IRL: Kansas: Pre-race notes, schedule

FAST FACTS WHAT: Kansas Lottery Indy 300, eighth race in 14-race 2006 season WHERE: Kansas Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt tri-oval WHEN: 1 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, July 2 DISTANCE: 200 laps/300 miles POSTED AWARDS: More than $1 ...

FAST FACTS

WHAT:
Kansas Lottery Indy 300, eighth race in 14-race 2006 season

WHERE:
Kansas Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt tri-oval

WHEN:
1 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, July 2

DISTANCE:
200 laps/300 miles

POSTED AWARDS:
More than $1 million

CARS:
Dallara and Panoz chassis; Honda Indy V-8; Firestone tires

PAST RACE WINNERS:
2001 -- Eddie Cheever Jr.; 2002 -- Airton Dare.; 2003 -- Bryan Herta; 2004 -- Buddy Rice; 2005 -- Tony Kanaan

2005 SERIES CHAMPION:
Dan Wheldon

TV:
Race: ABC (live), 1 p.m. (EDT), July 2

RADIO:
Qualifying webcast: 1:30 p.m. (EDT), July 1, www.indycar.com
Qualifying wrapup: IMS Radio Network ,4:30 p.m. (EDT), July 1,

Pre-race: IMS Radio Network (live), 12:30 p.m. (EDT), July 2
Race: IMS Radio Network (live), 1 p.m. (EDT), July 2
Live coverage of the race also will be available at www.indycar.com. The race broadcast is also available on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing."

SCHEDULE (All times local; subject to change):

Friday, June 30
6 -- 7 p.m. Autograph Session

Saturday, July 1
8 -- 9:30 a.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
10:15 -- 11:45 a.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
12:45 p.m. Marlboro Pole Qualifying

Saturday, July 2
8:15-8:45 a.m. IndyCar Series final practice (all cars)
12:15 p.m. Kansas Lottery Indy 300 (200 laps/300 miles), ABC (Live at Noon)

THE TRACK:
1.5-mile tri-oval
Frontstretch: 2,685 feet banked at 10.4 degrees
Backstretch: 2,207 feet banked at 5 degrees
Width: 55 feet
Turns are banked at 15 degrees

* Kansas Speedway is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation. Ground was broken on Kansas Speedway on May 25, 1999, five days before the 83rd Indianapolis 500. The speedway is the largest tourist attraction in the state of Kansas with 80,187 grandstand seats and 68 luxury suites. About 11 million cubic yards of dirt were moved during construction. That is equal to 1 million dump truck loads or enough to fill an NFL stadium five times. To equal the amount of storm pipe used in the speedway, the Sears Tower in Chicago would be laid end to end 45 times.

INDY-STYLE RACING IN KANSAS:

The Kansas City area boasts a racing history which dates to the end of World War II, when military personnel trained in building war planes incorporated their skills into building race cars.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt claimed his first USAC racing victory at a midget race in Kansas City, Mo., in 1957.

Major-league open-wheel racing made its debut in the Kansas City area with the opening of Kansas Speedway in 2001. The track played host to its first IndyCar Series event in July 2001 with Eddie Cheever Jr. claiming victory in the inaugural event.

The 1.5-mile oval hosted the inaugural Indy Pro Series race the following season in 2002.

INDYCAR SERIES NOTES:

* Six Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the Kansas Lottery Indy 300: Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2006).

* Six IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the Kansas Lottery Indy 300: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Buddy Lazier (2000), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002), Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

* Drivers entered in the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 have combined for 81 IndyCar Series victories, 65 pole positions and 1,076 starts.

* The Kansas Lottery Indy 300 will be the sixth IndyCar Series event conducted at Kansas Speedway. Eddie Cheever Jr. was the inaugural winner in 2001. Four of the five previous winners at Richmond are expected to compete in the Kansas Lottery Indy 300: Cheever, Bryan Herta (2003), Buddy Rice (2004) and Tony Kanaan (2005).

* Two Bombardier Rookie of the Year candidates are expected to compete in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio: Marco Andretti (Andretti Green Racing) and Jeff Simmons (Rahal Letterman Racing). Andretti leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year point standings.

* The Kansas Lottery Indy 300 will be the fourth of six events in 2006 contested on a 1.5-mile track. Winners in 2006 on 1.5-mile tracks: Dan Wheldon (Homestead-Miami Speedway), Helio Castroneves (Twin Ring Motegi and Texas Motor Speedway). Other events on 1.5-mile tracks in 2006 include: Kentucky Speedway (Aug. 13), Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 10).

* Seventeen IRL IndyCar Series events on 1.5-mile tracks have had a finishing margin of victory of less than one tenth of a second. The two last two IndyCar Series events at Kansas Speedway are the second- and sixth-closest finishes in series history. In 2004, Buddy Rice defeated Vitor Meira by .0051 of a second, while in 2005, Tony Kanaan defeated Dan Wheldon by .0120 of a second.

MILESTONES:

* Sam Hornish Jr. earned his 16th IndyCar Series victory at Richmond, extending his IndyCar Series-record for all-time victories.

* Sam Hornish Jr. became the first IndyCar Series driver to surpass $11 million in career earnings with his victory at Indianapolis. He needs $472,245 in earnings to surpass $12 million in his IndyCar Series career.

* Sam Hornish Jr. needs to lead 89 laps to break 3,000 laps led for his career.

* Marlboro Team Penske won its 20th race in the IndyCar Series. It can tie Andretti Green Racing for most victories by a team if either Sam Hornish Jr. or Helio Castroneves win at Kansas Speedway.

* Helio Castroneves earned his second pole position of the season at Richmond, tying him with Greg Ray for most poles in a career (13).

* Marlboro Team Penske earned its 24th pole position in the IndyCar Series, tying Team Menard for most pole positions by a team.

* Scott Sharp needs one win to earn his 10th IndyCar Series victory and to tie Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon for second place on the IndyCar Series all-time wins list. Sharp will attempt to extend his series record for consecutive starts to 115 straight races.

* Marco Andretti would be the youngest winner of a major open-wheel event should he win at Kansas. Scott Dixon was 20 years, 9 months and 14 days when he won a Champ Car event at Nazareth in 2001. Sam Hornish Jr. (21 years, 259 days) was the youngest winner of an IndyCar Series event when he won at Phoenix in 2001.

* Vitor Meira has gone 52 starts without a victory in the IndyCar Series, the longest drought of any IndyCar Series driver.

-irl-

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