IPS: IRL: Homestead: Pre-race notes, schedule

FAST FACTS WHAT: IndyCar® Series: XM Satellite Radio Indy 300, first race in 17-race 2007 season Indy Pro Series Miami 100, first race in 16-race 2006 season WHERE: Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1.5-mile variably banked asphalt...

FAST FACTS

WHAT:
IndyCar® Series: XM Satellite Radio Indy 300, first race in 17-race 2007 season
Indy Pro Series Miami 100, first race in 16-race 2006 season

WHERE:
Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1.5-mile variably banked asphalt oval

WHEN:
IndyCar Series: 8 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, March 24
Indy Pro Series: 12:30 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, March 24

DISTANCE:
IndyCar Series: 200 laps/300 miles
Indy Pro Series: 67 laps/100 miles

POSTED AWARDS:
IndyCar Series: More than $1 million
Indy Pro Series: More than $275,000

CARS:
IndyCar Series: Dallara chassis; Honda Indy V-8; Firestone tires; 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol
Indy Pro Series: Dallara chassis; Firestone tires

PREVIOUS RACE WINNERS:
IndyCar Series: Dan Wheldon (2005, 2006), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002, 2004), Scott Dixon (2003).
Indy Pro Series: Jeff Simmons (2006), Travis Gregg (2005), Phil Giebler (2004), Mark Taylor (2003).

2006 SERIES CHAMPIONS:
IndyCar Series: Sam Hornish Jr.
Indy Pro Series: Jay Howard

TV:
IndyCar Series: Race: ESPN2 (live), 8 p.m. (EDT), March24

Indy Pro Series: Race: ESPN2 (tape-delay), 5 p.m. (EST), March 28

RADIO:
IndyCar Series:

Pre-race: IMS Radio Network (live), 7:30 p.m. (EDT), March 24
Race: IMS Radio Network (live), 8:15 p.m. (EDT), March 24

SCHEDULE (all times local; subject to change):

Friday, March 23
11-11:45 a.m. Indy Pro Series practice (two groups)
Noon-2 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
4:45-5:30 p.m. Indy Pro Series practice (two groups)
5:40-7:40 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
7:50 p.m. Miami 100 SWE Race Car Parts Pole Qualifying
8:45 p.m. XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 Pole Qualifying

Saturday, March 24
9:35-10 a.m. Indy Pro Series final practice (two groups)
12:30 p.m. Miami 100 (67 laps/100 miles), ESPN2 (5 p.m., March 28)
8 p.m. XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 (200 laps/300 miles), ESPN2 & IMS Radio Network (live)

THE TRACK:
1.5-mile asphalt oval; 55 feet wide
Frontstraight: 1,760 feet banked at 4 degrees
Backstretch: 1,760 feet banked at 4 degrees
Turns: 650 feet variably banked at 18, 19 and 20 degrees

INDY-STYLE RACING IN SOUTH FLORIDA:
The 1.25-mile wood oval of Miami-Fulford Speedway opened in 1926. The track was designed by Ray Harroun, the inaugural winner of the Indianapolis 500, and was built by Carl Fisher, who also built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Pete DePaolo, who won the 1925 Indianapolis 500, won the only race at the track, a 300-mile race in 1926. A hurricane destroyed the track in September 1926. The wood and material from the track was used to rebuild the town of Miami Beach.

Open-wheel auto racing returned to South Florida in 1996 when the Homestead-Miami Speedway opened to racing. Built by Miami motorsports promoter Ralph Sanchez in hopes of aiding the revitalization of Homestead, Fla., the 1.5-mile oval hosted its first open-wheel race in 1996 when Jimmy Vasser won the inaugural Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami.

In 2001, the Indy Racing League made its debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway as Sam Hornish Jr. edged Sarah Fisher and Eliseo Salazar to win the inaugural Grand Prix of Miami, the first IndyCar Series event at the track.

Hornish won again in 2002, and Scott Dixon claimed his first victory in his IndyCar Series debut in 2003. Shortly after Dixon's victory, the track was re-configured to its current high-banked 1.5-mile layout.

INDYCAR SERIES NOTES:

*Four Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300: Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2006).

*Five IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002, 2006), Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

*Drivers entered in the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 as of March 14 have combined for 72 IndyCar Series victories, 67 pole positions and 1,007 starts.

*The XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 will be the seventh IndyCar Series event conducted at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Every former Miami winner is expected to participate including: Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002, 2004), Scott Dixon (2003) and Dan Wheldon (2005, 2006). The winner at Miami has gone on to win the IndyCar Series championship four times in the last six seasons.

INDY PRO SERIES NOTES:

* Fifth race, fifth race winner: None of the race winners from the previous four Indy Pro Series races at Homestead-Miami are entered in the Miami 100 meaning there will be a fifth winner in five events.

* Camara to take 'Iron man' status: Miami resident Jaime Camara will make his 27th consecutive Indy Pro Series start when he takes the green flag for the Miami 100. Camara competed for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in 2005 and for Andretti Green Racing in 2006. He returns in the AGR entry in 2007. Camara can tie Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s all-time mark for consecutive starts (31) at Milwaukee on June 2.

* 15 rookies in the field: As of March 14, 15 rookies were entered for the Miami 100 with two cars yet to list drivers. Sixteen rookies took the green flag at Michigan and Kentucky in the Indy Pro Series' inaugural season of 2002.

MILESTONES:

* Sam Hornish Jr. or Helio Castroneves can tie Scott Sharp's IndyCar Series record for most consectutive seasons with at least one win should either win the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300. Sharp claimed at least one win from 1997-2003.

* Sam Hornish Jr. will attempt to make his 100th start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He will become the second driver to reach the milestone, joining Scott Sharp.

* Dan Wheldon can become the 13th driver to win back-to-back IndyCar Series races should he win at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The last driver to win back-to-back events was Sam Hornish Jr., who won at Richmond and Kansas in 2006.

* Dan Wheldon can tie Sam Hornish Jr. as Homestead-Miami Speedway's winningest driver should he win the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300. Hornish has won at the track three times

* Dan Wheldon could become the first IndyCar Series driver to win three consecutive events at one track should he win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

* Scott Sharp needs one win to earn his 10th IndyCar Series victory and Sharp will attempt to extend his series record for consecutive starts to 122 straight races.

* Vitor Meira has gone 59 starts without a victory in the IndyCar Series, the longest drought of any IndyCar Series driver.

* A win by a driver from either Andretti Green Racing or Team Penske will break the tie the two team's have as the IndyCar Series' winningest team.

The 2007 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights with the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 24. The race will be telecast live by ESPN2 at 8 p.m. (EDT) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition begins with the Miami 100 on March 24 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be telecast at 5 p.m. (EDT) on March 28 by ESPN2.

ESPN2 also will preview the upcoming season of the IndyCar Series with a one-hour special that will air at 7 p.m. (EDT) March 16.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , Sarah Fisher , Eliseo Salazar , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Jimmy Vasser , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Sam Schmidt , Buddy Rice , Jeff Simmons , Phil Giebler , Travis Gregg , Jaime Camara , Jay Howard , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira , Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Teams Team Penske