IRL: Texas: Round seven preview, schedule

BOMBARDIER LEARJET 550k FAST FACTS WHAT: Bombardier Learjet 550k, seventh race in 17-race 2007 season WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval WHEN: 9:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 9 DISTANCE: 228 laps/342 miles/550 ...

BOMBARDIER LEARJET 550k FAST FACTS

WHAT: Bombardier Learjet 550k, seventh race in 17-race 2007 season

WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval

WHEN: 9:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 9

DISTANCE: 228 laps/342 miles/550 kilometers

POSTED AWARDS: More than $1 million

CARS: Dallara chassis; Honda Indy V-8 engines; Firestone tires; 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol

PAST RACE WINNERS: 1997 -- Arie Luyendyk; 1998 -- Billy Boat (June) and John Paul Jr. (September); 1999 -- Scott Goodyear (June) and Mark Dismore (October); 2000 -- Scott Sharp (June) and Scott Goodyear (October); 2001 -- Scott Sharp (June) and Sam Hornish Jr. (October); 2002 -- Jeff Ward (June) and Sam Hornish Jr. (September); 2003 -- Al Unser Jr. (June) and Gil de Ferran (October); 2004 -- Tony Kanaan (June) and Helio Castroneves (October); 2005 -- Tomas Scheckter; 2006 Helio Castroneves.

2006 SERIES CHAMPION: Sam Hornish Jr.

TV:
Race: ESPN2, 10 p.m. (ET), June 9

Note: Live streaming video coverage of AAMCO Transmissions Pole Qualifying (7 p.m. (ET), June 8) is available at www.indycar.com

RADIO:
Qualifying webcast: 6:45 p.m. (ET), June 8, www.indycar.com
Pre-race: IMS Radio Network (live), 9 p.m. (ET), June 9
Race: IMS Radio Network (live), 9:30 p.m. (ET), June 9

Live coverage of AAMCO Transmissions Pole Qualifying (7 p.m. ET, June 8) and the race also will be available at www.indycar.com. The race broadcast is also available on XM Satellite Radio channel 144 "XM Sports Nation" and XM channel 145 "IndyCar Racing"

SCHEDULE (All times local; subject to change):

Thursday, June 7
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
4:30-5:30 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)

Friday, June 8
2:30-4:30 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
6 p.m. AAMCO Transmissions Pole Qualifying

Saturday, June 9
Noon IndyCar Series garage opens
8:30 p.m. Bombardier Learjet 550k (228 laps/342 miles), ESPN2 (10 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

* Texas Motor Speedway is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. The state-of-the-art facility showcases a 1.5-mile oval with 24-degree banking in the turns, designed to accommodate stock car, truck and open-wheel racing. The speedway currently plays host to two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, two Busch Series races, two Craftsman Truck Series events and an IndyCar Series race.

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 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:

* Five Indianapolis 500 champions are entered in the Bombardier Learjet 550k: Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006) and Dario Franchitti (2007).

* Five IndyCar Series champions are entered in the Bombardier Learjet 550k: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002, 2006), Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

* Drivers entered in the Bombardier Learjet 550k have combined for 78 IndyCar Series victories, 75 IndyCar Series pole positions and 1,140 IndyCar Series starts.

* The Bombardier Learjet 550k will be the 18th 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, June 2006) and Tomas Scheckter (2005).

* In six races thus far in 2007, there have been four winners. Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan are the only multiple winners. Wheldon won at Homestead-Miami and Kansas. Kanaan won at Twin Ring Motegi and Milwaukee. Other winners in 2007: Helio Castroneves at St. Petersburg, and Dario Franchitti at Indianapolis. In those six races, 10 drivers have finished in the top five in at least one event.

* Milka Duno (SAMAX Motorsport) is the only Bombardier Rookie of the Year candidate expected to compete in the Bombardier Learjet 550k. Duno leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year point standings over Phil Giebler (Playa Del Racing) 26-10.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Milka Duno , Tomas Scheckter , Al Unser Jr. , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Keke Rosberg , Phil Giebler , John Paul , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Johnny Rutherford