IRL: Motegi: Notes of interest, schedule

IndyCar Series: Indy Japan 300, third race in 16-race 2003 season; first IndyCar Series event that will take place outside of the United States. Twin Ring Motegi, 1.5-mile asphalt oval 200 laps/300 miles TV: Race: ABC (tape-delayed), 1 p.m.

IndyCar Series: Indy Japan 300, third race in 16-race 2003 season; first IndyCar Series event that will take place outside of the United States.

Twin Ring Motegi, 1.5-mile asphalt oval
200 laps/300 miles

TV:
Race: ABC (tape-delayed), 1 p.m. (EDT), April 13

SCHEDULE (Japan Time; subject to change):
Japan Time is 13 hours behind Eastern Daylight Time (New York), 14 hours behind Eastern Standard Time (Indianapolis).

Friday, April 11
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
2:30-4 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)

Saturday, April 12
10-11:30 a.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
1 p.m. IndyCar Series MBNA Pole Qualifying
2:45-3:15 p.m. Autograph session
4:15-4:45 p.m. Final IndyCar Series practice

Sunday, April 13
11:30 a.m. Grid IndyCar Series cars
12:30 p.m. Indy Japan 300 (200 laps/300 miles), ABC (tape-delayed 4/13/03, 1 p.m. EST)

RACE NOTES:

-- Four Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the Indy Japan 300: Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Buddy Lazier (1996), Kenny Brack (1999) and Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002).

-- Five IRL IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the Indy Japan 300: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Kenny Brack (1998), Greg Ray (1999), Buddy Lazier (2000) 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 Indy Japan 300.

-- The Indy Japan 300 marks the first time an IRL IndyCar Series event will take place outside of the United States.

-- Michael Andretti (2000) and Kenny Brack (2001) both won CART events conducted at Twin Ring Motegi.

-- Alex Barron, who finished fifth in IRL IndyCar Series points in 2002, will compete in the Indy Japan 300 for Marlboro Team Penske as a replacement for two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran. de Ferran was not cleared to drive for the event due to a back injury suffered in the March 23 event at Phoenix.

SERIES NOTES:

-- Both events in the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series season have featured a finish of less than one second. At the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Scott Dixon defeated Gil de Ferran by .5752 of a second for victory. At the Purex Dial Indy 200 on March 23 at Phoenix International Raceway, Tony Kanaan defeated Helio Castroneves by .9328 of a second. The Phoenix race was the 29th time an IndyCar Series event had a margin of victory of less than a second.

-- Andretti Green Racing is competing in the IndyCar Series for the first time in 2003, fielding cars for Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and co-owner Michael Andretti. Kanaan scored the first victory for himself and the team in IRL IndyCar Series competition at the Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix.

-- Scott Dixon won the Toyota Indy 300 on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in his first IRL IndyCar Series event. The only other times a driver has won the race in his first start was when Juan Montoya won the 84th Indianapolis 500 in 2000 and when Buzz Calkins won the inaugural series event in January 1996 at Orlando, Fla. Montoya drove for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, as does Dixon.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing