Lone Star 500 FAST FACTS WHAT: Inaugural LONE STAR 500 Tenth of 11 races in the 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League season WHERE: ...
Lone Star 500 FAST FACTS
WHAT: Inaugural LONE STAR 500 Tenth of 11 races in the 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League season WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas. 1.5-mile paved quad-oval superspeedway WHEN: 2 p.m. (CDT) Sunday, Sept. 20, 1998
DISTANCE: 312 miles (500 kilometers)/208 laps
POSTED AWARDS: More than $1 million
CARS: Dallara, G Force and Riley & Scott chassis; Oldsmobile Aurora V8 and Nissan Infiniti Indy V8 engines; Firestone and Goodyear tires 1996-97 IRL CHAMPION: Tony Stewart
CURRENT POINTS Kenny Brack LEADER:
TV: (Race) ABC (live), 3 p.m. (EDT) Sept. 20 Announcer: Paul Page, Mike Groff Pit reporters: Gary Gerould, Jon Beekhuis (Qualifying) SpeedVision (live), 5 p.m. (EDT), Sept. 18 Announcers: Gary Lee, Derek Daly Pit reporter: Vince Welch RADIO (Race) IMS Radio Network (live), 3 p.m. (EDT) Sept. 20. Pre-race show starts at 2:30 p.m. Area affiliate is WBAP- AM, 820, Fort Worth. Announcers: Gary Lee, Larry Rice Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Mark Jaynes Backstretch reporter: Doug Rice (Qualifying) IMS Radio Network, 4:30-5 p.m. (EDT) Sept. 19. Area affiliate is WBAP-AM, 820, Fort Worth. Announcers: Gary Lee, Larry Rice Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Mark Jaynes Backstretch reporter: Doug Rice SCHEDULE (all times local): 7 a.m.: Pep Boys IRL garage opens (Sept. 18) 9:45-10:45 a.m.: Pep Boys IRL (Dallas Morning News practice (Two groups) Pole Day) 12:45-2:15 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice (Two groups) 4-5:15 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL (Sept. 19) qualifications (Best of two laps) 7 a.m.: Pep Boys IRL garage opens 10-11:30 a.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice (Sept. 20) (Two groups) 4-4:30 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL final practice 7 a.m.: Pep Boys IRL garage opens 1 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL cars to grid 2 p.m.: Inaugural Lone Star 500 (312 miles/208 laps) TRACK RECORDS: (Qualifying, one lap) Tony Stewart, 24.059 seconds, 224.448 mph, June 5, 1998 (Race, one lap) Tony Stewart, 228.012 mph, Lap 86, June 6, 1998 (Race, average) Billy Boat, 2 hours, 8 minutes, 45.543 seconds, June 6, 1998 Average speed: 145.388 mph THE TRACK: 1.5-mile paved quad-oval Length of front straightaway: 2,250 feet Length of back straightaway: 1,330 feet Four turns: 750 feet each Width: 58 feet (minimum) Banking in turns: 24 degrees Banking on straightaways: 5 degrees Facility opened in 1997. Texas Motor Speedway has 150,061 permanent seats and a total capacity of 203,061. It's the second-largest sports facility in the United States. Texas Motor Speedway also includes 208 luxury skyboxes and the Lone Star Tower condominium and office complex. Texas Motor Speedway covers 950 acres, including a 23-acre lake. A state-of-the-art, permanent Musco Lighting system is used to illuminate night events at the track. THE RACE: This is the second consecutive year the Pep Boys Indy Racing League has run at Texas but the first year that two league events have taken place at one track. The previous Indy Racing League events at TMS, in June 1997 and 1998, were both run at night under the lights. The Lone Star 500 on Sept. 20 will be the first Indy Racing League event to be run during the day at Texas Motor Speedway. RACE NOTES: Billy Boat leads the standings for the "Texas Two-Step" Championship, a $100,000 bonus that will be awarded after this event. The driver who earns the most combined Pep Boys Indy Racing League points at this event and the True Value 500 on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway will earn the big bonus. The driver with the second- highest total will earn $50,000. Boat earned 54 points for his victory in the True Value 500. Greg Ray finished second and earned 40 points, while Kenny Brack collected 35 points for his third-place finish. Three Indianapolis 500 winners are entered in this event: 1998 champion Eddie Cheever Jr., 1990 and 1997 champion Arie Luyendyk and 1996 champion Buddy Lazier. This race has a strong Texas connection. Greg Ray, who finished second in the True Value 500 on June 6 at TMS, lives in Plano. The two-car team fielded by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt is based in Houston, Foyt's hometown. One of Foyt's drivers, Kenny Brack, also lives in Houston. Six Pep Boys Indy Racing League rookies are entered in this event: Donnie Beechler, Andy Michner, Stevie Reeves, Dave Steele, Brian Tyler and Robby Unser. Beechler and Michner are USAC open-wheel standouts, 1993 USAC midget national champion Reeves joined the league after competing in the NASCAR Busch Series, Steele is the only USAC driver to win this season in all three major divisions - Silver Crown, sprint and midget, Tyler is the two-time defending USAC sprint champion, and Unser is the son of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser and an eight-time winner of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. SERIES NOTES: Kenny Brack has won the last three races, an Indy Racing League record for consecutive victories. Kenny Brack and Tony Stewart could become the second and third drivers to top $1 million in season earnings with a strong finish at this race. Brack is second on the money list at $953,800, Stewart third at $917,350. Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. leads the money list with $1,724,800. Billy Boat has won the PPG Pole at the last two races. Tony Stewart won consecutive PPG Poles this season at Dover, Del., and Charlotte, N.C. No driver in league history has ever won PPG Poles at three consecutive races. Boat won the PPG Pole at the New England 200 on June 28, missed two races due to injury, and then returned with two consecutive PPG Poles. All teams are aiming for the Pep Boys Million, a $1 million prize from Pep Boys to be split between the championship-winning driver and owner at the end of the season. The top 11 drivers in the point standings still are mathematically eligible to win the championship with two races remaining. Race teams will be allowed to tow their cars to the garage from the pits for service during the race under an Indy Racing League rule instituted last October at the Las Vegas 500K. Teams are allowed to repair their cars in the garage and return to the race. Teams can't change their engines or chassis. Two Indy Racing League technicians must approve any repairs before the car returns to the track, with Indy Racing League Technical Director Phil Casey overseeing the process.