IPS: IRL: Nashville: Pre-race notes

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). -- Marlboro Team Penske will make its...

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).

-- Marlboro Team Penske will make its first appearance at Nashville Superspeedway 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 Firestone Indy 200 is the only Indy Racing event to take place on a concrete surface. This is only the second concrete track on which Indy Racing has competed. Races took place in 1998 and 1999 on the 1-mile concrete oval at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del.

-- The Firestone Indy 200 is the only race to take place on a 1.33-mile track and is the third and final night race of the season. Jeff Ward won the first night race of the season June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway, and Sam Hornish Jr. won the second night race of the season June 30 at Richmond International Raceway.

Infiniti Pro Series:

-- The Firestone Indy 200 will be the first time that Infiniti Pro Series cars have competed on a concrete surface.

-- The event is the first and only night race of the season for the Infiniti Pro Series.

SERIES NOTES:

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-three Indy Racing events have been decided by less than a second.

-- Airton Daré scored his first career Indy Racing League victory July 7 at Kansas Speedway. Daré drives for four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.

-- The Ameristar Casino Indy 200 July 7 at Kansas marked fifth time in nine IRL races this season that the winner has not assumed the lead until three laps or less were remaining.

-- Marlboro Team Penske teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves 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 took place July 7, 2002, at Kansas Speedway, just 310 days after that announcement.

-- A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, led 63 of 73 laps en route to winning the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series event on July 7 at Kansas Speedway. Actor/driver Jason Priestley finished second, with Cory Witherill third.

-- In addition to Foyt, Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, participates in the Infiniti Pro Series.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Airton Daré , Cory Witherill , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , A.J. Foyt IV , Jaques Lazier  , Al Unser Sr. , Jason Priestley , Roger Penske , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Teams Team Penske