IRL: Motegi Notes and Quotes

Notes from the Bridgestone Japan Indy 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi: Nearly half the 24 drivers entered in Sunday's Bridgestone Japan Indy 300 have competed on Twin Ring Motegi in the past. Only Michael Andretti (2000) and Kenny Brack (2001) have...

Notes from the Bridgestone Japan Indy 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi:

Nearly half the 24 drivers entered in Sunday's Bridgestone Japan Indy 300 have competed on Twin Ring Motegi in the past. Only Michael Andretti (2000) and Kenny Brack (2001) have scored victories on the 1.52-mile oval.

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Alex Barron will substitute for Gil de Ferran who was injured at Phoenix International Raceway last month. Dan Wheldon will replace Dario Franchitti after Franchitti was injured in a motorcycle accident in Scotland. Franchitti suffered a slight fracture to his L1 vertebrae. Wheldon, who is a test driver for Andretti Green Racing, is slated to replace Michael Andretti when he retires. Andretti has announced that he will retire after competing in the Indianapolis 500 next month.

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After using a Dallara chassis since joining the Indy Racing League last year, Marlboro Team Penske will field a Panoz G Force chassis for Alex Barron at this race. "Our philosophy has always been to continually evaluate our options to ensure we are racing the most competitive equipment available," noted Penske Racing president Tim Cindric.

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Firestone Racing has brought 1,078 tires to Japan, enough to provide each team with eight sets. To conserve space, 778 of the tires were mounted on team's wheels at the Indianapolis Airport before being loaded on the NCA cargo planes.

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Team Target is looking for their second consecutive victory at TRM. Bruno Junqueira won here last year after starting from the pole.

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Tomas Scheckter recently competed in the 2003 Met-Rx Superstars Competition in Jamaica where he faced off against several NFL players in a series of athletic activities. Scheckter finished second in the Competition after winning 4 of the first 5 events. He won the wall climb, swimming, biking and kayaking events.

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Despite competing in races in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, A. J. Foyt has never set foot in Japan. "I had planed to go over there a couple of times in the past, but I got hurt in a race car and had to cancel my trips." Foyt's grandson, A.J. Foyt IV is one of four rookies competing in Sunday's race.

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Dan Wheldon, A. J. Foyt Jr., Roger Yasukawa and Scott Mayer are all eligible for the season end Bombardier Rookie of the Year title, which includes a $50,000 cash award.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , A.J. Foyt IV , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Roger Yasukawa , Scott Mayer
Teams Team Penske