RACE NOTES: Indy Racing League: *Four Indianapolis 500 champions are entered for this event: Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998) and Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002). *Eddie Cheever Jr. won last year's event,...
Indy Racing League:
*Four Indianapolis 500 champions are entered for this event: Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998) and Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002).
*Eddie Cheever Jr. won last year's event, giving the Infiniti engine its second Indy Racing League victory.
*Marlboro Team Penske will make its first appearance at Kansas Speedway as full-time competitors in the Indy Racing League. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran drive for the team, owned by the legendary Roger Penske.
*The Ameristar Casino Indy 200 will be the third of six Indy Racing League events to take place on a 1.5-mile track this season. Sam Hornish Jr. won in March at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway and Jeff Ward won in June at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.
Infiniti Pro Series:
*This is the first event for the new Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, which will debut just 10 months after it was announced.
Indy Racing League:
*The Indy Racing League consists of a record 15 races this year between early-March and mid-September, including three new venues. California Speedway (won by Sam Hornish Jr.) and Nazareth Speedway (won by Scott Sharp) already have played host to Indy Racing for the first time, while Michigan International Speedway will showcase the series for the first time July 28.
*Jeff Ward's margin of victory of .0111 of a second over Al Unser Jr. on June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway is the closest finish in Indy Racing history. Sam Hornish Jr.'s margin of victory of .0281 of a second over Jaques Lazier on March 24 at California Speedway is the third-closest finish in league history. Twenty-two Indy Racing events have been decided by less than a second.
*Sam Hornish Jr. earned his sixth career Indy Racing League victory June 29 at Richmond International Raceway, moving him to third on the all-time IRL list behind Buddy Lazier, who has eight, and Scott Sharp, who has seven. Hornish is the quickest driver to obtain six IRL career wins, doing so in 29 starts. Scott Sharp was previously the quickest driver to earn six wins, in 43 starts.
*Gil de Ferran led an Indy Racing League record 269 consecutive laps stretched over two IRL events. de Ferran led the final 186 laps June 16 at Pikes Peak International Raceway and the first 83 laps June 29 at Richmond International Raceway. He has now led 538 total laps in his IRL career, placing him eighth on the all-time lap leader list.
*Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves and Al Unser Jr. are the only drivers who have been running at the finish of every Indy Racing League event this year.
Infiniti Pro Series:
*Plans for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series were announced Aug. 31, 2001. The first race will take place July 7, 2002, just 310 days after that announcement.
*A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, and Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, will participate in the Infiniti Pro Series. Actor/driver Jason Priestley also will drive in the series.
*Ed Carpenter, driver of the No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi entry, finished second in the Weld Racing USAC Silver Crown race June 29 at Richmond International Raceway.
*Infiniti Pro Series drivers and teams completed 1,014 laps during Open Tests June 22 at Gateway International Raceway and June 24 at Chicagoland Speedway.
*The Infiniti Pro Series consists of seven races beginning July 7 at Kansas Speedway and culminating with the season finale Sept. 14 at Texas Motor Speedway. The 100-mile "sprints" will take place at the same track and on the same day as Indy Racing League events except for the Texas race, which will be conducted the day before the IRL's season-ending Chevy 500. Drivers will compete for a $100,000 purse at each Infiniti Pro Series race, and all events will be broadcast by ESPN2 and distributed worldwide via ESPN International.