IRL: Texas II: Fernandez Racing preview

Yasukawa ready for Texas Shoot-Out Championship honors, final driver standings and the Rookie of the Year title are on the line as teams return to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for the Chevy 500. The second of two races contested on the ...

Yasukawa ready for Texas Shoot-Out

Championship honors, final driver standings and the Rookie of the Year title are on the line as teams return to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for the Chevy 500. The second of two races contested on the fast 1.5-mile oval this year, the season finale of the 16-race IRL IndyCar Series will indeed be a decisive round.

Two opportunities await rookie talent Roger Yasukawa this Sunday as he prepares to close the book on his first season of Indy Racing League competition. Yasukawa currently leads the coveted Bombardier Rookie of the Year title, and has a shot at a top-10 ranking in the championship. A mere four points separate Yasukawa from fellow rookie challenger Dan Wheldon. A consistent run of top-eight finishes in the past three events has placed Yasukawa 10 points shy of the top 10 in the driver's championship heading into the final race weekend.

The Chevy 500 will be broadcast live on ESPN beginning at 3:30 pm ET on Sunday.

Note: Roger Yasukawa will celebrate his 26th birthday this Friday, October 10.

Roger Yasukawa, Driver - #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

* Will be making his 16th IRL IndyCar Series start

* Currently leads Bombardier Rookie of the Year Standings by four points

* Sits 11th in the championship standings with 281 points, 10 points out of the top 10

* Started 11th and finished ninth at Texas Motor Speedway in June

* Claimed career-best finishes of seventh at Fontana and Kansas City

* Career-best starting position was ninth in St. Louis

* Recorded seven top-10 finishes to date

"Texas is the last race of the year and thinking back, the season went fairly quick. This is the first track that I have already raced on in an IndyCar [Series car] so I am fairly confident going into the weekend. We have been having a pretty good string of top-10 finishes lately, but still we are looking to be in the top five and I believe that can come at Texas. As for the team, I think myself, Tom [Anderson, managing director], John Dick [race engineer], and the rest of the crew together with the Honda guys have really gelled together this season."

"The Rookie of the Year is coming down to the last round with only a four-point difference between me and Dan [Wheldon]. I still look at it as whoever finishes ahead in the race will probably be the Rookie of the Year. I have led Rookie of the Year throughout the season and I am confident going into the last round. I know what I need to do, which is to do my best, and by doing so, if we are in the top five, I am almost certain that we will be the Rookie of the Year this season. That's certainly my goal."

FAST FACTS:

Twenty-five years old from Los Angeles-- began his career at the age of 12 in karts, competing in both the U.S. and Italy before moving up the racing ladder through Formula Vauxhall Junior and Formula Palmer Audi in England, and Formula Dodge competition in the United States-- entered the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the age of 21, earning Co-Rookie of the Year honors-- competed in the Atlantic series last year, claiming a win at Milwaukee and two additional podium finishes in a partial season of competition-- resides in West Hollywood, California.

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Roger Yasukawa