IRL: Richmond: Round seven pre-race notes, schedule

FAST FACTS WHAT: SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio, seventh race in 14-race 2006 season WHERE: Richmond International Raceway, .75-mile asphalt oval WHEN: 8 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, June 24 DISTANCE: 250 laps/187.5 ...

FAST FACTS

WHAT:
SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio, seventh race in 14-race 2006 season

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

WHEN:
8 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, June 24

DISTANCE:
250 laps/187.5 miles

POSTED AWARDS:
More than $1 million

CARS:
Dallara and Panoz chassis; Honda Indy V-8; Firestone tires

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

2005 SERIES CHAMPION:
Dan Wheldon

TV:
Race: ESPN (live), 8 p.m. (EDT), June 24

RADIO:
Qualifying webcast: 4:30 p.m. (EDT), June 23, www.indycar.com

Pre-race: IMS Radio Network (live), 7:30 p.m. (EDT), June 24

Race: IMS Radio Network (live), 8 p.m. (EDT), June 24

Live coverage of the race also will be available at www.indycar.com. The race broadcast is also available on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing."

SCHEDULE (All times local; subject to change):

Thursday, June 22
9 -- 11 a.m. IndyCar Series rookie open testing
1:30 -- 2 p.m. IndyCar Series rookie open testing
2 -- 6 p.m. IndyCar Series Open Testing (all cars)

Friday, June 23
12:15 -- 1:45 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
3 -- 4 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
4:45 p.m. Marlboro Pole Qualifying
6:15 p.m. IndyCar Series autograph session
8-8:30 p.m. Final IndyCar Series practice (all cars)

Saturday, June 24
8 p.m. SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio (250 laps/187.5 miles), ESPN2 (Live at 8 p.m.)

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 IRL IndyCar Series event, the Crown Royal IROC Series, 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 IRL 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:

* Six Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio: Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2006).

* Six IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio: Scott Sharp (1996 co-champion), Buddy Lazier (2000), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002), Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005).

* Drivers entered in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio have combined for 80 IndyCar Series victories, 64 pole positions and 1,057 starts.

* The SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio will be the sixth IndyCar Series event conducted at Richmond International Raceway. Buddy Lazier was the inaugural winner in 2001. All five previous winners at Richmond are expected to compete in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio: Lazier, Sam Hornish Jr. (2002), Scott Dixon (2003), Dan Wheldon (2004) and Helio Castroneves (2005).

* Two Bombardier Rookie of the Year candidates are expected to compete in the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio: Marco Andretti (Andretti Green Racing) and Jeff Simmons (Rahal Letterman Racing). Andretti leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year point standings.

MILESTONES:

* Helio Castroneves earned his 10th IndyCar Series victory at Texas and tied Dan Wheldon for second place on the IndyCar Series all-time wins list. Castroneves became the third IndyCar Series drivers to win 10 races in his career, joining his teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., and Wheldon.

* Helio Castroneves could become the eighth IndyCar Series driver to win back-to-back events at one track should he repeat at Richmond International Raceway. Castroneves, who repeated at Indianapolis in 2001-2002, would join Sam Hornish Jr., Greg Ray, Scott Sharp, Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon as back-to-back race winners in the IndyCar Series.

* Scott Sharp needs one win to earn his 10th IndyCar Series victory and to tie Castroneves and Wheldon for second place on the IndyCar Series all-time wins list. Sharp will attempt to extend his series record for consecutive starts to 114 straight races.

* Marco Andretti would be the youngest winner of a major open-wheel event should he win at Richmond. Scott Dixon was 20 years, 9 months and 14 days when he won a Champ Car event at Nazareth in 2001. Sam Hornish Jr. (21 years, 259 days) was the youngest winner of an IndyCar Series event when he won at Phoenix in 2001.

* Sam Hornish Jr. became the first IndyCar Series driver to surpass $11 million in career earnings with his victory at Indianapolis. He needs $598,045 in earnings to surpass $12 million in his IndyCar Series career.

* Vitor Meira has gone 51 starts without a victory in the IndyCar Series, the longest drought of any IndyCar Series driver.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Marco Andretti , Jeff Simmons , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira