IRL: Texas 2 Friday practice notes

By Bob Pullar - Motorsport.com Fort Worth, Texas (Oct. 13, 2000) -- This weekend's Excite 500 will have a Halloween theme, with two cars sporting special paint schemes. Al Unser Jr. will have a Dracula theme on his Galles Racing G Force thanks...

By Bob Pullar - Motorsport.com

Fort Worth, Texas (Oct. 13, 2000) -- This weekend's Excite 500 will have a Halloween theme, with two cars sporting special paint schemes. Al Unser Jr. will have a Dracula theme on his Galles Racing G Force thanks to Action Performance and Universal Studio's Monsters of the Speedway program. Billy Boat has a "pumpkin" orange car with BOO! on the sidepods.

Children are encouraged to come to TMS on Saturday in Halloween costumes to treat or treat the Indy Racing drivers in the garage area. During the 4:45 p.m. IRNLS autograph session, prizes will be given for best costumes. Drivers will be passing out candy and discounts to a local haunted house. This promises to be lots of fun for the kids as they can meet the drivers and get close to the 200-mph race cars.

Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.445-mile speedway with 24 degrees of banking in the corners and 5 degrees of banking in the dogleg and backstraight. The frontstretch is 2,250 feet long and the backstretch is 1,330 feet long. The turns are 750 feet long and the width is a minimum of 58 feet. Texas Motor Speedway is the second-largest sports facility in the country, behind only the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The facility has 154,861 permanent seats and 194 luxury suites plus a two-fifths-mile dirt track, a one-quarter mile paved oval and a one-fifth mile paved oval. TMS is host to NASCAR, World of Outlaws, Hav-A-Tampa dirt late models, SCCA and the American LeMans Series. In 2001 CART Champ cars will visit TMS for the first time.

Three former Indy 500 winners are entered in this weekend's Excite 500 and seven of the top-10 finishers in the 2000 500 are also entered.

Grand marshal of the event will be "Survivor" cast member Stacey Stillman.

Three drivers have a mathematical possibility to win the championship, with Buddy Lazier leading the series points battle coming into this final race. He needs to finish 13th or better to clinch the title regardless of how Scott Goodyear or Eddie Cheever finish. The winner of the series picks up a cool $1 million bonus from series sponsor Northern Light.

Mark Dismore is the defending victor of the event.

Robby McGehee has not yet been cleared to drive after a crash in Friday's second practice session. He was removed from the car by safety crews and taken to the infield medical facility where he was examined and released. McGehee will be given another examination to determine his driving status early Saturday morning.

Five drivers are eligible for the RaceSearch.com Rookie of the Year award and its $50,000 bonus. Airton Dare, Jeret Schroeder, Sam Hornish, Jr., Sarah Fisher and Shigeaki Hattori all have a chance to be Rookie of the Year. Dare leads the chase with 124 points while Schroeder, fastest of the group in Friday's practice, is just two points behind.

Dreyer and Reinbold Racing announced today that it has renewed its sponsorship with Purex for the 2001 season. Purex became the primary sponsor on the #24 shortly after the team's debut at the Delphi Indy 200 at Orlando, Fla. in January. Robbie Buhl, co-owner and driver of the #24, won the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway.

The Excite 500 will be televised on a same-day basis on ABC at 4 p.m. EDT Sunday. Indy Racing 2Day will be televised at 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday. ESPN2 will televise MBNA Pole qualifying at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Live timing and scoring of practice, MBNA qualifying and the race will be available at www.indyracingleague.com. Saturday night on the dirt track at TMS, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws will race for $20,000 in the O'Reilly Texas Showdown.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby McGehee , Sarah Fisher , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Robbie Buhl , Shigeaki Hattori , Buddy Lazier , Airton Daré , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Jeret Schroeder , Sam Hornis