INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, July 24, 2003 - In the midst of a grueling 20-week stretch of consecutive races for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, drivers and teams have a jewel on which their sights are set: the Brickyard 400 at the fabled Indianapolis...
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, July 24, 2003 - In the midst of a grueling 20-week stretch of consecutive races for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, drivers and teams have a jewel on which their sights are set: the Brickyard 400 at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is fast approaching on Sunday, Aug. 3.
Fans also can focus on attending the 10th Brickyard 400 at the 2.5-mile oval, as reserved-seat tickets remain available via the Speedway ticket office. Tickets, parking and camping can be purchased easily and securely online at www.imstix.com or by calling (800) 822-INDY.
When Ryan Newman and Jeff Burton parked their cars in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage area at the end of the day July 23, it ended a total of seven days of NASCAR testing over a three-week period at the Speedway.
In that time, 42 NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers completed 5,382 laps, or 13,455 miles, of testing at the Speedway. That's the equivalent of driving across the United States more than four-and-a-half times.
The significance of the Brickyard 400 is apparent by this year's testing. Unlike previous years, the 2003 tests at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway were not mandatory, yet only eight fewer driver/team combinations tested this year than 2002, when 50 drivers took part in two-day tests required by NASCAR.
Jimmie Johnson turned the fastest lap of 2003 testing, 182.028 mph, on July 15 under cloudy, cool conditions. Tony Stewart set the track record of 182.960 in 2002 qualifying under sunny, humid skies and temperatures in the mid-80s.
Stewart did not test at Indianapolis, although his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and 2000 Brickyard winner, Bobby Labonte, completed 174 laps of testing with a top speed of 176.038.
Whether NASCAR's top drivers have enough speed to push the track record ever higher will be determined at 10:05 a.m. (local time) on Saturday, Aug. 2, when Winston Cup qualifying gets underway.
The 10th Brickyard 400 will provide an action-packed weekend for fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Activities get underway Friday, Aug. 1 with True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) practices at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and the stars of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series are on track for a two-hour practice beginning at 2 p.m. Friday activity will conclude with a True Value IROC practice from 4:05-5 p.m.
NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying starts at 10:05 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2. Following qualifying is the 40-lap IROC at Indy race, featuring top drivers from the IRL IndyCarTM Series, World of Outlaws Series and NASCAR, at 1 p.m. The Winston Cup Series completes the busy day with 45-minute practices at 2 and 3:45 p.m.
The green flag will wave to start the 10th Brickyard 400 at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3.
Tickets for Friday and Saturday are general admission, while Race Day tickets are reserved-seat only. Log on to imstix.com or call (800) 822-INDY for information.