IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-09-28

Today's IndyCar Series headlines 1. IndyCar Series teams to test at Barber Motorsports Park 2. Franchitti earns second straight Driver of the Year quarterly honor 3. Castroneves moves on in "Dancing With The Stars" 1. IndyCar Series teams to...

Today's IndyCar Series headlines
1. IndyCar Series teams to test at Barber Motorsports Park
2. Franchitti earns second straight Driver of the Year quarterly honor
3. Castroneves moves on in "Dancing With The Stars"

1. IndyCar Series teams to test at Barber Motorsports Park: The IndyCar® Series has scheduled a one-day Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., on Oct. 12.

The Open Test will mark the series' first visit to the 2.38-mile, 16-turn road course, which plays host annually to the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the AMA Superbike Championship.

The IndyCar Series will use the test as an opportunity for teams and drivers to have additional post-season track time as well as allow league technical officials to evaluate potential road-course modifications to cars for 2008.

"It's always exciting when we can bring our sport to a new market through off-season testing, especially one like Birmingham, which has a rich and storied history in motorsports," said Brian Barnhart, president of the competition and operations for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. "The test at Barber Motorsports Park will allow our teams to conduct a post-season Open Test earlier than in recent years while giving our drivers valuable seat time. The series plans to use this test as a way to research and evaluate potential road course applications to our cars for next season, including enhanced steering and paddleshifters."

A participant list for the Open Test will be released at a later date.

"Hosting an Open Test session for the IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park is truly exciting," said Brett Collins, vice-president of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive promoter and management team for the Barber Motorsports Park. "Of the many road racing facilities available to the IndyCar Series, we appreciate them choosing Barber to help meet their objectives. We also look forward to seeing America's premier open-wheel series run at one of the world's most beautiful motorsports parks."

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2. Franchitti earns second straight Driver of the Year quarterly honor: Winning the Indianapolis 500 helped Dario Franchitti earn second-quarter driver of the year honors. Taking the IndyCar Series championship earned him another honor.

Franchitti, who claimed the first major championship of his career when he won at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 9, was the top choice in media balloting for the third-quarter of 2007.

"It is quite an honor to receive the Driver of the Year award for the second-consecutive quarter," Franchitti said. "I am especially honored when you consider all of the very talented drivers throughout every series. I am very grateful to be recognized for a successful 2007 season that was highlighted by an IndyCar Series championship and Indianapolis 500 win."

Franchitti, who won two races, four poles, and had only one finish below eighth in the third quarter garnered seven first-place ballots and totaled 100 points. Former IndyCar Series champion Tony Stewart had three NASCAR Nextel Cup wins which netted two first-place votes and a total of 65 points.

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson was third with 51 points followed by 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and NHRA champion Tony Schumacher.

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3. Castroneves moves on in "Dancing With The Stars": IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves was given "a second lap" on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" show.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and his professional dance partner, Julianne Hough, advanced to the second round on Oct. 1 along with 10 other competitors.

Castroneves and Hough will dance either a mambo or quick step on the show.

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The 2008 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, features races on 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ABC Sports/ ESPN.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tony Schumacher , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Jimmie Johnson , Brian Barnhart