* Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 Takes on Final Short Track on IRL Schedule Sunday's Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway will be the first and only short-track event in 2003 with all five Chevrolet teams and six Chevrolet drivers using the new Gen IV...
* Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 Takes on Final Short Track on IRL Schedule
Sunday's Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway will be the first and only short-track event in 2003 with all five Chevrolet teams and six Chevrolet drivers using the new Gen IV Chevy Indy V8. The Nazareth race also marks the end of a grueling stretch of three races in 15 days and seven events in nine weeks.
Nominally a 1-mile oval, the Nazareth track has an irregular shape with kinks, doglegs and an elevation change of 34 feet. The track demands a wide torque curve and quick acceleration from the engine. Engine speeds will range from approximately 8,000 rpm in the slow corners to the IRL-mandated maximum of 10,300 rpm. Drivers will have the option to shift gears on this challenging track.
Buddy Rice, driver of Red Bull Cheever Racing's Chevrolet Dallara, is the only driver who has previously raced with the Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 on a short track. Under the phased introduction plan prescribed by IRL officials when the new Chevrolet engine was approved, Rice tested the Gen IV in racing conditions on Aug. 10 at the Emerson Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. The Gen IV Chevy lineup at Nazareth Speedway includes Sam Hornish Jr. (Panther Racing), Buddy Rice (Red Bull Cheever Racing), Jaques Lazier (Team Menard), Buddy Lazier (Hemelgarn Racing), Robbie Buhl (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing), and Sarah Fisher (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing).
* 101 Chevy Indy V8 Victories
Sam Hornish Jr.'s victory in last weekend's Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway marked the 101st victory by a Chevy Indy V8 engine. The 2.65-liter turbocharged Chevy Indy V8 (produced in three versions designated "A," "B," and "C") won 86 times and claimed 80 poles in CART and USAC-sanctioned events in 1987-93. Chevy returned to open-wheel racing in 2002 with 3.5-liter naturally aspirated Gen I and Gen II Chevy Indy V8s that won 14 out of 15 races and nine poles in IRL competition last season. The Gen III engine that began the 2003 season was superceded by the Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 that propelled Hornish to the winner's circle.
* On the Record
Hornish's victory at Kentucky Speedway was the ninth of his career, a record for the most wins by an IRL driver. Hornish has driven GM-powered cars exclusively in the IndyCar Series, highlighted by back-to-back IRL championships in 2001-2002.
Hornish's other IRL records include:
Most laps led: 1,767
Consecutive top-10 starts: 25
Consecutive top-10 finishes: 12
Consecutive running at finish: 18
Consecutive top-five finishes: 7 (tied with Helio Castroneves)
Consecutive races led: 10 (tied with Tony Stewart)
* Racing Around
Chevrolet will be represented in three major motorsports series this weekend: Chevy Indy V8s at Nazareth Speedway, Monte Carlo with NASCAR in Bristol, Tenn., and the Corvette Racing team in the American Le Mans Series in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Chevrolet is the only manufacturer currently competing in the IRL, NASCAR Winston Cup, NHRA and American Le Mans Series.