IRL: Phoenix: Fast facts

Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 FAST FACTS WHAT: Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200; second race in 15-race 2002 Indy Racing League season WHERE: Phoenix International Raceway, 1-mile paved oval WHEN: 2 p.m. (MST) Sunday, March ...

Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200

FAST FACTS

WHAT: Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200; second race in 15-race 2002 Indy Racing League season

WHERE: Phoenix International Raceway, 1-mile paved oval

WHEN: 2 p.m. (MST) Sunday, March 17

DISTANCE: 200 miles/200 laps

POSTED AWARDS: More than $1 million

CARS: Dallara and G Force chassis; Chevy Indy V8 and Infiniti Indy V8 3.5-liter engines; Firestone tires

2001 RACE WINNER: Sam Hornish Jr.

2001 INDY RACING LEAGUE CHAMPION: Sam Hornish Jr.

TV:

(Pre-Race)
"Indy Racing 2Day"
ESPN2 (live), noon (EST), March 17

(Race)
ABC (live), 4 p.m. (EST), March 17
Host: Bob Jenkins
Announcers: Paul Page, Scott Goodyear
Pit reporters: Jack Arute, Gary Gerould

RADIO:

(MBNA Pole Qualifying)
IMS Radio Network, 5:30 p.m. (EST) March 16

(Race)
IMS Radio Network (live), 4 p.m. (EST) March 17
Pre-race show starts at 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Host: Mike King; Analyst: Johnny Parsons Jr.
Turn reporter: Mark Jaynes; Pit Reporters: Kim Morris, Jim Murphy
Area affiliate: KMVP-AM 860, Phoenix

SCHEDULE (all times local):

(Thursday, March 14)


7-9 p.m.: Driver autograph session, Arizona Center, downtown Phoenix

(Friday, March 15)


7:30 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Practice (Two groups)
2:30-3:30 p.m.: Practice (Two groups)

(Saturday, March 16)


7 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens
9-10:30 a.m.: Practice (Two groups)
Noon: MBNA Pole Qualifying

(Sunday, March 17)


7 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens
10-10:30 a.m.: Final practice (all starters)
1 p.m.: Cars to grid
2 p.m.: Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 (200 miles/200 laps)

THE TRACK:

1-mile paved oval
Front straightaway: 1,179 feet
Back straightaway: 1,551 feet
Width: 56-71 feet
Banking: Turns 1-2, 11 degrees; Turn 3-4, 9 degrees

Phoenix International Raceway, opened in 1964, is owned and operated by International Speedway Corp. The facility features a unique "dogleg" bend on the backstraight. 76,812 permanent seats plus the hillside surround the oval that has been the site of 57 Indy-style races. In addition to the Indy Racing League, PIR plays host to events sanctioned by NASCAR, USAC and Grand American Sports Car Series.

THE RACE:

The Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 marks the seventh consecutive year that the Indy Racing League has visited Phoenix International Raceway. There has not been a repeat winner at Phoenix in the history of the series. Winners of previous Indy Racing events at PIR: Arie Luyendyk (1996), Jim Guthrie (1997), Scott Sharp (1998), Scott Goodyear (1999), Buddy Lazier (2000) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2001).

RACE NOTES:

The Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 marks the second year that the annual Indy Racing League weekend is taking place in conjunction with the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Championship Series, the USAC Midget Car Series and the Supermodified Racing League. The SRL and Midget Car feature races are at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. (MST) March 16, respectively, and the Silver Crown feature is at 11:30 a.m. (MST) March 17.

Sam Hornish Jr. and the Pennzoil Panther Racing team enter the race as both favorites and defending race champions. Hornish has a two-race winning streak, having won the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2001 and the 2002 season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 2. He earned the MBNA Pole Award at Homestead and led 166 of 200 race laps.

Four Indianapolis 500 champions are entered for this event: Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998) and Helio Castroneves (2001).

The Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 marks the first time Marlboro Team Penske will race at Phoenix as full-time competitors in the Indy Racing League. Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves raced at Phoenix in 2001 but only as a warm-up for the Indianapolis 500 and without the traditional Marlboro Team Penske paint scheme on the cars. Castroneves finished 18th and de Ferran 24th in that race. At the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix on Miami on March 2 - the team's debut as full-time Indy Racing competitors - de Ferran finished second and Castroneves third.

SERIES NOTES:

The Indy Racing League consists of a record 15 races this year between early-March and mid-September. Three new speedways will play host to Indy Racing events in 2002: California Speedway on March 24, Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway on April 21 and Michigan International Speedway on July 28.

With his win at Miami, Sam Hornish Jr. and Pennzoil Panther Racing continued one of the most incredible streaks of consistency in motorsports history. From a personal standpoint, Hornish has now completed all but seven of the 2,850 laps he has run in his 14-race tenure with Panther Racing, and he has won four of those races and finished all of them. From a team standpoint, Pennzoil Panther Racing, with Hornish and former driver Scott Goodyear, have been running at the finish in 20 consecutive races and have failed to finish only once since the start of the 2000 season, in April 2000 at Las Vegas. Since the start of the 2000 season, Panther Racing has completed 99.3 percent of laps run, or 4,640 laps of a possible 4,674.

Hornish's win at Miami was the fourth of his career, tying him with Arie Luyendyk and Kenny Brack for fourth on the all-time Indy Racing career wins list.

The last time a defending series champion opened the season with a win before Hornish triumphed March 2 at Homestead-Miami was January 1998, when 1996-97 champion Tony Stewart won from the pole at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Veteran driver Jeff Ward led 29 laps at Miami, the first time he has led a race since April 2000 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ward is driving a full-time Indy Racing League team fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2002 season.

Gil de Ferran has finished second in two of his three career Indy Racing League starts. de Ferran finished second to Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves at the 2001 Indianapolis 500. Castroneves also has two top-five finishes in his three IRL races.

Red Bull Cheever Racing rookie Tomas Scheckter finished sixth in his first race on an oval on March 2 at Homestead-Miami.

STATISTICS:
2002 points leaders
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 52
2. Gil de Ferran 40
3. Helio Castroneves 35
4. Jeff Ward 32
5. Eliseo Salazar 30
6. Tomas Scheckter 28
7. Felipe Giaffone 26
8. Alex Barron 24
9. Anthony Lazzaro 22
10. Airton Daré 20

2002 money leaders
1. Sam Hornish Jr. $123,100
2. Gil de Ferran $79,750
3. Helio Castroneves $67,450
4. Jeff Ward $75,900
5. Eliseo Salazar $53,500

2002 wins
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 1

2002 rookie points
1. Tomas Scheckter 28
2. Anthony Lazzaro 22
3. George Mack 17
4. Laurent Redon 15
5. John de Vries 13

2002 laps led
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 166
2. Jeff Ward 29
3. Gil de Ferran 3
4. Helio Castroneves 2

2002 MBNA Poles
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 1

2002 wins by chassis
1. Dallara 1

2002 wins by engine
1. Chevrolet 1

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tomas Scheckter , Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Airton Daré , Scott Goodyear , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Anthony Lazzaro , Laurent Redon , George Mack , John de Vries , Chip Ganassi , Johnny Parsons , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing