Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines 1. Power chasing history at Barber 2. Sarah Fisher Racing adds Long Beach to Rahal's slate 3. Robbins gets 'legal' thrill at Indianapolis 4. Andretti to be honored...
Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
1. Power chasing history at Barber
2. Sarah Fisher Racing adds Long Beach to Rahal's slate
3. Robbins gets 'legal' thrill at Indianapolis
4. Andretti to be honored at Long Beach
1. Power chasing history at Barber: When the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season resumes at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., Verizon Team Penske driver Will Power will attempt to do what no IZOD IndyCar Series driver has ever done.
Power could become the first driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series era of open-wheel racing to win the first three races of a season should he prevail in the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union. And his chances for another victory are strong - he led Open Testing at the 2.38-mile road course in February.
"That's a fantastic start," the Australian said. "I don't think you could ask for much better. I don't think there is anything better than winning. I'm very happy for the Verizon guys, working hard over the winter. And this is my first full season on a good team, so I'm just putting it all together and using my experience over the past four years over here."
Sam Hornish Jr. (2001) and Power are the only drivers to win the first two races of a season. Should he win at Barber, Power, who has won at Long Beach in Champ Car, could take a record-breaking four-race win streak to the first oval race May 1 at Kansas Speedway.
Regardless, Power will leave Barber with the points lead regardless of where he finishes. He is 44 points ahead of his nearest challenger (a three-way tie between Justin Wilson, Ryan Hunter-Reay and defending series champion Dario Franchitti) and the most points any driver can gain each race is 43.
Still, his focus remains on taking the remaining 15 events one at a time.
"To win a championship, (you can't) win two races and then have a heap of bad ones," he said. "You've got to win as much as you can. You've got to go into every race thinking, 'OK, I've got to win.' But if you can't, you have to make the most of it. That's my thinking."
Will Power can become the first driver in IZOD IndyCar Series history to win the first three races to start a season if he wins the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union. Here are other drivers in post-World War II Indy car history to have accomplished that feat:
Sebastien Bourdais - First four races of 2006 Champ Car season (Long Beach, Houston, Monterrey, Milwaukee)
Paul Tracy - First three races of the 2003 CART season (St. Petersburg, Monterrey, Long Beach)
Al Unser - First three races of 1971 USAC season (Rafaela Argentina-race 1 and race 2, Phoenix)
A.J. Foyt - First seven races of 1964 USAC season (Phoenix, Trenton-April, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Langhorne, Trenton-July, Springfield)
2. Sarah Fisher Racing adds Long Beach to Rahal's slate: Sarah Fisher Racing and Dollar General have added the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to its IZOD IndyCar Series schedule with driver Graham Rahal.
"SFR is very thankful to Dollar General and Direct Supply to give us the opportunity to compete on the streets of Long Beach for the first time," said team owner/driver Sarah Fisher, who will return to her IZOD IndyCar Series car at Kansas Speedway on May 1. "Graham had been very excited about the potential of putting this together from the start of his time with the team. I am proud of where we have been able to go in such a short period of time. Certainly the idea of growing a program past the set budget was a difficult task for everyone involved, but knowing Graham will do a great job on and off the track makes every effort worth it."
Rahal, who scored SFR's first top-10 finish at St. Petersburg, will make his fourth Indy car start on the streets of Long Beach, where he finished 12th last season.
"I'm extremely excited to be joining SFR yet again for Long Beach," Rahal said. "It is certainly one of the greatest sporting events, and I am just proud to say that I will be returning again. I am very thankful for what Sarah, Direct Supply and the Dollar General folks have done to extend their program with SFR, and we will be working extremely hard to make them proud."
Dollar General continues to support SFR in its endeavors towards a full-season effort.
"We are pleased to have Graham Rahal drive the Dollar General car for an additional race this season," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. "Graham brings a winning record to our partnership, and we're excited to have him on our team."
Direct Supply is also partnering with the initiative of Rahal's campaign with SFR. This is Direct Supply's third season with the team.
"Direct Supply is very excited to be a part of Sarah Fisher Racing at Long Beach," said Bob Hillis, CEO of Direct Supply. "We have been a part of Sarah's great team since she started, and the team has all become a family to us. It is an added pleasure to have the terrific Graham Rahal driving for Sarah again, after his great performance in St. Petersburg. Sarah Fisher Racing is the team to watch at Long Beach."
3. Robbins gets 'legal' thrill at Indianapolis: Tim Robbins has experienced an adrenaline rush similar the Indy Racing Experience 2-seater before. But he joked he hadn't experienced any like it "legally" until he rode in the 2-seat Indy car.
The Academy Award-winning actor, known for his roles as Nuke in "Bull Durham," Andy Dufresne in "Shawshank Redemption" and Dave Boyle in "Mystic River," got the ultimate rush as he rode in a 2-seater with IZOD IndyCar Series veteran Davey Hamilton around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 5.
"It was exhilarating," Robbins said. "I have no other words than that."
Robbins, who was in town to attend the NCAA Final Four, was joined by his sons Jack Henry and Miles, who also rode around the Speedway in the 2-seaters.
4. Andretti to be honored at Long Beach: Michael Andretti, accomplished driver and current chairman, president and chief executive officer of Andretti Autosport, will be honored at the fifth Annual Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame induction ceremony on April 15.
Andretti will be recognized alongside 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan. Past recipients of the honor include Mario Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Rahal and Parnelli Jones.
Andretti's first win took place at the 1986 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He also took the checkered flag in the Toyota Grand Prix in 2002, his final victory as a driver. With 42 victories to his name, Andretti is the winningest driver in CART history. He also boasts the title of winningest owner in Indy Racing League history with 34 IZOD IndyCar Series wins.
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues April 11 with the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 3 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Grand Prix of Alabama April 11 at Barber Motorsports Park. The race will air live on indycar.com.