Darren Manning: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda/Firestone
* A.J. Foyt will be grand marshal of the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 in honor of his 50th Anniversary in Indy car racing. Foyt will give the command to start engines.
* Darren Manning on season opener: "I'm eagerly anticipating this race because it's been a long winter and a long last year for me. Our testing went pretty good in the off season so I think we'll continue that progress over the race weekend. I'm glad the wait is finally over."
* Manning on Homestead-Miami Speedway: "Miami-Homestead is not a standard shaped oval. Although the turns are similar at both ends they are different because of the winds. In turns one and two the cars get loose, and in turns three and four, they tend to push or understeer. It's a tough track to get a handle on. However, it will be good in the race because of the variable banking which means the different grooves have different angles of banking: 18-19-20 degrees, allowing for a lot of side-by-side racing. I think it's the only track like that."
* Winter testing: The ABC Supply team participated in both of the IRL Open Tests at Daytona and Homestead-Miami Speedway in the off season. "We had hoped to get in more testing but the weather worked against us," said team owner A.J. Foyt. "We made several trips to the wind tunnel to improve the aerodynamics and found some things that should help. It was productive. I look for our team to improve with every race. It's going to take some time but we're gaining."
* A.J. Foyt and business partner Jim Greer are fielding two cars in the USAC Silver Crown Series this year. Foyt has called on George Snider, old friend and long-time partner in that series, to oversee the program. Open wheel stand-out Tracy Hines will drive the no. 14 while Pablo Donoso, protege of former Foyt Racing driver Eliseo Salazar, will drive the No. 11. Donoso competed in the USAC Silver Crown Series last year while this race marks Hines' debut in the fledgling pavement series.