IRL: Texas II race facts

<pre> WHAT: Chevy 500; Final race in 13-race 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile paved oval WHEN: 3:30 p.m. (CDT) Sunday, Sept. 16 DISTANCE: 300 miles/200 laps POSTED AWARDS: More than...

<pre> WHAT: Chevy 500; Final race in 13-race 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season

WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile paved oval

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. (CDT) Sunday, Sept. 16

DISTANCE: 300 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: Scott Goodyear

2001 NORTHERN LIGHT CUP CHAMPION: Sam Hornish Jr. (Clinched championship Sept. 2 at Chicago)

TV: (Pre-Race)

"Indy Racing 2Day" ESPN2 (live), 11 a.m. (EDT), Sept. 16

(Race)

ESPN (live), 4:30 p.m. (EDT), Sept. 16 Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice, Jason Priestley Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Jack Arute Replay: ESPN, 3 a.m. (EDT), Sept. 22

(Qualifying)

ESPN2 (tape-delayed), 1:30 a.m. (EDT) Sept. 15 Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Jack Arute, Jason Priestley

RADIO:

(Race)

IMS Radio Network (live), 4:30 p.m. (EDT) Sept. 16 Pre-race show starts at 4 p.m. Qualifying wrap-up show, 5:30 p.m. (EDT) Sept. 15 Host: Mike King; Analyst: Johnny Parsons Jr. Announcer: Jerry Baker Sr. Pit Reporter: Mark Jaynes; Pit reporter: Kim Morris Area affiliates: KESN-FM 103.3 Arlington, Texas

SCHEDULE (all times local):

(Friday, Sept. 14)

8 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens 10-11 a.m.: Practice (Two groups) 1:45-3:15 p.m.: Practice (Two groups) 4:45 p.m.: MBNA Pole Qualifying 6 p.m.: Autograph session (Garage area)

(Saturday, Sept. 15)

8 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens 9-10:30 a.m.: Practice (Two groups) 1 p.m.: Final practice (All cars)

(Sunday, Sept. 16)

8 a.m.: Indy Racing League garage opens 2:30 p.m.: Cars to grid 3:30 p.m.: Chevy 500 (300 miles/200 laps)

THE TRACK:

1.5-mile paved oval Frontstraight: 2,250 feet Backstraight: 1,330 feet Turns: 750 feet Width: 58 feet (minimum) Banking: Turns: 24 degrees Straightaways: 5 degrees

THE RACE:

-- The Chevy 500 is ninth Indy Racing event to take place at Texas Motor Speedway since the track opened in 1997. The facility has played host to two Indy Racing events each season since 1998. Next year's races are scheduled for June 8 and Sept. 15.

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.

-- This is the seventh Indy Racing event on a 1.5-mile oval this season. There have been six different winners in the six previous races. The previous winners: Sam Hornish Jr. (Homestead-Miami Speedway); Greg Ray (Atlanta Motor Speedway); Scott Sharp (Texas Motor Speedway); Eddie Cheever Jr. (Kansas Speedway); Buddy Lazier (Kentucky Speedway); Jaques Lazier (Chicagoland Speedway).

-- The Chevy 500 will be one of the first races on the newly paved Texas Motor Speedway. The track was repaved after the Indy Racing event in June.

-- Former Formula One race winner and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Johnny Herbert is entered to make his Indy Racing debut at this event in the No. 36 Heritage Motorsports G Force/Infiniti/Firestone. It will be the first oval race in Herbert's career.

SERIES NOTES:

-- Sam Hornish Jr. became the youngest champion of a major-league, open-wheel series in North American racing history when he clinched the Northern Light Cup on Sept. 2 in the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicago. Hornish, 22, leads defending Indy Racing champion Buddy Lazier, 451-385. It is the first time that a driver has clinched the title before the final race of the season.

-- 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 April 8 at Homestead, Fla., and is one of five drivers in Indy Racing history to win consecutive races.

-- Sam Hornish Jr.'s consecutive victories at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami, coupled with Buddy Lazier's back-to-back wins at Pikes Peak and Richmond, Va., marked the first time in Indy Racing history that two drivers have won consecutive races in the same season.

-- Buddy Lazier's back-to-back victories at Pikes Peak and Richmond, Va., coupled with consecutive victories at Nashville, Tenn., and Sparta, Ky., mark the first time in Indy Racing history that a driver has won four events in one season.

-- Buddy Lazier's victory Aug. 12 at Kentucky was his eighth career Indy Racing League victory, the most of any driver in league history. It was also his fourth victory in five races. Lazier is the only driver to win consecutive races twice in his Indy Racing League career.

-- Jaques Lazier's first career victory Sept. 2 at Chicago, coupled with his brother Buddy's eight career Indy Racing victories, marked the first time that two brothers had won Indy Racing events.

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

-- The 2002 Indy Racing Northern Light Series schedule will have the largest number of events in Indy Racing history, with 14 races between March and mid-September. Michigan International Speedway and Nazareth Speedway have been added as new venues, and the June race at Fort Worth, Texas, and events at Richmond, Va., and Nashville, Tenn., will be at night.

-- The Indy Racing League is not awarding 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.

-- Sarah Fisher's second-place finish on April 8 at Homestead-Miami was her career best and the best by a woman in the history of Indy-style racing. Fisher also started second at the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 30 at Richmond, Va., a career best and the best by a woman in the history of Indy-style racing.

-- Rookie Felipe Giaffone has clinched the series Rookie of the Year point standings. Giaffone has 295 points and is tied for fourth in Northern Light Series points. The next-highest rookie in the standings, Didier Andre, has 173 points and is 19th overall.

-- Twice this year a driver has led the first lap of an Indy Racing event after starting in the second row. On June 30 at Richmond, Va., Buddy Lazier took the lead on Lap 1 after starting fourth. Eliseo Salazar led the first lap July 8 at Kansas City, Kan., after starting third. Prior to the Richmond race, no driver ever had led the opening lap without starting in the front row.

-- Sam Hornish Jr. is the only driver to be running at the finish of all 12 Indy Racing events this season. He leads the Indy Racing League with 11 top-10 finishes and 10 top-five finishes.

-- Sam Hornish Jr. has led in 10 Indy Racing League events this season, tying a record set by Tony Stewart in 1998.

-- Eddie Cheever Jr. and Buddy Lazier have started in 53 consecutive Indy Racing Northern Light Series events, a league record. Davey Hamilton started 48 consecutive races from the inaugural Indy Racing event in 1996 until the Casino Magic 500 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway, where he suffered serious leg and foot injuries. Cheever and Lazier also share the record for competing in the most Indy Racing events with 54.

-- Few states have a stronger connection to Indy Racing than Texas. The legendary A.J. Foyt hails from Houston and will field cars for standouts Eliseo Salazar and Donnie Beechler in this event. Foyt's team, based in Houston, is one of two Indy Racing teams with headquarters in Texas. TeamXtreme, which fields a car for 2000 Indy Racing Rookie of the Year Airton Dare, is based in the Dallas suburb of Rockwall. Rookie Jon Herb played football for Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and fellow rookie Chris Menninga lived in Austin. Heritage Motorsports co-owner John Mecom III lives in Houston, while three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, who leads special projects for the Indy Racing League, lives in Fort Worth.

-- Chevrolet is starting its association with the Indy Racing League with the title sponsorship of this event. Chevy will have an even larger presence in Indy Racing starting next year, as the company returns to major-league open-wheel racing as an engine manufacturer for Northern Light Series race teams.

-IRNLS/IMS-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Jon Herb , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Didier André , Scott Sharp , Airton Daré , Scott Goodyear , Jaques Lazier  , Donnie Beechler , Chris Menninga , Jason Priestley , Johnny Parsons , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Johnny Rutherford