IRL: Richmond: Round nine preview

FAST FACTS WHAT: SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM, ninth race in 17-race 2007 season WHERE: Richmond International Raceway, .75-mile asphalt oval WHEN: 7:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 30 DISTANCE: 250 laps/187.5 miles POSTED ...

FAST FACTS

WHAT: SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM, ninth race in 17-race 2007 season

WHERE: Richmond International Raceway, .75-mile asphalt oval

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 30

DISTANCE: 250 laps/187.5 miles

POSTED AWARDS: More than $1 million

CARS: Dallara chassis; Honda Indy V-8 engines; Firestone tires; 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol

PAST RACE WINNERS: 2001 -- Buddy Lazier; 2002 -- Sam Hornish Jr.; 2003 -- Scott Dixon; 2004 -- Dan Wheldon; 2005 -- Helio Castroneves; 2006 -- Sam Hornish Jr.

2006 SERIES CHAMPION: Sam Hornish Jr.

TV: Race: ESPN (live), 7:30 p.m. (ET), June 30

Note: Live streaming video coverage of AAMCO Transmissions Pole Qualifying (7:30 p.m., (ET) June 29) is available at www.indycar.com

RADIO: Qualifying webcast: 7:15 p.m. (ET), June 29, www.indycar.com

Pre-race: IMS Radio Network (live), 7 p.m. (ET), June 30
Race: IMS Radio Network (live), 7:30 p.m. (ET), June 30
Live coverage of AAMCO Transmissions Pole Qualifying (7:15 p.m. ET, June 29) and the race also will be available at www.indycar.com. The race broadcast is also available on XM Satellite Radio channel 144 "XM Sports Nation" and XM channel 145 "IndyCar Racing"

SCHEDULE (All times local; subject to change):

Friday, June 29
11:45 a.m. -- 1:45 p.m. IndyCar Series practice #1 (two groups)
3:15 -- 5:15 p.m. IndyCar Series practice #2 (two groups)
5:45 -- 6:45 p.m. IndyCar Series autograph session
7:30 p.m. AAMCO Transmissions Pole Qualifying

Saturday, June 24
7:30 p.m. SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM (250 laps/187.5 miles), ESPN (Live)

THE TRACK:
.75-mile paved D-shaped oval
Frontstretch: 1,290 feet banked at 8 degrees
Backstretch: 860 feet banked at 2 degrees
Width: 60 feet
Turns are banked at 14 degrees

* Richmond International Raceway is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation. One of the most historic tracks in racing, Richmond is also one of the most popular among drivers and fans as it hosts two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, two NASCAR Busch Series races, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, an IndyCar Series event, a USAC Silver Crown Series event and a USAC National Sprint Car Series race. Richmond International Raceway is the only track to hold all of its major events "under the lights."

INDY-STYLE RACING IN RICHMOND:

Open-wheel racing made its debut in Richmond, Va., two years before NASCAR was founded. On Oct. 12, 1946, Ted Horn drove an open wheel Champ Car to victory on a dirt circuit which would later become Richmond International Raceway.

Fifty-five years later, open-wheel cars returned to the current version of Richmond International Raceway, which had become one of the most popular stock car racing venues in the Southeast.

Buddy Lazier captured the first SunTrust Indy Challenge at the .75-mile oval, the first IndyCar Series race held at a track shorter than one mile. Other race winners at Richmond include Sam Hornish Jr., Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Helio Castroneves.

INDYCAR SERIES NOTES:

* Five Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM: Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006) and Dario Franchitti (2007).

* Five IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002, 2006), Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

* Drivers entered in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM have combined for 80 IndyCar Series victories, 76 IndyCar Series pole positions and 1,167 IndyCar Series starts.

* SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM is the last of three short-oval races this season. Andretti Green Racing has won the previous two short-oval events. Tony Kanaan won on the 1-mile oval at The Milwaukee Mile and Dario Franchitti won on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway earlier this month.

* In eight races thus far in 2007, there have been five winners. Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon are the only multiple winners. Wheldon won Homestead-Miami and Kansas, Kanaan won at Twin Ring Motegi and Milwaukee and Franchitti won at Indianapolis and Iowa. Other winners in 2007: Helio Castroneves at St. Petersburg and Sam Hornish Jr. at Texas. In those eight races, 14 drivers have finished in the top five in at least one event.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Sam Hornish Jr.