Competitive field eyes Indy glory

FAST FACTS:

92nd Indianapolis 500

Date / Time: Sunday, May 25 1 p.m. (EDT)

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Distance: 200 laps / 500 miles

TV: ABC (Live)

Radio: IMS Radio Network / XM Satellite Radio (Live)

2007 Winner: Dario Franchitti

2007 Polesitter: Helio Castroneves

Indianapolis Motor Speedway: 2.5-mile oval
First IndyCar Series race in 1996
Seats: More than 250,000

92nd Indianapolis 500 Race Notes:

The Indianapolis 500 will be the 13th IndyCar Series event conducted at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Four past winners during the IndyCar Series era are entered - Dan Wheldon (2005), Buddy Rice (2004), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002) and Buddy Lazier (1996).

Four drivers entered have won the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award presented by AutoZone at Indianapolis: Helio Castroneves (2003, 2007), Tony Kanaan (2005), Buddy Rice (2004) and Bruno Junqueira (2002).

Eleven drivers entered in the Indianapolis 500 have combined to lead 996 laps at the Speedway (Dan Wheldon 204, Tony Kanaan 202, Helio Castroneves 162, Tomas Scheckter 148, Buddy Rice 91, Buddy Lazier 70, Bruno Juqueira 50, Scott Dixon 32, Danica Patrick 19, Marco Andretti 15 and Vitor Meira 3).

Four IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the Indianapolis 500: Buddy Lazier (2000), Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

Graham Rahal would become the fifth-youngest starter in Indianapolis 500 history (19 year, 142 days) if he qualifies for the race. A.J. Foyt IV (19 years, 0 days) is the youngest ever starter in the 500 while Marco Andretti (19, 76) is third. Sarah Fisher (19, 237) is currently fifth.

Enrique Bernoldi and Justin Wilson may be rookies in the Indianapolis 500, but that doesn't mean they haven't competed at the Speedway before. Both drivers competed in Formula One events on the road course. Wilson finished eighth in 2003 while Bernoldi finished 13th in 2001.

This is the second consecutive season that three women (Milka Duno, Sarah Fisher and Danica Patrick) are entered in the Indianapolis 500.

Tony Kanaan has qualified in the top five in all six of his Indianapolis 500 starts. Other notable streaks include: Helio Castroneves, four consecutive top-10 starts; Danica Patrick, three consecutive top-10 starts; Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon, two consecutive top-10 starts.

Vitor Meira has four consecutive top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500.

Season-to-Date:

* Helio Castroneves is the only driver to finish in the top five in all four races this season. Tony Kanaan is the only other driver to finish in the top 10 in all four races.

* Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon are the only drivers to complete all 683 laps in 2008.

Milestones & Records:

* Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 102nd career IndyCar Series start. It would also be his 100th consecutive start.

* Helio Castroneves can establish an IndyCar Series record for most consecutive seasons with at least one win should he win the Indianapolis 500. Castroneves is tied with Scott Sharp with victories in seven consecutive seasons.

* Helio Castroneves can extend his IndyCar Series record for consecutive seasons with a pole to seven if he can win the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award.

* Vitor Meira has gone 80 starts without a victory in the IndyCar Series, the longest drought of any IndyCar Series driver.

* Buddy Lazier is the only driver to start every Indianapolis 500 since 1995.

Schedule (local time):

May 4-5
Noon-5 p.m. - Rookie Orientation Program

May 6-9
Noon-6 p.m. - IndyCar Series practice

May 10
9-10 a.m. - IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
10-11 a.m. - IndyCar Series practice
Noon-6 p.m. - PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award presented by AutoZone qualifying

May 11
10:15-11:15 a.m. - IndyCar Series practice
Noon-6 p.m. - IndyCar Series qualifying

May 14-16
Noon-6 p.m. - IndyCar Series practice

May 17-18
10:15-11:15 a.m. - IndyCar Series practice
Noon-6 p.m. - IndyCar Series qualifying

May 22
9-9:45 a.m. - Firestone Indy Lights practice
11-11:45 a.m. - Firestone Indy Lights practice
1:15 p.m. - SWE Pole Qualifying

May 23
11 a.m. - Noon - IndyCar Series practice
Noon - Firestone Freedom 100 pre-race
12:30 p.m. - Firestone Freedom 100 (40 laps/100 miles)
1:30-3 p.m. - Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Competition
3:30 p.m. - Carb Day Concert

May 25
1 p.m. - 92nd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (200 laps/500 miles)

-credit: irl