IRL: Behind the Barriers: Richmond

Saturday night's SunTrust Indy challenge is the sixth IndyCar Series event at Richmond International Raceway. All five previous winners are entered in the event; Buddy Lazier (2001), Sam Hornish (2002), Scott Dixon (2003), Dan Wheldon (2004) and...

Saturday night's SunTrust Indy challenge is the sixth IndyCar Series event at Richmond International Raceway. All five previous winners are entered in the event; Buddy Lazier (2001), Sam Hornish (2002), Scott Dixon (2003), Dan Wheldon (2004) and Helio Castroneves (2005).

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If qualifying had not been rained out the IndyCar Series drivers would have been attempting to expand the gap to the 129.983 mph NASCAR NEXTEL Cup track record set by Brain Vickers in 2004. The outright track record at Richmond is 176.244 mph set last year by Sam Hornish. The gap of 46.24 mph is the largest of any track where both series compete. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the gap is 45.43 mph.

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Chris Economaki, whose entertaining new book "Let 'Em All Go!, The Story of Auto Racing by the Man Who Was There," will serve as the Grand Marshall for Saturday night's race. Economaki was the public address announcer at Richmond's first race, won by Ted Horn on October 12, 1946.

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Jeff Bucknam and Jaime Camara have been interested spectators at Richmond this weekend. Camara, who competes in the Indy Pro Series, tested Tony Kanaan's No. 11 Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda at Nashville last week. "I thought there would be a huge difference in speed," compared to my Pro Series car. "The big difference was in the G-forces," said Camara.

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As part of celebration commemorating the first open wheel race at Richmond 60 years ago, an open wheel car driven by Richmond native Al Fleming in that first race will be on display on the midway behind the main grandstands.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Jaime Camara , Sam Hornis