IRL: Texas: Pre-race notes, schedule

INDY-STYLE RACING IN TEXAS: In 1969, the state's first major racing facility in the Lone Star State, Texas World Speedway opened in College Station, about 50 miles northwest of Houston. The 2-mile oval hosted open-wheel racing for 10 years and...

INDY-STYLE RACING IN TEXAS:

In 1969, the state's first major racing facility in the Lone Star State, Texas World Speedway opened in College Station, about 50 miles northwest of Houston.

The 2-mile oval hosted open-wheel racing for 10 years and counts two of the state's biggest racing names, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt among its race winners.

Dallas played host to its first major league racing event, a Formula One race won by Keke Rosberg in 1984.

In 1997, O. Bruton Smith, CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., opened Texas Motor Speedway near the Alliance Development in Denton County. The 1.5-mile oval hosted its first IRL IndyCar® Series event that same year.

From 1998-2004, the track played host to two IndyCar Series events each year, including six of seven season finales.

INDYCAR SERIES NOTES:

* Six Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the Bombardier Learjet 500k: Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2006).

* Six IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the Bombardier Learjet 500k: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Buddy Lazier (2000), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002), Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

* Drivers entered in the Bombardier Learjet 500k have combined for 79 IndyCar Series victories, 63 pole positions and 1,038 starts.

* The Bombardier Learjet 500k will be the 17th IndyCar Series event conducted at Texas Motor Speedway. Arie Luyendyk was the inaugural winner in 1997. Previous winners at Texas expected to compete in the Bombardier Learjet 500k are: Scott Sharp (June 2000, June 2001), Sam Hornish Jr. (October 2001, September 2002), Tony Kanaan (June 2004), Helio Castroneves (October 2004) and Tomas Scheckter (2005).

* Two Bombardier Rookie of the Year candidates are expected to compete in the Bombardier Learjet 500k: Marco Andretti (Andretti Green Racing) and Jeff Simmons (Rahal Letterman Racing). Andretti leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year point standings.

MILESTONES:

* Sam Hornish Jr. earned his 15th IndyCar Series victory at the 90th Indianapolis 500. It also extended his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one victory to six. The record is seven, held by Scott Sharp (1996/97-2003).

* Scott Sharp needs one win to earn his 10th IndyCar Series victory and to tie Dan Wheldon for second place on the IndyCar Series all-time wins list.

* Helio Castroneves needs one win to earn his 10th IndyCar Series victory and to break a tie with Scott Sharp for third on the all-time wins list.

* Scott Dixon won his fifth IndyCar Series event at the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix. He is the 10th driver to win at least five IndyCar Series events.

* Marco Andretti would be the youngest winner of a major open-wheel event should he win at Texas. Scott Dixon was 20 years, 9 months and 14 days when he won a Champ Car event in 2001. Sam Hornish Jr. (21 years, 259 days) was the youngest winner of an IndyCar Series event when he won at Phoenix in 2001.

* Sam Hornish Jr. became the first IndyCar Series driver to surpass $11 million in career earnings with his victory at Indianapolis. He needs $671,045 in earnings to surpass $12 million in his IndyCar Series career.

* Buddy Lazier surpassed $10 million in his IndyCar Series career at the Indianapolis 500.

* Vitor Meira has gone 50 starts without a victory in the IndyCar Series, the longest drought of any IndyCar Series driver.

WHAT:
Bombardier Learjet 500k, sixth race in 14-race 2006 season

WHERE:
Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval

WHEN:
9 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, June 10

DISTANCE:
200 laps/300 miles

POSTED AWARDS:
More than $1 million

CARS:
Dallara and Panoz chassis; Honda Indy V-8; Firestone tires

PAST RACE WINNER:
2005 -- Tomas Scheckter

TV:
Race: ESPN (live), 9 p.m. (EDT), June 10

RADIO:
Qualifying webcast: 8:15 p.m. (EDT), June 8, www.indycar.com
Pre-race: IMS Radio Network (live), 8:30 p.m. (EDT), June 10
Race: IMS Radio Network (live), 9 p.m. (EDT), June 11

<pre> SCHEDULE (All times local; subject to change):

Thursday, June 8 2:30 p.m.- 4 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups) 4:30-5:30 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups) 7:30 p.m. IndyCar Series Marlboro Pole Qualifying

Friday, June 9 2-3 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups) 7-7:30 p.m. Final IndyCar Series practice (all cars)

Saturday, June 10 8:15 p.m. Bombardier Learjet 500k (200 laps/300 miles), ESPN (Live at 8 p.m.)

THE TRACK: 1.5-mile paved quad-oval Frontstretch: 2,250 feet banked at 5 degrees Backstretch: 1,330 feet banked at 5 degrees Width: 58 feet Turns are banked at 24 degrees

-irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Keke Rosberg , Marco Andretti , Jeff Simmons , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Johnny Rutherford , Vitor Meira