IPS: Chicagoland: Season finale pre-race facts, schedule

PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean/Chicagoland 100 FAST FACTS WHAT: Indy Pro Series: Chicagoland 100, final race in 12-race 2006 season WHERE: Chicagoland Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval WHEN: Indy Pro Series: 4:55 p.m. (EDT),...

PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean/Chicagoland 100
FAST FACTS

WHAT:
Indy Pro Series: Chicagoland 100, final race in 12-race 2006 season

WHERE:
Chicagoland Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval

WHEN:
Indy Pro Series: 4:55 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, Sept. 9

DISTANCE:
Indy Pro Series: 67 laps/100 miles

POSTED AWARDS:
Indy Pro Series: More than $275,000

CARS:
Indy Pro Series: Dallara chassis; Firestone tires

PREVIOUS RACE WINNERS:
Indy Pro Series: Jeff Simmons (2005), Thiago Medeiros (2004), Mark Taylor (2003), Aaron Fike (2002)

2005 SERIES CHAMPIONS:
Indy Pro Series: Wade Cunningham

TV:
Indy Pro Series: Race: ESPN2 (tape-delay), 2 p.m. (EDT), Sept. 14
    Live streaming video of all practice sessions, SWE Race Car Parts Pole Qualifying (5:30 p.m. EDT, Sept.8) and the race also will be available at www.indycar.com/pro.

SCHEDULE (all times local; subject to change):

Friday, Sept. 8
9 -- 9:45 a.m. Indy Pro Series practice
Noon -- 12:45 p.m. Indy Pro Series practice
4:30 p.m. Indy Pro Series SWE Race Car Parts Pole Qualifying

Saturday, Sept. 9
10 -- 10:30 a.m. Indy Pro Series final practice
3:30 p.m. Chicagoland 100 pre-race
3:55 p.m. Chicagoland 100 (67 laps/100 miles) ESPN2 (taped, 2 p.m., Sept. 14)

THE TRACK:
1.5-mile D-shaped asphalt oval; 75 feet wide
Frontstraight: 2,400 feet banked at 11 degrees
Backstraight: 1,700 feet banked at 5 degrees
Turns: Banked at 18 degrees
Width: 55 feet
    Chicagoland Speedway opened in 2001 and is owned by Raceway Associates, LLC, made up of interests from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, International Speedway Corp. and Route 66 Raceway.

INDY-STYLE RACING IN CHICAGOLAND:

The first automobile race in Chicago occurred shortly after Thanksgiving in 1895, when eight racers, seeking a $2,000 prize offered by the Chicago Times-Herald, raced on a 52.4-mile course that began just south of what is today's Loop to Evanston.

Road racing continued between 1910 and 1915 (and again in 1919, 1920 and 1933), when the Elgin Watch Company sponsored a road-racing series through its hometown, Elgin, Ill., west of Chicago.

Oval racing came to Chicago when Illinois lumber baron Edward Hines built Chicago Speedway, a 2-mile, high-banked board track. The speedway held its first race on June 26, 1915, with future Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Resta claiming the victory.

Oval racing remained popular in Chicago as board tracks, and later dirt and paved ovals were built around the area for midget, sprint and champ car racing.

In 1999, Chip Ganassi headed a group of private investors who renovated Sportsman's Park and ran three Champ Car World Series events at the track before closing it in 2002.

The IRL IndyCar® Series made its debut at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001 with Jaques Lazier winning the first race.

INDY PRO SERIES NOTES:

* The 2006 season has seen the most parity in Indy Pro Series history. A record seven drivers have won races while a record six drivers have earned pole positions.

* Bobby Wilson is the only driver to finish in the top 10 of every event so far in 2006. He's also the only driver to have been running at the finish of each race and the only driver to have completed all 541 laps.

* Nick Bussell and Jaime Camara will make their 26th consecutive starts in the Chicagoland 100. Arie Luyendyk Jr. holds the Indy Pro Series record with 31 consecutive starts. Bussell leads all drivers with 11 consecutive top-10 starts.

INDY PRO SERIES PRE-RACE QUOTES:

JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, point leader): "This season has been up and down like no other season I've ever been through. I can't believe we're already down to the last race of the year. We've had to work really hard this year and I wish we had more than an eight point lead, but that certainly hasn't been from lack of effort from the team. I don't want to take the fact that we have the championship lead for granted, but it's always nice to have a large lead. Going into Chicago we just need to do the things that we have done all season to get us into the lead. I plan on going out there and winning the race and the championship. Depending on who the contenders are for the race (win) will determine how I run my race. I think all of the championship contenders are a big threat to win, but we just have to go out there and take it as it comes." (About preparing for Chicagoland race): "I've been training in the gym quite a bit this week and will do so again next week. My trainer knows how to get the best out of me in the gym, and that helps me to stay focused on the upcoming race."

JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 27 Klein Tools/Turn-Key Forging, second): "My game plan, I cannot afford any mistakes. I have to run a perfect race at Chicago, make sure I finish the race. You know, if we win, I think that pretty much sums up the championship. If we come in second, it's going to be hard from there because of the points spread, the way that works. The pressure's on. It's going to be up to me to see if I can handle it and perform."

BOBBY WILSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, third): "We've had some ups and downs this season so far. I've just been trying to take it race by race and have been trying to pick up my performance for the end of the year. We definitely showed how strong we can be with the win at Watkins Glen earlier this year, and now we need to show that on the oval at Chicagoland as well." (About strategy heading into Chicagoland): "It's basically go big or go home for us. We need to win this race and hope that we get a little help from the others. It's just one of those situations where we have to do our best and the points will take care of themselves if we can do that." (About preparing for Chicagoland race): "I'll be running my go-kart at Ocala Grand Prix to stay focused and to get myself prepared for the race, and I've also been working with the people at Pit Fit to make sure I'm ready from a fitness standpoint as well."

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, fourth): "I'm not really going to Chicago to win the championship. It's pretty unrealistic. To make up 30 points would take winning the race, getting the pole, and Jay (Howard) would have to finish nearly last. We're going to go there and try for the pole like we did at Nashville, Milwaukee and Infineon, race hard, finish up front and have a good race. That's all we've been going for since St. Pete, and it's been working. If we can do that, then I won't be overly disappointed about not repeating as champion."

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , Sam Schmidt , Aaron Fike , Jeff Simmons , Chip Ganassi , Nick Bussell , Wade Cunningham , Jaime Camara , Bobby Wilson , Jaques Lazier , Thiago Medeiros , Arie Luyendyk Jr.