INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Sept. 7, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Castroneves, Rice return to Richmond for IROC 2. New look for Wheldon at Chicagoland 1. Castroneves, Rice return to Richmond for IROC: IRL IndyCarÂ® Series standouts...
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Sept. 7, 2005
Today's IRL headlines
1. Castroneves, Rice return to Richmond for IROC
2. New look for Wheldon at Chicagoland
1. Castroneves, Rice return to Richmond for IROC: IRL IndyCar® Series standouts Helio Castroneves and Buddy Rice return to Richmond International Raceway this week to compete in round 3 of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions.
The former Indianapolis 500 champions each spent the early part of the week testing at Richmond to re-acclimate themselves to the identically prepared stock cars. The series, which pits champions of various racing series against each other, has been idle since April when it raced at Texas Motor Speedway.
"It's a little different when you drive a car this heavy on such a tight circuit," said Rice, who is tied with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup veteran Matt Kenseth for fourth in the series point standings. "The IndyCar (Series) cars are wide open here, so the IROC cars are a bit of a challenge getting used to at Richmond. It's going to be different for us too because the race is at night and the track will change. We've just got to be patient and disciplined because there's a lot of things happening -- you've got to lift and brake and they'll be a lot going on around you, so it'll be exciting."
Rice, who finished fourth at the Texas race, will start ninth in the inverted field format. Castroneves, who ranks 10th in the point standings, will start third. For Castroneves, the 90-lap race at RIR will be his first visit to the .75-mile oval since winning the IndyCar Series' SunTrust Indy Challenge in June.
"Well, it sure is different, especially the pace," he said. "We run like 15-seconds around here (Richmond), so you really have to reset your mind, and it's a challenge. I really think about what the IROC car is doing, you don't have as much downforce and you really feel the car transition -- it's so completely different and a lot of fun. The good news is, I have last year under my belt here with IROC, and I have a really good feel for this coming back this year."
The Crown Royal International Race of Champions is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 8. It will be telecast by SPEED Channel.
2. New look for Wheldon at Chicagoland: Dan Wheldon's No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Honda-powered Dallara will look slightly different this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
Wheldon's car will sport a paint-scheme showcasing Jim Beam Black, another award-winning bourbon produced by Jim Beam Brands. Several portions of Wheldon's familiar Klein Tools/Jim Beam scheme will be black this weekend to reflect the promotion.
Jim Beam Black is aged eight years and bottled at 86-proof, whereas Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon is aged 4 years and bottled at 80 proof.
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 Presented by Mr. Clean at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 11 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Chicagoland 100 on Sept. 11 at Chicagoland Speedway. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Sept 15 by ESPN2.