Justin Wilson Finishes Eighth in Honda Indy 200

Lexington, Ohio (4 August 2013) – Justin Wilson returned to IZOD IndyCar Series race action in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda on Sunday for Dale Coyne Racing, keeping the pace for a flat out flag to flag green run to score an eighth place finish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

After his best qualifying effort of the season on Saturday secured seventh on the IZOD IndyCar Series grid, Wilson opened the 90-lap race from the fourth row on a set of Firestone ‘Red’ tires. Setting lap times faster than the lead pack of cars, Wilson moved his way up to fifth before Dale Coyne Racing called him to pit road for his first pit stop.

A quick stop for fuel and tires by the Dale Coyne crew moved Wilson onto the Firestone ‘Black’ tires, satisfying the requirement to use both compounds during the race. Wilson emerged from the pits in eighth place, making up part of a long line of cars behind the leader. As the race continued, several teams opted to run two-stop pit strategies but Wilson and his Dale Coyne engineers decided to pit three times to get the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda into clean air, in an attempt to gain track position on the difficult to pass 2.258-mile road course.

Wilson’s second stop came on Lap 42, and the British driver switched onto ‘Red’ Firehawks to maximize grip on the slippery central Ohio road course. He returned to the track 14th in the order, but made his way up to eighth within seven laps.

In a rapid race that ran caution-free for the first time since last year’s Mid-Ohio event, Wilson ran in fifth until he was called back to pit lane for his final stop with 24 laps to go. Once again, he took ‘Red’ Firestone tires and the crew took out a half turn of wing to adjust the car’s balance and improve its handling in traffic.

After everyone in the field had made their final pit stops, Wilson ran 10th in the final stages of the race as he set out to move forward in the waning laps. In a race with little side-by-side action, Wilson provided some excitement as he made his way by James Hinchcliffe to take the ninth position before also taking over eighth place when he masterfully maneuvered by Marco Andretti in the ‘esses’ with six laps remaining.

“The car was pretty good – maybe not perfect but there are always things you want to be better,” said Wilson following the race. “It was just frustrating because we got caught in the middle of the strategies there – the three stop and the two stop – and we had to decide what to do and try to do something different. It was a hard-fought race, pushing like crazy the entire race. Just slipping around out there. There wasn’t a lot of grip today so we were slipping all over the place. It was tough. I was hoping we could do a little bit better but we’ll just keep pushing away. It’s hard to get close enough to make something happen here. It’s just tough – nobody’s getting even close enough to crash into each other! For a while there, we were just trying to do what the leaders were doing. We were saving fuel like they were but it just didn’t work for us. We weren’t quite good enough today but we’ll keep working on it. We’re doing the right things and I think we’ll have another podium pretty soon.”

With the eighth place result, Wilson remains ninth in the championship standings and will look to build momentum in the championship hunt as the IZOD IndyCar Series travels to Sonoma in three weeks. Wilson will have just a short break before returning to GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race action at Road America next weekend as he rejoins Michael Shank Racing in the No. 6 Daytona Prototype teaming with Gustavo Yacaman.

Justin Wilson No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda-Dallara

2013 IZOD IndyCar Series:

Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – Start: 13 Finish: 9

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Start: 8 Finish: 8

Grand Prix of Long Beach – Start: 24 Finish: 3

Sao Paulo Indy 300 (Brazil) – Start: 9 Finish: 20

Indianapolis 500 – Start: 14 Finish: 5

Detroit Grand Prix Detroit Dual 1 – Start: 16 Finish: 3

Detroit Grand Prix Detroit Dual 2 – Start: 8 Finish: 19 (contact)

Firestone 550 (Texas) – Start: 20 Finish: 15

Milwaukee IndyFest – Start: 13 Finish: 9

Iowa Corn Indy 250 – Start: 10 Finish: 11

Pocono 400 – Start: 22 Finish: 7

Honda Indy Toronto Race 1 – Start: 8 Finish: 11

Honda Indy Toronto Race 2 – Start: 8 Finish: 10

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio – Start: 7 Finish: 8

The Chase Is On: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from California

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship continues Sunday, Oct. 10, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the Pepsi Max 400 at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and ESPN will have a live telecast. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show airs at 2 p.m. ET with the race telecast at 3 p.m. The race’s green flag is at 3:16 p.m. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m. and qualifying at 6:30 p.m.
 
ESPN2’s season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series continues at Fontana with a telecast of Saturday’s race. NASCAR Countdown airs at 4 p.m. with the race telecast at 4:30 p.m. The green flag flies at 4:46 p.m.
 
Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.  
NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.
 
 
NASCAR Telecasts Continue to Include Unprecedented Access
 
During ESPN’s telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, viewers are able to virtually go inside the race teams due to the unprecedented access granted ESPN to in-car communication as well as crew chiefs and team members. Located within the production units in the ESPN TV compound is a radio room in which radio transmissions of all 43 teams in NASCAR races can be recorded during races, allowing producers to be able to lift specific transmissions of any driver or team at any time.In the telecast of Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway, ESPN viewers were able to listen as driver Kyle Busch, his crew chief Dave Rogers and other members of the team debated on what repairs to make to the car after contact with David Reutimann damaged the car’s rear end. From the ESPN pit studio, host Allen Bestwick and analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty commented on the transmissions. As Busch is one of the drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the decisions were critical as the team tries to win the series championship.
 
 Andretti, Craven, Evernham on NASCAR Now Roundtable
 
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner John Andretti will join NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Mike Massaro will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
 
Nicole Briscoe hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing at 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Thursday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 8:30 p.m. Briscoe also hosts as NASCAR Now surrounds Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana, Calif., with two episodes. The one-hour weekend edition of NASCAR Now presented by 5 Hour Energy airs at 9 a.m. with a preview of that day’s race, while the weekend wrap-up edition airs that night at 10 p.m. Shannon Spake and Marty Smith will report from California while Craven will join Massaro in the studio.
 
 
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in Pennsylvania
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races this weekend in the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., and ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying and eliminations. Qualifying action airs Saturday, Oct. 9, at 10:30 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday, Oct. 10, at 9 p.m. 
 
The race, which last year celebrated its 25th anniversary, was held in September in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then moved to August a few years ago and now takes a crucial October spot on the schedule as the fourth event of the Countdown playoffs. Maple Grove Raceway has a long history of record performances, including the first side-by-side quarter-mile four-second and 300-mph Top Fuel passes, and the expected cool October climes should offer more of the same.
 
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn host NHRA RaceDay presented by Lucas Oil on Sunday at 10 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
 
 
ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During California Race
NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during ESPN’s telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now have a place to go on ESPN.com.
 
RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Oct. 10, RacingLive! California will kick off at 3 p.m. ET to coincide with ESPN’s telecast of the race at Auto Club Speedway.
 
Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.
 
 
ESPN Radio Raceday Airs Saturday, Sunday
 
Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from Daytona Beach, Fla. Patterson also originates the broadcast from several racetracks with key races during the season. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails.
 
Additionally, many of ESPN’s NASCAR reporters and analysts contribute each week as ESPN networks televise the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series and the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” championship. A list of ESPN Radio affiliates can be found at www.espnradio.com.

Dollar General 300 Tickets Available for Just $7 with Danica Deal on Oct. 7

       CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 5, 2010) – To mark Danica Patrick’s return to
Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans will get a one-day-only opportunity to
purchase tickets at a significantly reduced price to the Dollar General 300
NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Oct. 15, in which she will compete.
       Through the Danica Deal at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans can
purchase Dollar General 300 tickets for only $7 on Thursday, Oct. 7. Patrick
will drive the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series race on
Oct. 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Only 700 tickets will be available at this special price, so fans are
encouraged to call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online early on Oct. 7 to
receive the discount.
       In addition, fans who have already purchased tickets to the Bank of
America 500 on Oct. 16 can get the special $7 Danica Deal Dollar General 300
pricing during a one-day pre-sale on Oct. 6. Fans with Bank of America 500
tickets should call the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) to receive
the Danica Deal discount.
       Indy Racing League driver Patrick has been in the NASCAR spotlight
this season as she competes in select Nationwide Series events for team
owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., including the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte
Motor Speedway during Bank of America 500 Week.
       Patrick began racing go-karts at age 10 and she won several World
Karting Association regional and national championships over a seven-year
period. While the Dollar General 300 will be her first appearance on the
1.5-mile oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, she raced karts at the track
during the very early stages of her career.
       “I remember going down the back straightaway where Turns 3 and 4 are
on the main track and pretending I was racing cars out there on the track,”
Patrick said. “I took a ride there in a two-seat race car with the Petty
Driving Experience where you pay money and get to ride in the passenger’s
seat. I also remember walking the track one time and thinking, ‘Oh my gosh,
the banking is so steep you can barely walk on it.’ So I have a lot of
memories from Charlotte. That includes everything from visiting a slot car
track where we would hang out as kids to the (North Carolina) red clay.”
       Patrick and the other 42 Dollar General 300 competitors will battle
under the lights Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway in what will be
the final 2010 “preview” race for the new-generation Nationwide Series race
car. The new cars more closely resemble the street versions of the four
competing models and will be fully implemented for the 2011 season.
       Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be
purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the
speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The Bank of America Fan 4
Pack includes tickets, hot dogs and Coca-Cola drinks starting at just $39.75
per person or fans can get four nights of great racing with the Bank of
America 500 Week Super Ticket for just $99.
       For daily updates on October race activities, connect with Charlotte
Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or
become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.

MANN MAKES KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY HISTORY WITH 100-MILE FIL VICTORY

SPARTA, Ky. – Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Pippa Mann became the first female racer to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory by leading all 67 laps of this afternoon’s Firestone Indy Lights “Drive Smart. Buckle-Up Kentucky 100.”
The 27-year-old from Ipswich, England, who became the third female competitor to take a Kentucky Speedway open-wheel race pole award yesterday, set sail when the green flag waved and built a 3.5563 seconds lead over Team Moore Racing driver James Hinchcliffe by Lap 30.
Mann was only threatened by a Lap 3 caution brought out by a three-car incident involving Stefan Wilson, Daniel Herrington and Philip Major, but restarted strong, thundered through the remainder of the 100 racing miles and became the fourth FIL driver to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory from the pole position when her No. 11 machine soared across the finish line an FIL track-record 6.8372 seconds ahead of Hinchcliffe in the No. 2 Team Moore Racing car.
“I joked yesterday that I was going to run away and hide today, but I didn’t really think it would happen. I got my legs underneath me, started pedaling and no one could catch me. Last week at Chicagoland, it was fast racing, but this is a handling track. You have to set the car up to run the fastest line and we focused on that. If we got into deep traffic today, I don’t think we could’ve run as well, but we took a little bit of a gamble on the set up and it paid off. Hinch beat me last week and this week the tables were turned,” Mann said.
She seizes her first career Firestone Indy Lights victory and her second consecutive top-two finish this season.
Hinchcliffe took his ninth top-five and 11th top-10 finish this season through 12 starts. He has placed in a race top-10 for the 10th consecutive time this season.
“It was a good start to the race for us and we had a car that set up well to run in traffic for the tough track conditions. We had a little bit more downforce, but once Pippa broke away it was her in clean air versus me in clean air and I couldn’t catch her. Sometimes you have the second-best car and it’s a second-place day. That’s what we got,” Hinchcliffe said. 
Series championship leader J.K. Vernay took third in the No. 7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports machine, Adrian Campos, Jr., rolled across the finish line fourth in the No. 22 Team Moore Racing car and Gustavo Yacaman completed the top five in Sam Schmidt Motorsports No. 10. Vernay need only successfully start the Oct. 2 Firestone Indy Lights season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the 2010 title.

IndyCar Series competitor Sarah Fisher generated the previous best Kentucky Speedway finish by a female racer when she placed third on Aug. 27, 2000. Fisher still holds the IndyCar Series Kentucky qualifying record she set with a  221.390-mph (24.0661 seconds) lap on August 10, 2002. Series mate Danica Patrick earned a Kentucky IndyCar Series pole award with a fast 217.516-mph (24.4947 seconds) practice lap after traditional qualifying was rained out August 13, 2005.
The IZOD IndyCar Series “Kentucky Indy 300” is up next at the track at 8:45 p.m.

Emory 500 Post Race Racer Comments

The boys and girls of NASCAR were out on the track of the Atlanta Motor Speedway over the weekend, taking their race cars for a drive, and after the race some of the racers stopped by to comment on the race. This is what they had to say about the day and the events that occurred out on the track.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) – “That was
fun.  Tony just had such a fast car there at the end, but we’re back.
We’re doing it. We’re scoring more points than anybody.  We’re heading
into the chase.  I feel like we locked ourselves in and I just want to
thank Afla9c for sticking behind us.  That’s what they do, they stick
behind you when things are bad.  It hasn’t been good, but the last
couple of months have been great.   I’m excited about going to
Richmond.  I’m real excited about starting the chase.  We had
something that could win the race tonight and that’s a blast.” WHAT
TURNED IT AROUND FOR THIS TEAM?  “I can’t say what turned it around.
Bob and the guys have just been working hard and that’s what it’s
about.  When they go to the shop and we’re not running the way they
want, they’ve got to keep digging and keep working.  It’s pretty cool
that they’re able to do that and everybody stuck behind us – my fans,
Aflac, Scotts, and Ford and everybody.  I know we don’t look like we
did in 2008, but we’re better set to go race for that championship now
than we’ve ever been.”

KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Finished 32nd) – “I felt
like we were there.  We had a top-five car and when we got out front
we were pretty good, but I was still trying to hold off Carl and
Jimmie, and Tony was really quick.  I was just going down the
straightaway and got hit from behind and I know it was the 39, so I
feel like he lost us about 20 spots today.  He said he got hit from
behind and that forced him into me, so that’s racing, but either way,
we’re the one that took the big shot there.”  YOU AND RYAN HAD AN
AMIABLE DISCUSSION AFTER THE RACE.  HOW DID THAT GO?  “Ryan and I are
fine.  We don’t have an issue with each other, it’s just that when you
get racing sometimes it gets you mad.  He lost about four spots from
me rubbing him a little bit and I lost about 25 or 30 from him rubbing
me, so he got me a little better.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Scotch Blue Ford Fusion (Finished 36th) – “It was
my fault.  I didn’t know we were still three-wide and I guess I cut
down on the 39.  I have to watch the replay.  He certainly didn’t cut
us any slack.  He could have cut us some slack and let us go there.  I
don’t know, I’ll have to watch the replay before I make my judgment,
but I didn’t know we were still three-wide.  It looked like I had
cleared him, along with the 43, and I just turned down into the corner
and, unfortunately, he was there.  We still locked ourselves into the
chase, so we’re excited about that.”  IT WORKED OUT OKAY FROM A POINTS
PERSPECTIVE.  “Yeah, we’re 161 points ahead, so I’ve got to beat one
car if whoever it is wins and leads all the laps, so we’re pretty much
locked in.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion (Finished 11th) –
“It was a frustrating night.  We performed really poorly and just
couldn’t get the car to run.  The last two stops, whatever we did
really woke the car up and our last couple of runs were pretty good.
We had a tire rub and had to restart behind all the lapped cars and
then the last run we didn’t get tires, which ended up working out okay
because we beat most of the guys that got tires and got the car a lot
better.  As dumb as it sounds for being a five-hour race, we just ran
out of time.  We just need to figure out our adjustments earlier, I
guess.  Overall, it was a good day for us.  I’m happy for our finish
considering how we ran.”

 ELLIOTT SADLER – No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion (Finished 41st) – “I saw
the 16 spinning and kind of blocking the track and me and Harvick
tried to go under him.  I couldn’t go any lower because of the 29 car
and I think the 16 was standing in the gas trying to stay out of the
wall and just came down and clipped us in the right rear and turned us
head-on into the wall.  Our Stanley Ford is damaged and done for the
night.  It’s very frustrating.  We had a really good car and guys kind
of started short-pitting and that put us behind and we were trying to
play catch-up, but I really wanted to finish this race.  We felt like
we had a good shot at a good finish tonight.”  WAS THE HIT AS BAD AS
POCONO?  “Oh, no.  Nothing like Pocono.  I hit where a SAFER barrier
is in turn four.  We didn’t pull any g’s at all, so I’m thankful they
had that here in turn four at Atlanta.  I do want to say thanks to all
the fans for showing up tonight.  We’ve got a heck of a crowd here in
Atlanta.  Man, I just really wanted to finish this race and run good.
It’s the same car I had at Michigan and we were making a comeback, but
it just wasn’t meant to be.”

PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Finished 35th) – “It’s real
positive because our race car was really good.  It was awesome.  The
guys worked really hard and we had a good car all weekend.  We could
have definitely had another top five tonight, but it wasn’t meant to
be.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 37 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Finished 20th) – “I’m
really proud of the job this team did this weekend, given that this
was our first race together.  We started with a pretty good car and
Peter (Sospenzo) and the team made some good adjustments to help us
run pretty fast and pick up a bunch of positions.  We had good pit
stops and good pit strategy to help us finish on the lead lap, so all
in all it was a good night for the Taco Bell Ford team.”

DAVE BLANEY – No. 38 A&W All-American Food Ford Fusion (Finished 24th)
— “Not bad for my first go at it in this car.  This was the first
complete race I’ve run in a while, so I knew it would take me a few
laps to get into a groove.  I was doing a little experimenting, trying
to run a few different lines.  The car was a little too loose for me
to be too aggressive, but it wasn’t bad for our first time out
together.”

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Finished 29th)
— “This whole weekend was a bit rough for us.  We battled the car all
day Saturday and we worked on the handling all throughout the race
tonight, too.  We made a lot of changes to try to free the car up, and
we did get a little better toward the end.  But those long green-flag
runs during the first half of the race left us with too much ground to
make up.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 19th) — “I felt like at
the beginning of the race, we had a top 10 or top 15 car. We just
couldn’t keep up with the track; it just kept getting freer and freer
as the night went on. And we were making big adjustments every single
stop on our UPS Ford. We just couldn’t seem to get to the point where
the car was fast. We would get close, but when the track cooled down
even more, we’d be that much more behind when the next pit stop came.
We lost a lap when I spun out, but we didn’t hit anything. We were
fortunate to get back on the lead lap and finish inside the top 20. In
the big picture, it’s not a win, but it wasn’t in the thirties either.
I’m satisfied with the way our team worked together tonight and made
what could have been a bad night, a salvageable night.”

 CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – “When we talked in here on Saturday,
that’s one of the things we talked about was we haven’t led a lot of
laps and we haven’t had that dominant car and tonight I felt like we
had a car as good or a better car than we’ve had all season – really
for a season and a half.  I’m really proud of my guys.  The last pit
stop was spectacular.  That’s probably the best pit stop I’ve ever
had.  It’s like Jimmie said, when you run up front like that you get
in that mode of racing for the win and the victory, and that’s good
for everyone, especially for us at this point.  I feel like we’ve
scored a ton of points the last seven or eight races.  We’ve performed
probably better in that stretch than we ever had and it makes me
really excited.  I’m really looking forward to the chase.  It’s gonna
be fun.”  WHY DO YOU SAY THIS CAR IS BETTER?  “There was nothing
specific significantly for this race, but I feel that this race suits
my driving style very well.  I really enjoy this race track.  When
Jimmie and Kasey and I were racing two and three-wide for the lead
there for a few laps, there was one point I was laughing going down
the front straightaway.  It was just fun.  That’s what racing is about
is having some fun, and I feel like this race track really lends
itself to that style of racing, so I enjoy it and it was a good
coincidence that my crew and my car were on their game tonight as
well.”  CAN YOU TOUCH ON THE RESTARTS?  “I don’t know the rule. I
don’t know if any of us – if the leader spins his tires and you’re
beating him, is it okay to beat him by three feet or not?  I was in
the same boat as Jimmie.  There was one time I lifted and I think it
was Jimmie or somebody else went blowing by me and I was like, ‘Damn,
maybe I shouldn’t have done that,’ so we’ll have to clarify that, I
guess.”  WHAT DID YOU SAY TO TONY?  “I just told Tony, ‘Good job.’
His car was amazing.  He did a really good job of driving it.  The
place where he was driving on the race track, I couldn’t run there.  I
was just letting him know I thought he did a really good job.”
THOUGHTS ON NEXT WEEK WITH 10 OF 12 GUYS LOCKED INTO THE CHASE.  WHAT
DO YOU EXPECT?  “We’ll just go for it.  I think I can speak for
Jimmie, but we’ll probably just go there and go for the win.  We don’t
have too much to be concerned about, other than that particular race,
so, for me, it’ll just be a fun race.”  HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT MORE
TESTING AT A TRACK LIKE THIS.  DALE JR. SAID JOKINGLY LIKE IT SEEMS
GUYS ALWAYS STRUGGLE UNTIL THE FINAL LAPS.  “I don’t want to do
anymore testing, but he’s right.  There will be times you’re in the
race car here and the crew chief will get all excited like, ‘That was
a great lap.’  And you’re like, ‘Man, this thing is driving terribly.’
 I don’t think that the guy who wins this race even has a car that
drives great.  It’s a very difficult race track, but I don’t know if
testing will make it easier.  I don’t think so.  It’s just got a lot
of character and that’s why I think all of us like racing here so
much.”  DOES ANY OF THIS MOMENTUM FOR YOU MATTER WHEN THE CHASE
STARTS?  “I used to say it didn’t matter.  I used to never believe in
momentum, but I’ve never run so poorly for so long.  Now, I’m seeing
this turnaround and it’s been a couple of months and I think I
understand the team more and I understand where we’ve been gaining,
so, for that reason, I believe in this momentum that we have and I
believe it will apply to future races.  You can’t do anything about a
cut tire or a broken valve spring or something like that, but at least
we’ve proven to ourselves the last couple months that we can do it and
that feels good for us.”

Helio Castroneves Dials the Right Number

A magic fuel number contrived by veteran Team Penske Race Strategist Tim Cindric helped Helio Castroneves rebound from an early-race pit stop error and emerge with a 13.1597 second “Kentucky Indy 300” victory over race pole award winner Ed Carpenter tonight.
Castroneves feathered the throttle in his No. 3 Team Penske machine through the final 53 of 200 race laps and stayed on track as the five drivers in front of him cycled to the pits to refresh their car’s fuel cells from Laps 192-197 to recover from a green-flag race run that started on Lap 95.   
The nine-year veteran, who was denied a 2008 Kentucky victory when his car’s fuel cell ran dry in the frontstretch coming to the checkered flag and was passed by eventual winner Scott Dixon, seized the lead with three laps remaining and jetted away to his second victory of the season and his first in the Bluegrass State. He leads all IndyCar Series drivers in Kentucky Speedway top-five finishes with seven and top-10 finishes with eight through nine career starts.
“Incredible job from Team Penske. When we started the race, the car wasn’t the fastest, but it wasn’t the slowest. It had pretty good balance. We were right there, it was very tough. 
“We came to the pits for the first stop and had a miscommunication. The crew chief thought the right rear (tire) wasn’t on, so I had one guy telling me go, go, go and the guy on top of me telling me to stay. We ended up losing about 10 positions.
“The genius Tim Cindric came with a great idea and said, ‘when we pit the last time, you gotta make this number because we have nothing to lose.’ I said ‘that’s going to be impossible.’ Flashes of the race in 2008 started coming back to me.
“We went back, we stayed about in 10th position saving fuel and trying to make this number. What people don’t realize when you start running that slow is the balance of the car changes quite a bit, so it’s harder driving slower than faster.
“I was about 12 mph slower than the leaders, but towards the end when (Cindric) said, ‘you’re the leader, go for it,’ I could not believe it. We started back again on 215 (mph) and 216 (mph) laps. What a great day, a misfortune that happened in the pits was the key to this win. It feels great, I’m happy for the entire team,” Castroneves described.
Carpenter, who led 11 laps, placed second at Kentucky Speedway for the second consecutive season. He lost out to Ryan Briscoe by 0.0162 of a second in the closest series track finish last season and fell victim to the widest series margin of victory at the track tonight. He has earned a total of two top-five and five top-10 finishes in his seven Kentucky Speedway starts since 2004.
His Panther Racing teammate Dan Wheldon, who led a race-high 93 laps, took third, Andretti Autosport driver Tony Kanaan grabbed fourth and Target Chip Ganassi driver Dario Franchitti closed out the race top five.
“For Dan and I to finish second and third is a little disappointing because we were so strong all weekend. Dan had a dominant car tonight and it’s tough being in our position when you have a guy win on fuel mileage,” Carpenter said.
Castroneves’ teammate and championship leader Will Power scored an eighth-place finish and saw his lead over second-place contender Franchitti shrink from 23 to 17 points with two races remaining on the schedule.
Tonight’s race concludes the 2010 Kentucky Speedway season. The track’s 2011 season will open with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tripleheader July 7-9 and conclude with an Oct. 1 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that will be complemented by the return of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Ticket information is available now at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com by clicking the “Get 2011 Tickets” graphic located on the top right corner of the page or by calling 859-578-2300.

Pippa Mann Enters Car Racing’s History Books

Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Pippa Mann became the first female racer to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory by leading all 67 laps of this afternoon’s Firestone Indy Lights “Drive Smart. Buckle-Up Kentucky 100.”
The 27-year-old from Ipswich, England, who became the third female competitor to take a Kentucky Speedway open-wheel race pole award yesterday, set sail when the green flag waved and built a 3.5563 seconds lead over Team Moore Racing driver James Hinchcliffe by Lap 30.
Mann was only threatened by a Lap 3 caution brought out by a three-car incident involving Stefan Wilson, Daniel Herrington and Philip Major, but restarted strong, thundered through the remainder of the 100 racing miles and became the fourth FIL driver to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory from the pole position when her No. 11 machine soared across the finish line an FIL track-record 6.8372 seconds ahead of Hinchcliffe in the No. 2 Team Moore Racing car.
“I joked yesterday that I was going to run away and hide today, but I didn’t really think it would happen. I got my legs underneath me, started pedaling and no one could catch me. Last week at Chicagoland, it was fast racing, but this is a handling track. You have to set the car up to run the fastest line and we focused on that. If we got into deep traffic today, I don’t think we could’ve run as well, but we took a little bit of a gamble on the set up and it paid off. Hinch beat me last week and this week the tables were turned,” Mann said.
She seizes her first career Firestone Indy Lights victory and her second consecutive top-two finish this season.
Hinchcliffe took his ninth top-five and 11th top-10 finish this season through 12 starts. He has placed in a race top-10 for the 10th consecutive time this season.
“It was a good start to the race for us and we had a car that set up well to run in traffic for the tough track conditions. We had a little bit more downforce, but once Pippa broke away it was her in clean air versus me in clean air and I couldn’t catch her. Sometimes you have the second-best car and it’s a second-place day. That’s what we got,” Hinchcliffe said. 
Series championship leader J.K. Vernay took third in the No. 7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports machine, Adrian Campos, Jr., rolled across the finish line fourth in the No. 22 Team Moore Racing car and Gustavo Yacaman completed the top five in Sam Schmidt Motorsports No. 10. Vernay need only successfully start the Oct. 2 Firestone Indy Lights season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the 2010 title.

IndyCar Series competitor Sarah Fisher generated the previous best Kentucky Speedway finish by a female racer when she placed third on Aug. 27, 2000. Fisher still holds the IndyCar Series Kentucky qualifying record she set with a  221.390-mph (24.0661 seconds) lap on August 10, 2002. Series mate Danica Patrick earned a Kentucky IndyCar Series pole award with a fast 217.516-mph (24.4947 seconds) practice lap after traditional qualifying was rained out August 13, 2005.
The IZOD IndyCar Series “Kentucky Indy 300” is up next at the track at 8:45 p.m.