Series news and notes 2010-05-06

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines: 1. Future IZOD IndyCar Series stars get ready for Night Before 500 2. Plowman races on foot before racing car at Indy 3. Will No. 4 be lucky for Wheldon? 1. Future...

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines:
1. Future IZOD IndyCar Series stars get ready for Night Before 500
2. Plowman races on foot before racing car at Indy
3. Will No. 4 be lucky for Wheldon?

1. Future IZOD IndyCar Series stars get ready for Night Before 500: Young drivers who hope to race in the Indianapolis 500 in the near future got their first taste of driving on an oval track not far from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Drivers from Cooper Tires Presents the US F2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda and the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear tested May 5-6 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind.

Conor Daly, son of six-time Indianapolis 500 starter Derek Daly, led the two days of testing for Star Mazda with a lap at 20.1 seconds, unofficially faster than the existing track record, for NASCAR or USAC events.

Cape Motorsports rookie Patrick McKenna and Andretti Autosport driver Sage Karam led much of the testing sessions for the USF2000 cars.

"It's been a really good two days test session," said Star Mazda president Gary Rodrigues. "We can't wait to come back here at the end of the month and put on a great show for the fans here in Indianapolis."

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2. Plowman races on foot before racing car at Indy: Firestone Indy Lights driver Martin Plowman will run a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before he has a chance to drive his race car around the 2.5-mile oval.

The AFS Racing Andretti Autosport driver, along with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Vitor Meira and Mike Conway, is expected to be among of the 35,000 runners competing in the 34th OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon on May 8. The 13.1-mile course includes a lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I've run a mini-marathon before, but I won't be competing in this race to go for my personal best time," Plowman said. "I'm running this with (girlfriend and current Miss Indiana) Nicole (Pollard) and will be helping her get to the finish line in her first Mini Marathon."

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3. Will No. 4 be lucky for Wheldon?: Dan Wheldon may be the beneficiary of Super Saver's win in the 136th Kentucky Derby. Super Saver carried No. 4 when he won the May 1 horse race, the same number as Wheldon's National Guard Panther Racing Honda-powered Dallara will carry at the end of the month in the Indianapolis 500.

Wheldon, who is one of the most superstitious drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series, doesn't see that as a karmic sign, but since 1911 the Derby and Indianapolis 500 winners have shared the same number eight times:

Year - Derby winner - Indianapolis 500 winner - Number

1915 - Regret - Ralph De Palma - 2

1940 - Gallahadion - Wilbur Shaw - 1

1970 - Dust Commander - Al Unser - 2

1976 - Bold Forbes - Johnny Rutherford - 2

1978 - Affirmed - Al Unser - 2

1997 - Silver Charm - Arie Luyendyk - 5

2003 - Funny Cide - Gil de Ferran - 6

2004 - Smarty Jones - Buddy Rice - 15

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The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues May 30 with the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at noon (ET) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway The race will air live on VERSUS.

-source: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Gil de Ferran , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Derek Daly , Mike Conway , Martin Plowman , Conor Daly , Patrick McKenna , Sage Karam , Johnny Rutherford , Al Unser , Vitor Meira
Teams Andretti Autosport , Panther Racing