Richmond Int'l Raceway news 2008-06-18

ROAD TO INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP MAY RUN THROUGH RICHMOND Richmond, VA (June 18, 2008)--If history holds true in 2008, there's a good chance the winner of this year's SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race at Richmond International ...

ROAD TO INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP MAY RUN THROUGH RICHMOND

Richmond, VA (June 18, 2008)--If history holds true in 2008, there's a good chance the winner of this year's SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race at Richmond International Raceway will claim the series championship. In the seven years that the IndyCar Series has run at America's Premier Short Track, the winner has claimed the series title four times.

The IndyCar Series made history by running at Richmond International Raceway's ¾-mile D-shaped oval 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; in 2006, Hornish again won the SunTrust Indy Challenge, along with the series title; and most recently, Dario Franchitti captured both the race at Richmond International Raceway and the IndyCar 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 seven 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 seven years the series has run at Richmond International Raceway, the winner has finished at least second in the final point standings six 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 will make a run for the series championship.

The 2008 IndyCar Series event at Richmond International Raceway is the first since the historic unification earlier this year of the IndyCar Series and the Champ Car Series--the two premier open-wheel sanctioning bodies in North America. The unification means even more drivers, cars and excitement in America's top open-wheel series, all competing on the same track at the same time.

The unified IndyCar Series visits Richmond International Raceway June 27-28 for the SunTrust Indy Challenge weekend. Danica Patrick, 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series drivers will return to America's Premier Short Track as they reach speeds of 180 mph! This year's event features an additional 50 laps for a 300-lap spectacle! Tickets for Saturday, June 28, include the SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race, which will be preceded by the James River Grounds 100 USAC Silver Crown Series race. Tickets for Saturday night are $35 (reserved) and $30 (general admission). The weekend starts Friday, June 27 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. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admission sections with a ticketed adult both nights. For tickets and information, please call 866-455-7223 or visit www.rir.com.

-credit; rir

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Graham Rahal , Dan Wheldon , Marco Andretti , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick