79 laps and would beat Castroneves for the victory. Hornish would win the championship with 531 points.