Behind the Barrier: Kansas

The IndyCar Series has made eight appearances at Kansas Speedway. Scott Dixon became the first driver to earn the pole position for the second time. Dixon won the pole in 2003, led 82 laps in the race and finished sixth. *** Mario Moraes was...

The IndyCar Series has made eight appearances at Kansas Speedway. Scott Dixon became the first driver to earn the pole position for the second time. Dixon won the pole in 2003, led 82 laps in the race and finished sixth.

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Mario Moraes was taken to the infield care center, where he was checked and released after making hard contact with the SAFER Barrier between Turns 1 and 2 during practice. Moraes was cleared to drive. His status for the race is questionable based on the amount of damage sustained in the accident to his Dallara.

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Jay Howard was shown the black flag during practice for driving too close to Tomas Scheckter. Howard was later seen in the garage area consulting with IndyCar Series official Al Unser Jr.

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David Letterman had fun with Danica Patrick and the pronunciation of her name, Danica or Daniker during her Wednesday night appearance on The Late Show. Last weekend the billboard behind her pits at Twin Ring Motegi read "Danica Patric."

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Firestone will supply 976 dry-condition slicks with each car receiving eight sets (32 tires) for the race weekend. Tire stagger at Kansas is set at approximately 0.46 of an inch. The left-side compound is a new compound for 2008 superspeedways designed to have slightly more grip. The right-side compound is unchanged from 2007. The construction of all four tires has been slightly modified from 2007, again in an effort to slightly increase grip; however, the constructions are based off of the 2007 Kentucky and Chicagoland tire. This is the same tire spec that was run at the Homestead open tests and the Homestead race.

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Texas Motor Speedway announced this week a billboard campaign to promote the June 7 Bombardier Learjet 550k IndyCar Series. The "Reasons" campaign features Danica Patrick and Helio Castroneves. "Reason 7 Danica!" includes a photo from Patrick's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. "Reason 3 Tango at 200!" features "Dancing with the Stars" winner Helio Castroneves.

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Meijer Racing is conducting a contest that will send a lucky couple to the August 24 IndyCar Series race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. The winner will enjoy roundtrip airfare for two, 4 day/3 night hotel accommodations, tickets to the Infineon race, an invitation to Andretti Green hospitality, and a meet and greet with Marco Andretti, 4 day rental car and $500 in spending money. Enter at Meijer.com.

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Air Tran Airways launched "AirTranica Won" earlier this week. AirTranica Won is an AirTran Airways Boeing 717 commemorative aircraft featuring Danica Patrick's image. The plane made its debut this week flying from Orlando to Pittsburgh and then from Pittsburgh to Atlanta.

Business News and Notes on IndyCar Series Manufacturers and Sponsors

Honda announced Tuesday (4/22) the arrival of the Honda Racer(TM), a much-anticipated 1/64th scale Hot Wheels(R) car designed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Torrance. The Honda model, along with designs from five additional automakers, were selected as part of the Hot Wheels Designer's Challenge(TM) as a way to celebrate the die-cast brand's 40th anniversary. The Honda Racer will arrive on store shelves in May 2008. The key element to the design of the entire car is that the body is in the shape of the Honda "H" emblem.

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Honda will use the International Trade Fair on Barrier Free Equipments & Rehabilitation for the Elderly & the Disabled (BARRIER FREE 2008) this weekend to showcase their Experimental Walking Assist Device. This experimental model is designed for people who are still capable of walking on their own. Honda began research of a walking assist device in 1999 with a goal to provide more people with the joy of mobility. Currently, the device has entered into the feasibility stage.

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BorgWarner Thermal Systems opened a new production facility at its campus in Ningbo, China, where it will produce fans, viscous fan drives, Visctronic(R) fan drives and water pumps. The new 194,000-square-foot (18,000-square-meter) operation is BorgWarner's largest in China, employing 260 people. BorgWarner Thermal Systems in China is a majority-owned joint venture known as BorgWarner Shenglong (Ningbo) Co., Ltd. In addition to BorgWarner Thermal Systems, the Ningbo Campus includes wholly foreign-owned operations and offices for BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems, Morse TEC and Transmission Systems. The company serves over 100 customers in China. BorgWarner recently broke ground for a new production facility in Rzeszow, Poland, where it plans to produce an initial 500,000 turbochargers for European car makers beginning in 2009.

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Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation recently honored 42 of its best suppliers at its third annual Supplier Awards Program on April 1 at the downtown Cleveland Marriott. Among the top award winners was Penske Logistics, which received the Premier Supplier Excellence Award for the second consecutive year from Eaton for logistics management services in North America and Europe. Penske was honored for a host of achievements including its innovation in cross-continent supply chain engineering, on-time delivery, responsiveness, and overall cost savings. Penske Logistics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Truck Leasing with operations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Al Unser Jr. , Helio Castroneves , Marco Andretti , Jay Howard , Mario Moraes , Danica Patrick