Richmond Int't Raceway news 2008-06-24

Former SunTrust Indy Challenge Winner Dan Wheldon Returns To Richmond International Raceway Following Victory at Iowa Richmond, Virginia (June 23, 2008) -- Dan Wheldon, winner of the 2004 SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International...

Former SunTrust Indy Challenge Winner Dan Wheldon Returns To Richmond International Raceway Following Victory at Iowa

Richmond, Virginia (June 23, 2008) -- Dan Wheldon, winner of the 2004 SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway, took the lead Sunday at Iowa by staying out during a caution with 60 laps remaining and held on for his second IndyCar Series win of the season. This Saturday "under the lights," Wheldon will go for back-to-back wins and his second career victory at America's Premier Short Track in the 2008 SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway.

Wheldon, who is now four wins shy of the IndyCar Series career record, held off Andretti Green Racing teammates Hideki Mutoh and Marco Andretti Sunday for the win at Iowa. For Mutoh, the second-place finish was a career best, while Andretti matched his season best finish of third in the Indy 500. Prior to Sunday's race on the Iowa 7/8-mile oval, Mutoh and teammate Danica Patrick tested at Richmond International Raceway last Monday.

Patrick, who headlines the Indy Paddock Zone fan hospitality area on Saturday, finished sixth at Iowa and will look to keep the momentum building with three career starts and the experience of her test session last week at America's Premier Short Track.

Another former SunTrust Indy Challenge winner, Helio Castroneves, was in contention for his first win of the season Sunday, leading a race-high 92 laps, but the "Dancing With the Stars" champion was foiled by Wheldon's race strategy and wound up in 14th. Tony Kanaan was also in the hunt early for his first win of the season, battling Castroneves and leading 71 laps himself before finishing 18th.

The IndyCar Series points leader, Scott Dixon, finished fourth after starting on the pole and extended his advantage over Castroneves in the standings to 48 points. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Dixon and Wheldon have now combined for five victories in nine races this season. Dixon is also a former winner at Richmond International Raceway, taking the 2003 SunTrust Indy Challenge.

Will Castroneves or Kanaan reach Gatorade Victory Lane for the first time this season at Richmond International Raceway? Or, will Dixon continue his impressive season and grab his fourth win of the year and second of his career at America's Premier Short Track? Patrick will attempt to steal the show as well and claim her second win of the season. Fans can see all of the exciting action at Richmond International Raceway in the eighth annual SunTrust Indy Challenge "under the lights" this Saturday night.

The SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race is the headlining event of an exciting weekend of open-wheel racing at Richmond International Raceway June 27-28. The weekend starts with NBC12 Day Friday, June 27, featuring IndyCar Series Pole Qualifying and the "Showdown at Sundown" USAC National Sprint Car Series race. Friday's ticket also includes admission to an autograph session featuring all of the IndyCar Series drivers. On Saturday, June 28, the James River Grounds 100 USAC Silver Crown Series race precedes the SunTrust Indy Challenge.

Tickets for the Saturday, June 28, SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race are available by calling 866-455-RACE (7223) or visiting www.rir.com. Reserved seats are $35 and general admission seats are $30. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admission sections with a ticketed adult. Saturday's ticket also includes a seat for the James River Grounds 100 USAC Silver Crown Series race, which will precede the IndyCar Series event. All seats for Friday, NBC 12 Day are general admission for $15 and children 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. The NBC12 Day ticket includes an autograph session with all IndyCar drivers, Pole Qualifying for the SunTrust Indy Challenge and the USAC National Sprint Car Series race.

The Indy Paddock Zone Fan Hospitality package is the best way to experience the thrills of open-wheel racing at Richmond International Raceway. For only $104, fans will receive a general admission ticket for NBC 12 Day Friday, a reserved seat for Saturday, featuring the SunTrust Indy Challenge, a weekend Pre-Race Pit/Garage Pass (must be 18 and older) and admission to the climate-controlled Indy Paddock Zone hospitality area on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, Friday's ticket includes an autograph session with all of the IndyCar Series drivers.

The Indy Paddock Zone hospitality area on Saturday includes appearances by Patrick, Kanaan, Vitor Meira, other IndyCar Series personalities and track president Doug Fritz, an all you can eat dinner buffet, unlimited sodas and water, three beer tickets for guests 21 and older (with valid ID), music and interactive games, prizes and more!

The Pre-Race Pit/Garage pass allows entry to the IndyCar Series garage area and pit road area on both Friday and Saturday. The passes expire one hour before the start of the USAC races. To take advantage of the Pre-Race Pit/Garage pass, guests must be 18 years of age or older with a valid ID. Additionally, no coolers are allowed in the Indy Paddock Zone hospitality area or on pit road.

To purchase the Indy Paddock Zone package, tickets to the SunTrust Indy Challenge or for more information, call the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) or log on to www.rir.com.

-credit: rir

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Hideki Mutoh , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing