IRL: Michigan: Roger Yasukawa preview

Yasukawa looking forward to racing at Michigan The IRL IndyCar Series returns to action this weekend with the Firestone Indy 400. Michigan International Speedway, which celebrates its 35th year of racing, will host Round 10 of the 16-race series...

Yasukawa looking forward to racing at Michigan

The IRL IndyCar Series returns to action this weekend with the Firestone Indy 400. Michigan International Speedway, which celebrates its 35th year of racing, will host Round 10 of the 16-race series -- the second longest race of the season to date at 400 miles. IndyCar Series competition made its debut on the fast 2-mile D-shaped oval in 2002. The track is located 90 minutes west of Detroit in Brooklyn, Michigan.

Roger Yasukawa enjoyed the benefits of some track time at Michigan International Speedway in a test on July 1. He is anxious to get track activities started after a frustrating race at Nashville last weekend where Yasukawa was unable to capitalize on a great handling race car due to a fuel pressure problem. Despite his 15th-place result, Yasukawa is still within striking distance of the top 10 in the championship and only six points out of 11th. He finished 10th at the last big oval event, the Indianapolis 500.

Roger Yasukawa, Driver - #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

* Will be making his 10th IRL IndyCar Series start

* Has a 30-point lead in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings

* Sits 13th in the championship standings with 153 points -- 22 points shy of the top 10

* Best IRL career finish was seventh in Kansas City on July 6

* Best IRL career start was 10th at Homestead and Phoenix

"Michigan will be our first superspeedway race since Indy. We tested at Michigan a few weeks ago and we have a pretty good baseline to start off the weekend. With the build up from the past couple of races, I am feeling more confident going into the race. We just need to keep focusing on finishing better than what we have previously. Hopefully we can finish in the top five this weekend, which would be great. I think the car should be strong, and Honda will have a good engine here. I am looking forward to the race. We had a fuel pressure-related problem at Nashville last weekend and, up until that point, the car was great. It was really disappointing, but the race itself was a confidence builder for me. I did a lot of good racing. I learned how to manage traffic and how to race people. I think it was a very important race for me even though we finished 15th."

FAST FACTS: Twenty-five years old from Los Angeles-- began his career at the age of 12 in karts, competing in both the U.S. and Italy before moving up the racing ladder through Formula Vauxhall Junior and Formula Palmer Audi in England, and Formula Dodge competition in the United States-- entered the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the age of 21, earning Co-Rookie of the Year honors-- competed in the Atlantic series last year, claiming a win at Milwaukee and two additional podium finishes in a partial season of competition-- resides in West Hollywood, California.

-safr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Roger Yasukawa