Behind the Barriers: Chicagoland

This is the eighth visit to Chicagoland Speedway for the IndyCar Series. Dan Wheldon is the only previous winner (2005 & '06) entered in this weekend's event. Jaques Lazier won the first IndyCar Series race in 2001. Sam Hornish won two races...

This is the eighth visit to Chicagoland Speedway for the IndyCar Series. Dan Wheldon is the only previous winner (2005 & '06) entered in this weekend's event. Jaques Lazier won the first IndyCar Series race in 2001. Sam Hornish won two races (2002 & '03) while Adrian Fernandez (2004) and Dario Franchitti (2007) each won one. Lazier and Franchitti are attending this weekend's event.

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Helio Castroneves will start Sunday's race 30 points behind Scott Dixon and will likely need a victory if he hopes to win the championship. Chicagoland Speedway is one of two oval tracks where Team Penske has yet to score a victory. Iowa is the other. Target Team Ganassi has earned one victory at Chicagoland with Dan Wheldon in 2006.

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Tony Kanaan's No. 11 Andretti Green Racing entry is sporting new colors this weekend. Kanaan's familiar green 7-11 livery has been replaced by a yellow and white color scheme with sponsorship touting the Oscar Mayer Big Bite hot dogs sold at 7-11.

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Alex Tagliani is back in the No. 36 Conquest Racing entry for the second week. Tagliani, who drove for the team at Detroit, is sporting new sponsorship on the No. 36 from Ubisoft and Sennheiser. Ubisoft is an international developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. Some of Ubisoft's games include Assassin's Creed and Rayman. Sennheiser is a world leader in the supply of broadcast quality audio equipment.

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IndyCar.com has reported that Tony Kanaan's longtime engineer Eric Cowdin has been replaced by Allen McDonald this weekend. McDonald engineered Dario Franchitti's 2007 championship season at Andretti Green Racing before being promoted to a managerial position in the team's engineering department.

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A.J. Foyt will be back home again in Indiana next weekend. The famous Texan and four time Indianapolis 500 winner will entertain members of his racing team and guests during the Red Bull U.S. MotoGP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Foyt's Turn 2 suite overlooks Turns 5, 6 and 7 of the new motorcycle circuit.

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Due to rescheduling of several sporting events effected by Tropical Storm Hanna, the start of Indy Lights race has been moved up to 11:00 a.m. (CDT) to maintain the live television window on ESPN2.

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Team 3G announced Friday their intention to compete in the IndyCar Series in 2009. The 3G ownership group includes Greg Beck and Plainfield, Ind. native Steve Sudler, a sports marketing professional. Beck said he expects to continue his relationship with Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian by entering a Curb/Agajanian car in the 93rd Indianapolis 500 next May. Team 3G is also planning to build a driver development program in the Indy Lights Series.

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It's a game of musical chairs in the Indy Lights Series this weekend. Dillon Battistini, who is fifth in the championship standings, switched from Panther Racing to Team Moore. Team E is not running at Chicagoland this weekend so Bobby Wilson took over Battistini's seat at Panther. Wade Cunningham the 2005 Indy Lights champion is behind the wheel of the No. 9 entered by Integra Motorsports.

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HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins recently purchased the assets of Michael Crawford Racing with an eye towards competing in the Indy Lights Series in 2009. Crawford will remain with the team as general manager. Crawford was the general manager at Sam Schmidt Motorsports before starting his own team in 2006.

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Raphael Matos scored one point for earning the pole position for Sunday's Indy Lights race. He leads Richard Antinucci by four points entering the season finale.

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Darren Manning will compete at his home track next weekend when the Le Mans Series visits the Silverstone circuit in England. Manning will join Joey Foster behind the wheel of Embassy Racing's WF01 -- Zytek in the LMP2 class. Former Indy Lights competitor Stephen Simpson and former IndyCar Series driver Tomas Enge are also expected to compete.

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS