IRL: Pikes Peak fast facts

<pre> WHAT: Radisson Indy 200; Sixth of 13 races in 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season WHERE: Pikes Peak International Raceway, 1-mile paved tri-oval WHEN: 2 p.m. (MDT) Sunday, June 17 DISTANCE: 200 miles/200 laps POSTED...

<pre> WHAT: Radisson Indy 200; Sixth of 13 races in 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season

WHERE: Pikes Peak International Raceway, 1-mile paved tri-oval

WHEN: 2 p.m. (MDT) Sunday, June 17

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: Eddie Cheever Jr.

CURRENT SERIES POINTS LEADER: Sam Hornish Jr.

TV: (Pre-Race) Indy Racing 2Day ESPN2 (live), 10:30 a.m. (EDT), June 17

(Race)

ABC (live), 4 p.m. (EDT), June 17 Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice, Jason Priestley Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Jack Arute Replay: ESPN, 3:30 a.m. (EDT), June 23

(Qualifying)

ESPN2 (tape delay), 6:30 p.m. (EDT) June 16 Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice, Jason Priestley Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Jack Arute

RADIO:

(Race)

IMS Radio Network (live), 4 p.m. (EDT) June 17 Pre-race show starts at 3:30 p.m. Qualifying wrap-up show: 6:30 p.m. (EDT) June 16

Host: Mike King; Analyst: Johnny Parsons Jr. Announcer: Jerry Baker Sr. Pit Reporter: Mark Jaynes; Pit reporter: Kim Morris

Area affiliates: KWYD-AM 1580, Colorado Springs, Colo. KLMO-AM 1060, Denver

SCHEDULE (all times local):

(Saturday, June 16)

7 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens 9-11 a.m.: Practice (two groups) Noon-1:30 p.m.: Practice (two groups) 3 p.m.: MBNA Pole Qualifying 5 p.m.: Autograph session

(Sunday, June 17)

7 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens 10-10:30 a.m.: Final practice 1 p.m. Cars to grid 2 p.m. Radisson Indy 200 (200 miles/200 laps)

THE TRACK:

1-mile tri-oval Frontstraight: 1,510 feet Backstraight: 1,350 feet Turns: 1,209 feet Width: 60-71 feet Banking: Turns: 10 degrees; Frontstraight: 7 degrees; Backstraight: 3 degrees

Pikes Peak International Raceway is located just south of Colorado Springs, Colo., near the community of Fountain. The facility includes 42,787 permanent grandstands seats along with 32 VIP suites. Construction began in April 1996 and the track plays hosts to NASCAR, USAC and AMA events throughout the year on both the tri-oval and 1.38-mile infield road course. (More)

THE RACE:

*The Radisson Indy 200 marks the sixth time the Indy Racing Northern Light Series has visited Pikes Peak International Raceway. Past winners are Tony Stewart (1997), Kenny Brack (1998), Greg Ray (1999, summer and fall) and Eddie Cheever Jr. (2000).

</pre> RACE NOTES:

*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.

*Last year's race win by Eddie Cheever Jr. was the first victory for the Infiniti engine in Indy Racing League competition since the manufacturer entered the series in January 1997.

*Colorado connections: Buddy Lazier, the defending Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion and 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner who drives the Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet entry, hails from Vail, Colo. Lazier's younger brother, Jaques, who drives the Classmates.com/Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria entry, also resides in Vail. Buzz Calkins, from Denver, drives the Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat entry for Bradley Motorsports, owned by his father, Denver businessman Brad Calkins. Ross and Diana Hubbard, co-owners of Treadway-Hubbard Racing, live in Colorado Springs. Defending event champion Eddie Cheever Jr. formerly lived in Aspen.

*Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. and his family are no strangers to Pikes Peak. Unser won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 1983 while his uncle, Bobby Unser, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, holds the record for most victories with 13. He also shares a record for most consecutive victories in one division with six. Al Unser Jr.'s father, Al Unser Sr., a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, has two victories. All told, 12 Unsers have raced in the hill climb with seven family members scoring a total of 37 victories.

*The winner of the Radisson Indy 200 has gone on to win the Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship three out of the last four years. Tony Stewart, the 1997 Radisson Indy 200 winner, won the 1996-97 series championship. Kenny Brack won at PPIR in 1998 and went on to win the series championship, and Greg Ray, the 1999 Northern Light Series champ, won both events at PPIR in 1999. 2000 race winner Eddie Cheever Jr. finished third in points last year.

SERIES NOTES:

*At 21, Sam Hornish Jr. became the youngest driver to win an Indy Racing League event with his victory at the season opener March 18 in Phoenix. He followed that with a win at Homestead-Miami on April 8 and became the fourth driver in Indy Racing history to win consecutive races. Greg Ray was the last driver to win consecutive races (Dover, Pikes Peak - 1999).

*The Indy Racing Northern Light Series will consist of a record 13 races this year between mid-March and late September. Six new markets for the Northern Light Series will play host to events in 2001: Chicago, Miami, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., and Richmond, Va.

*Sarah Fisher's second-place finish at Homestead-Miami on April 8 was her career best and the best by a woman in the history of Indy-style racing.

*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.

*Rookie Felipe Giaffone has finished in the top-10 at every Indy Racing event in 2001. He finished a career-best second at Texas as well as finishing sixth and fourth at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami, respectively. Giaffone also finished 10th at Atlanta and Indianapolis and is fourth in the overall point standings, 47 points behind series leader Sam Hornish Jr., earning him the lead in the Rookie of the Year race. He has 140 points while Didier Andre is second with 53 points.

*Eliseo Salazar is the only driver besides rookie Felipe Giaffone to finish in the top 10 in all five races this season. Salazar drives for four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt and is second in the Northern Light Cup standings, 30 points behind Sam Hornish Jr.

*Scott Sharp's victory on June 9 at Texas was his sixth career Indy Racing League victory, the most of any driver. Sharp has earned at least one victory in five consecutive seasons. Sharp's victory also marked the second time this season that a driver successfully defended an event title. Greg Ray won April 28 in Atlanta for the second straight year.

*Greg Ray has won 11 career MBNA poles, a series record. His most recent pole came April 28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He has started in the top-four in 22 out of the last 24 Indy Racing events.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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