<pre> WHAT: Casino Magic 500; fifth of nine races in 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile paved superspeedway WHEN: 7 p.m. (CDT) Saturday, June 10 DISTANCE: 500 kilometers (312...
Casino Magic 500; fifth of nine races in 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season
WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile paved superspeedway
WHEN: 7 p.m. (CDT) Saturday, June 10
DISTANCE: 500 kilometers (312 miles)/208 laps
POSTED AWARDS: More than $1 million
CARS: Dallara, G Force and Riley & Scott chassis; Oldsmobile V8 and Infiniti Indy V8 engines; Firestone tires
1999 RACE WINNER: Scott Goodyear
CURRENT SERIES POINTS LEADER: Buddy Lazier
(Pre-Race) "Indy Racing 2Day" ESPN2 (live), 3:30 p.m. (EDT), June 10
(Race) ESPN (live), 8 p.m. (EDT), June 10 Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Tom Sneva Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Jack Arute
(Qualifying) ESPN2 (live), 9:30 p.m. (EDT) June 8 Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Tom Sneva Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Jack Arute
(Race) Indy Racing Radio Network (live), 8 p.m. (EDT) June 10 Pre-race show starts at 7:30 p.m. Area affiliate: WBAP-AM 820, Fort Worth, Texas Host: Mike King; Analyst: Larry Rice Pit reporters: Mark Jaynes, Mike Lewis Backstretch reporter: Jerry Baker
SCHEDULE (all times local):
(Thursday, June 8) 10 a.m.: Northern Light Series garage opens 3-4 p.m.: Northern Light Series practice (two groups) 5:45-7:15 p.m.: Northern Light Series practice (two groups) 8:30-9:45 p.m.: MBNA Pole qualifying
(Friday, June 9) 10 a.m.: Northern Light Series garage opens 1:45-2:45 p.m.: Northern Light Series practice (two groups) 4:45-5:15 p.m.: Northern Light Series final practice (all starters)
(Saturday, June 10) 10 a.m.: Indy Racing garage opens 6 p.m.: Cars to grid 7 p.m.: Casino Magic 500 (500 kilometers/312 miles/208 laps)
(Qualifying) Billy Boat, Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, 23.896 sec., 225.979 mph, Sept. 18, 1998
(Race) Scott Goodyear, G Force/Oldsmobile/Goodyear, 208 laps/312 miles, 2 hours, 6.816 seconds, June 12, 1999
Texas Motor Speedway: 1.5-mile paved superspeedway Front straightaway: 2,250 feet Back straightaway: 1,330 feet Turns: 750 feet Width: 58 feet (minimum) Banking: Straightaways, 5 degrees; Turns, 24 degrees
</pre> Texas Motor Speedway, completed in 1997, is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. The facility is the second-largest sports facility in the country, behind only the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The facility features 154,861 permanent seats and 194 luxury suites, plus 1/4-mile and 1/5-mile paved ovals and a 2/5-mile dirt track. In addition to the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, TMS plays host to events sanctioned by NASCAR, the World of Outlaws, Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Late Models, SCCA and the American Le Mans Series.
(The Casino Magic 500 marks the fourth consecutive year the Indy Racing Northern Light Series has visited Texas Motor Speedway. There has been a June race at Texas since 1997. The second annual race at TMS was added in the fall of 1998. There has not been a repeat winner at Texas in the history of the series. Former Northern Light Series winners include Arie Luyendyk (June 1997), Billy Boat (June 1998), John Paul Jr. (September 1998), Scott Goodyear (June 1999) and Mark Dismore (October 1999).
(The Casino Magic 500 will be the first Northern Light Series race of 2000 season scheduled to take place at night under the lights. The second night race will take place at Atlanta Motor Speedway July 15. Both tracks use an innovative Musco Lighting system that incorporates mirrors to simulate daylight and reduce glare.
(Three former Indianapolis 500 champions are entered in this event: Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998 champion), Buddy Lazier (1996) and Al Unser Jr. (1994 and 1992).
(Seven of the top-10 finishers from the 84th Indianapolis 500 are entered in the Casino Magic 500, including: Buddy Lazier (second place), Eliseo Salazar (third), Jeff Ward (fourth), Eddie Cheever Jr. (fifth), Stephan Gregoire (eighth), Scott Goodyear (ninth) and Scott Sharp (10th).
(Buddy Lazier is the Indy Racing Northern Light Series points leader with a 138-112 margin in the points over Robbie Buhl and Scott Goodyear, who are tied for second. Buhl was the points leader entering Indianapolis, but finished 26th due to an engine problem. Lazier has one victory this year, at the MCI WorldCom Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 19. He started last in that race before charging to victory.
(Al Unser Jr., is making his first competitive appearance at the TMS oval, driving the Galles ECR Racing Tickets.com Starz Encore Superpak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone for Galles ECR Racing. Unser earned his first Northern Light Series victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 22. The Casino Magic 500 will mark the first time Unser competes on a high-banked oval in Northern Light Series competition. Unser competed in the Indianapolis 500 this year for the first time since 1994, finishing 29th due to overheating of the engine.
(Defending Northern Light Series champion Greg Ray, a resident of nearby Plano, Texas, is entered for the Casino Magic 500. Ray earned the coveted $100,000 PPG Pole Award for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20, but finished 33rd due to two separate Turn 2 accidents.
(19-year-old rookie Sarah Fisher is entered in the Casino Magic 500. Fisher, who is driving for Walker Racing this season, made her Northern Light Series debut at Texas Motor Speedway in October 1999 at the Mall.com 500 with Team Pelfrey, starting 17th and finishing 25th due to an engine problem.
(Two Northern Light Series teams are based in Texas. One is an established team with a world-famous owner, and another was formed in 1999. A.J. Foyt Racing, owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, is based in Houston. Foyt's drivers for the 2000 season are Jeff Ward, driver of the #14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone, and Eliseo Salazar, driver of the #11 Rio A.J. Foyt Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Salazar and Ward finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 2000 Indianapolis 500. TeamXtreme, which was created in 1999, is based in Rockwall, Texas, a Dallas suburb. TeamXtreme's drivers for 2000 are Davey Hamilton, driver of the #16 FreeInternet.com/TeamXtreme/G Force G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone, and rookie Airton Daré, driver of the #88 TeamXtreme/USACredit.com/FreeInternet.com/G Force G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Hamilton finished 20th at Indianapolis, and Daré 25th due to an engine malfunction while running in the top five.
(Fort Worth and Dallas-area United Artists Theatres have joined with Texas Motor Speedway to distribute tickets for the Casino Magic 500 Pole Night on June 8. Every movie ticket purchased at United Artists Theatres includes a coupon good for two free general admission seats to Pole Night.