ROAD TO INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP MAY RUN THROUGH RICHMOND
Richmond, VA (May 31, 2007)--If history holds true in 2007, there's a good chance the winner of this year's SunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM IndyCar® Series race at Richmond International Raceway will claim the series championship. In the six years that the IndyCar Series has run at America's Premier Short Track, the winner has claimed the series title three times.
The IndyCar Series made history by running at Richmond International Raceway's ¾-mile D-shaped oval beginning in 2001, making it the shortest track the series visits annually. The following year, Sam Hornish Jr. claimed the checkered flag at Richmond International Raceway and won the series championship. In 2003, Scott Dixon repeated Hornish's feat; and in 2006, Hornish again won the SunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM, along with the series title.
To go a step further, successfully maneuvering an IndyCar Series ride at Richmond International Raceway will equal overall success in the series.
The statistics show that of the past six series champions, every driver has finished in the top five that year at Richmond International Raceway. That evidence would suggest that Richmond--a true "driver's track"--can only be tamed by the most elite drivers in the series.
Additionally, the 2001 SunTrust Indy Challenge winner--Buddy Lazier--was the series runner-up; the 2004 SunTrust Indy Challenge winner--Dan Wheldon--was the series runner-up; and the 2005 SunTrust Indy Challenge winner--Helio Castroneves--finished sixth in points that year. This means that of the six years the series has run at Richmond International Raceway, the winner has finished at least second in the final point standings five times.
Although it's no guarantee since there is tremendous talent throughout the series, it may be a pretty good prediction to say that someone who finishes in the top five at this year's SunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM will make a run for the series championship.
The series returns to Richmond International Raceway June 29-30 for the SunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM. Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, defending race winner and series champion Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, two-time most popular driver Sarah Fisher and the rest of the IndyCar Series drivers will return to America's Premier Short Track as they reach speeds of 180 mph! The weekend starts Friday, June 29 with NBC12 Day, featuring Pole Qualifying for the IndyCar Series and the USAC National Sprint Car Series race. All tickets are $15 and include admission to an autograph session featuring all of the IndyCar Series drivers. Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM will be preceded by the USAC Silver Crown Series race. Tickets for Saturday night are $35 (reserved) and $30 (general admission). Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admission sections with a ticketed adult both nights. For tickets and information, please call 1-866-455-7223 or visit www.rir.com.