IRL: Phoenix Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 fast facts

WHAT: Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200; First of 13 races in 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season WHERE: Phoenix International Raceway, 1-mile paved oval WHEN: 2 p.m. (MST) Sunday, March 18 DISTANCE: 200 miles/200...

WHAT:

Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200; First of 13 races in 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season

WHERE:

Phoenix International Raceway, 1-mile paved oval

WHEN:

2 p.m. (MST) Sunday, March 18

DISTANCE:

200 miles/200 laps

POSTED AWARDS:

More than $1 million

CARS:

Dallara and G Force chassis; Oldsmobile V8 and Infiniti Indy V8 3.5-liter engines; Firestone tires

2000 RACE WINNER:

Buddy Lazier

2000 NORTHERN LIGHT SERIES CHAMPION:

Buddy Lazier

TV:

(Pre-Race)
Indy Racing 2Day
ESPN2 (live), 11:30 a.m. (EST), March 18

(Race)
ABC (live), 4 p.m. (EST), March 18

(Qualifying)
ESPN2 (tape delay), 4:30 p.m. (EST) March 17

RADIO:

(Race)
IMS Radio Network (live), 4 p.m. (EST) March 18
Pre-race show starts at 3:30 p.m.
Host: Mike King; Analyst: Johnny Parsons Jr.
Announcer: Jerry Baker
Sr. Pit Reporter: Mark Jaynes; Pit reporter: Kim Morris
Area affiliate: KMVP-AM 860, Phoenix.

(Qualifying)
Indy Racing Radio Network, 4:30 p.m. (EST) March 17
Host: Mike King; Analyst: Johnny Parsons Jr.
Announcer: Jerry Baker
Sr. Pit Reporter: Mark Jaynes; Pit reporter: Kim Morris

SCHEDULE (all times local):

(Thursday, March 15)
5:30-9:30 p.m.: Driver autograph session and street party at the Arizona Center, located in downtown Phoenix

(Friday, March 16)
7 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 17)
7 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens
9:00-10:30 a.m.: Practice (two groups)
Noon-1:15 p.m.: MBNA Pole Qualifying

(Sunday, March 18)
7 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens
10-10:30 a.m.: Final practice
1 p.m.: Cars to grid
2 p.m.: Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 (200 miles/200 laps)

TRACK RECORDS:

(Qualifying)
Arie Luyendyk, Reynard/Ford Cosworth/Firestone, 19.608 sec., 183.599 mph, March 23, 1996

(Race)
Roberto Guerrero, March/Cosworth/Goodyear, 200 laps/200 miles, 1:26:56.620, April 12, 1987

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. 78,480 permanent seats plus the hillside surround the oval that has been the site of 56 Indy-style races. In addition to the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, PIR plays host to events sanctioned by NASCAR, USAC, and Grand American Road Racing Association.

THE RACE:

*The Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 marks the sixth consecutive year that the Indy Racing Northern Light Series 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) and Buddy Lazier (2000).

RACE NOTES:

*The Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 marks the first time Galles Racing is competing in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series as a three-car team. Galles fielded a car for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. in 2000 and has added rookies Casey Mears and Didier Andre to the operation for 2001.

*Three Indianapolis 500 winners are entered in this event: 1998 champion Eddie Cheever Jr., 1996 champion Buddy Lazier and 1992 and 1994 champion Al Unser Jr.

*Stephan Gregoire, chasing his elusive first win in Indy Racing competition, posted the fastest speed in the Feb. 9-10 Test in the West at PIR with a lap of 20.361 seconds, 176.808 mph. His lap would have earned him the MBNA Pole for the 2000 Northern Light Series race, which Greg Ray captured at 176.566 mph. Gregoire drives the Dick Simon Racing/Jack K. Elrod Co./Nada Guides Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

*Indy Racing sophomore sensation Sam Hornish Jr. is a favorite to capture the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 after posting the second fastest speed at the Test in the West at PIR, with a lap of 176.554 mph in the Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

*Four Indy Racing rookies are confirmed to participate in the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200: Felipe Giaffone (Treadway Racing); Brandon Erwin (McCormack Motorsports); Casey Mears (Galles Racing); and Didier Andre (Galles Racing).

*Team Penske, which has won 10 Indianapolis 500s, will enter Indy Racing competition with Helio Castroneves and 2000 CART champion Gil de Ferran. The team also will compete in the 85th Indianapolis 500.

SERIES NOTES:

*The Indy Racing Northern Light Series will consist of a record 13 races beginning March 18 with the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway and ending Sept. 16 with the Excite 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The 85th Indianapolis 500 will take place May 27.

*Six new markets for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series will play host to events in 2001: Chicago, Miami, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., and Richmond, Va.

*All 13 races on the Indy Racing Northern Light Series schedule will be shown live on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 as the series enters the second year of a five-year contact with ABC/ESPN. All races also will be broadcast live on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.

*The Indy Racing League will not award qualifying points this year in an effort to discourage teams from building fragile but fast qualifying engines that provide an advantage over those teams lacking the budget to build the costly extra engines.

*Buddy Lazier looks to become the first driver in Indy Racing Northern Light Series history to repeat as series champion. Lazier also has set the goal of becoming the first driver to win the Northern Light Cup and Indianapolis 500 in the same season.

*A.J. Foyt Racing is fielding just one car this season in the Northern Light Series after entering two cars per season since 1996. That increased focus could help Foyt's driver, Eliseo Salazar, return to the winner's circle and win the Northern Light Cup. Foyt's team hasn't won a race since May 1999, and Salazar hasn't won since October 1997.

*Davey Hamilton, the only driver to compete in every Indy Racing Northern Light Series event to date, has signed a contract to drive for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Hamilton, of Las Vegas, will drive the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone for former Indy Racing competitor and fellow Las Vegan Sam Schmidt. Schmidt started his team in February. Hamilton placed second in the series championship standings in the 1996-97 and 1998 seasons.

<pre> 2000 FINAL STATISTICS:

Point standings 1. Buddy Lazier 290 2. Scott Goodyear 272 3. Eddie Cheever Jr. 257 4. Eliseo Salazar 210 5. Mark Dismore 202 6. Donnie Beechler 202 7. Scott Sharp 196 8. Robbie Buhl 190 9. Al Unser Jr. 188 10. Billy Boat 181

Money leaders 1. Buddy Lazier $2,176,200 2. Juan Montoya $1,235,690 3. Scott Goodyear $885,900 4. Eddie Cheever Jr. $880,700 5. Greg Ray $851,700 6. Eliseo Salazar $826,000 7. Al Unser Jr. $780,300 8. Scott Sharp $768,050 9. Mark Dismore $713,950 10. Robbie Buhl $685,500

Wins 1. Buddy Lazier 2 2. Robbie Buhl 1 Eddie Cheever Jr. 1 Scott Goodyear 1 Juan Montoya 1 Greg Ray 1 Scott Sharp 1 Al Unser Jr. 1

Rookie points 1. Airton Dar=E9 142 2. Jeret Schroeder 136 3. Sarah Fisher 124 4. Sam Hornish Jr. 110 5. Shigeaki Hattori 109 6. Doug Didero 43

Indy Net Race Live lap leaders 1. Greg Ray 299 2. Buddy Lazier 242 3. Al Unser Jr. 220 4. Scott Sharp 174 5. Juan Montoya 167

MBNA Poles* 1. Greg Ray 5 2. Mark Dismore 1 Scott Goodyear 1

Wins by chassis 1. Dallara 5 2. G Force 3 3. Riley & Scott 1

Wins by engine 1. Oldsmobile 8 2. Infiniti 1

*Walt Disney World and first Texas qualifying canceled due to rain. Greg Ray started first at WDW and Buddy Lazier first at Texas as field was ordered by entrant points.

-IRNLS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Casey Mears , Robbie Buhl , Shigeaki Hattori , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Davey Hamilton , Didier André , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Jeret Schroeder , Brandon Erwin , Roberto Guerrero , Donnie Beechler , Sam Schmidt , Johnny Parsons , Dick Simon , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske