IPS: IRL: Texas pre-race notes, schedule

IndyCarTM Series: Chevy 500, final race in 16-race 2003 season Menards Infiniti Pro Series: dreamerscandles.com 100, final race in 12-race 2003 season WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval WHEN: IndyCar Series: 2:45 p.m....

IndyCarTM Series:
Chevy 500, final race in 16-race 2003 season

Menards Infiniti Pro Series:
dreamerscandles.com 100, final race in 12-race 2003 season

WHERE:
Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval

WHEN:

IndyCar Series:
2:45 p.m. (CDT), Sunday, Oct. 12

Menards Infiniti Pro Series:
5 p.m. (CDT), Saturday, Oct. 11

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

TV:

IndyCar Series:
Pre-race: ESPN2 (live), "Indy Racing 2Day," noon (EDT), Oct. 12
Race: ESPN (live), 3:30 p.m. (EDT), Oct. 12
Race rebroadcast: ESPN2 (tape) 3 a.m. (EDT), Oct. 15

Menards Infiniti Pro Series:
Highlights: ESPN2, 3 p.m. (EDT), Oct. 16

RADIO:

IndyCar Series:
Qualifying wrap-up show: IMS Radio Network, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 11
Pre-race: IMS Radio Network (live), 3 p.m. (EDT), Oct. 12
Race: IMS Radio Network (live), 3:45 p.m. (EDT), Oct. 12

Live coverage of MBNA Pole Qualifying (7:30 p.m. EDT, Oct. 10) and the race also will be available at www.indyracing.com

SCHEDULE (all times local; subject to change):

Friday, Oct. 10
11:15-11:45 a.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice
Noon-1 p.m IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
2:30-3 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice
3:15-4:15 p.m. IndyCar Series practice
5:45 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series qualifying
6:30 p.m. IndyCar Series MBNA Pole Qualifying

Saturday, Sept. 20
9-10 a.m. IndyCar Series practice
11:30-11:45 a.m. Final Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice
2:30 p.m. Final IndyCar Series practice
5 p.m.dreamerscandles.com 100 (67laps/100 miles), ESPN2, 3 p.m. (EDT), Oct.10

Sunday, Sept. 21
2:45 p.m. Chevy 500 (200 laps/300 miles), ABC-TV & IMS Radio Network (live)

THE TRACK:
1.5-mile asphalt oval; 58 feet wide (minimum)
Frontstraight: 2,250 feet banked at 5 degrees
Backstraight: 1,330 feet banked at 5 degrees
Turns: 750 feet banked at 24 degrees

*Texas Motor Speedway is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports Inc. The facility, which opened in 1997, features 154,861 permanent seats and 144 luxury suites. The 1.5-mile asphalt oval was repaved in the summer of 2001.

INDYCAR SERIES NOTES:

*The top five drivers in the IndyCar Series point standings are still eligible for the championship. Castroneves, Dixon and Kanaan can win the championship with a victory. Hornish can clinch with a victory, but needs Castroneves and Dixon to finish no higher than fourth. De Ferran can clinch if he wins and Castroneves and Dixon finishes no better than 10th, Kanaan no better than seventh and Hornish no better than third.

*Four Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the Chevy 500: Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Kenny Brack (1999), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002) and Gil de Ferran (2003).

*Drivers entered in the Chevy 500 have combined for 107 IRL or CART victories, 96 pole positions and 1,617 starts.

*Four IRL IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the Chevy 500: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Kenny Brack (1998), Greg Ray (1999) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002). A.J. Foyt IV, the 2002 Infiniti Pro Series champion and grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, also will participate in the Chevy 500.

*The Chevy 500 will be the 13th IRL IndyCar Series event conducted at Texas. Former Texas winners expected to participate include: Scott Sharp (spring 2000, 2001), Sam Hornish Jr. (fall 2001, 2002), Al Unser Jr. (spring 2003).

*Eight of the 12 IndyCar Series conducted at Texas have featured a margin of victory of less than a second. On Sept. 15, 2002, Sam Hornish Jr. defeated Helio Castroneves by .0096 of a second, the second-closest finish in IndyCar Series history.

*The Chevy 500 will be the last of seven events in 2003 contested on a 1.5-mile track. Winners in 2003 on 1.5-mile tracks: Scott Dixon (Homestead-Miami Speedway), Scott Sharp (Twin Ring Motegi), Al Unser Jr. (Texas Motor Speedway), Bryan Herta (Kansas Speedway), Sam Hornish Jr. (Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway). Tracks 1.5-miles in length have produced the four closest finishes in IndyCar Series history.

*Nine of the 11 events in the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series season that have finished under green have featured a margin of victory of less than one second, including the Delphi Indy 300 on Sept. 7 at Chicagoland Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. defeated Scott Dixon by just .0099 of a second in the third closest IndyCar Series race in history. Bryan Herta finished third, just .0100 of a second behind Hornish and .0001 behind second-place Dixon. The .0100 margin from first to third was the closest 1-2-3 finish in series history. A total of 36 IndyCar Series events have had a margin of victory of less than a second.

*In 15 races thus far in 2003, there have been nine different winners, tying the record set in 1996-97 and 2002. Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran and Sam Hornish Jr. are the only multiple winners. Dixon won at Homestead-Miami, Pikes Peak and Richmond, de Ferran won at Indianapolis and Nashville, Castroneves won at Gateway and Nazareth, and Hornish won at Kentucky and Chicagoland. In those 15 races, 16 different drivers have finished in the top five in at least one event.

*Scott Dixon became the first driver in IRL IndyCar Series history to lead consecutive laps throughout three consecutive races. He led the last 84 laps June 15 en route to a victory at Pikes Peak and led all 206 laps of the rain-shortened SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 28 at Richmond. He then led the first 53 laps on July 7 at Kansas for a total of 343 consecutive laps led.

*Scott Dixon earned his third career IRL IndyCar Series victory June 28 at Richmond in only his seventh series start, tying the record set by Helio Castroneves at the 2002 Indianapolis 500.

*Sam Hornish Jr.'s winning average speed for the Toyota Indy 400 Sept. 21 at California Speedway was 207.151 mph, the fastest auto race ever on a closed course. Hornish also won the second- and third-fastest IndyCar Series races, averaging 197.897 mph at the Belterra Casino Indy 300 Aug. 17 at Kentucky and 184.294 mph Sept. 7 at Chicagoland. Alex Barron won the July 27 race at Michigan International Speedway and averaged 180.917, the fourth fastest race in series history.

*At the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway, only six of the 200 laps were run under caution, a new IndyCar Series record. There was only one caution, for debris, which tied the record set in August at Kentucky. There were no accidents during the 200-lap race.

*Sam Hornish Jr. extended his IndyCar Series record for career victories with a victory at California. He has won 11 IndyCar Series events.

*Scott Dixon won his fifth MBNA Pole of the season at Nazareth and joined Billy Boat and Greg Ray as the only drivers to win five poles in a season. Boat won six poles in 1998, and Ray won five poles in 2000. Dixon has won five MBNA Poles in just 13 races. He ties Boat for least number of races to obtain five poles.

*In the last four races, only one driver, Bryan Herta at California, has dropped out of the race before the 100-lap mark, and an average of 17 cars have been running at the finish, including 18 at Kentucky, 19 at Chicagoland and 20 at California. At those three races, only two cars failed to finish.

*The 20-car IndyCar Series field for the August Kentucky event was separated by .5367 of a second, the closest field in IndyCar Series history. The margin at Chicagoland was .6218 of a second, the third-closest field in history.

*Scott Dixon has led a record 13 races this season. The previous record was 12, shared by Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves. Castroneves did it in 2002 and Hornish did it in both 2001 and 2002.

MENARDS INFINITI PRO SERIES NOTES:

*The second season of Menards Infiniti Pro Series competition consists of 12 races that take place in conjunction with IRL IndyCar Series events.

*Rookie Mark Taylor clinched the Menards Infiniti Pro Series championship with his victory at Chicagoland Speedway. He has amassed 466 points, while second place Jeff Simmons has 367 points.

*Ed Carpenter won the historic Freedom 100 on May 18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway driving for A.J. Foyt Racing. The race marked the first time that an automobile race in addition to the Indianapolis 500 had been conducted on the 2.5-mile oval during the month of May.

*Rookie Mark Taylor has won seven events in 2003, setting the record for most victories in a season and most career victories. He drives for Panther Racing, the team that won the IndyCar Series championship in 2001 and 2002 with Sam Hornish Jr.

*Mark Taylor defeated Ed Carpenter by .0170 of second to win the Sept. 6 Chicagoland 100. The margin was the closest in Menards Infiniti Pro Series history. The previous closest finish was .0379 in 2002 at Texas Motor Speedway.

*Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver Ed Carpenter made his IndyCar Series debut at Chicagoland. He finished 13th and became the first driver to compete in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series and IndyCar Series event in the same weekend. He competed at California and will compete in IndyCar Series Chevy 500.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , Greg Ray , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , A.J. Foyt IV , Scott Dixon , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Jeff Simmons , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Ed Carpenter , Sam Hornis
Teams Panther Racing