Indianapolis: Round five preview

FAST FACTS Firestone Freedom 100 Date / Time Friday, May 23 1:45 p.m. (EDT) Track Indianapolis Motor Speedway Distance 40 laps / 100 miles TV ESPN2 (Live) Radio IMS Radio Network 2007 Winner Alex Lloyd 2007 ...

FAST FACTS
Firestone Freedom 100

Date / Time
Friday, May 23
1:45 p.m. (EDT)

Track
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Distance
40 laps / 100 miles

TV
ESPN2 (Live)

Radio
IMS Radio Network

2007 Winner
Alex Lloyd

2007 Polesitter
Ken Losch

Race Notes:

Familiar names race in the Firestone Freedom 100

The Firestone Freedom 100 entry list features four drivers hoping to emulate their family's success at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

* Al Unser III, driver of the No. 21 Ethos for Earth car for American Dream Racing, seeks his first series win at Indianapolis. The third-generation driver is the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., and the grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Sr. His best finish at Indianapolis is fourth in 2005.

* Luyendyk Jr., driver of the No. 26 Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing car, also seeks his first win at Indy. The second-generation driver is the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. His best finish at Indianapolis is sixth in 2005.

* Antinucci, the nephew of 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., drives the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car. He will be making his first start on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in the same car that won last year's race.

* Sean Guthrie, driver of the No. 4 Carcrafters Guthrie Racing car, is the son of three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Jim Guthrie, who recorded a best finish of 18th in 1996. Sean Guthrie's best finish at Indianapolis is 11th in 2006.

Double Duty

Jeff Simmons will attempt to drive 600 miles during the Memorial Day Weekend. The East Granby, Conn., native, one of only two drivers to race in both events in the same year, will attempt to make his fifth Firestone Freedom 100 start after qualifying for the 92nd Indianapolis 500. It's would be the second time Simmons has qualified for both races. He finished second in the Firestone Freedom 100 and 16th in his Indianapolis 500 debut in 2004.

Been there, done that

There are no previous winners of the Firestone Freedom 100 entered in this year's race, but one driver has already reached victory podium at Indianapolis. Australia's James Davison won a Formula BMW USA race in 2005 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Season To Date:

* J.R. Hildebrand is the only driver to record top-10 finishes in every race this season.

* J.R. Hildebrand, Richard Antinucci, Sean Guthrie and Al Unser III have completed every lap of competition (214) this season.

* Raphael Matos is the only driver to win the SWE Pole Award this season.

Milestones:

* Arie Luyendyk Jr. will attempt to make his 51st Firestone Indy Lights start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which would extend his series record.

* Bobby Wilson can tie Wade Cunningham's series record for consecutive seasons with a win should he win the Firestone Freedom 100. Wilson has won in each of the last two seasons.

* Bobby Wilson will attempt to make his 33rd consecutive start, which is second on the all-time list. Jaime Camara holds the series record with 42-consecutive starts from 2005-2007.

* Four different drivers have won the first four races of the 2008 season, marking the first time that has occurred since 2005. The record for longest streak of different winners is seven, which took place from St. Pete 2 through Milwaukee in 2006. (April -- July 2006).

Schedule (local time):

May 22
9-9:45 a.m. -- Firestone Indy Lights practice
11-11:45 a.m. -- Firestone Indy Lights practice
1:15 p.m. -- SWE Pole Qualifying

May 23
Noon -- Firestone Freedom 100 pre-race
12:30 p.m. -- Firestone Freedom 100 (40 laps/100 miles)

-credit: irl

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