June 04, 2014 | By Verizon IndyCar Series
IndyCar Battles Under The Lights This Weekend in Texas
Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway
Weekend schedule (all times local/Central):
Friday, June 6
10-11:15 a.m. Verizon IndyCar Series practice
2 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series single-car qualifications
6:45-7:15 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series practice
Saturday, June 7
7:50 p.m. green flag
TV: NBCSN telecasts the race live (7 p.m. local/Central on June 7) and qualifications taped at 5:30 p.m. (local/Central) June 6. Brian Till is the chief announcer, with Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy the analysts.
Radio/web: All Verizon IndyCar Series sessions are broadcast on www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 14 app (both in conjunction with real-time Timing & Scoring). Race broadcast also on IMS Radio Network affiliates, XM 209 and Sirius 213. Paul Page is the chief announcer.
Twitter: @TXMotorSpeedway, @IndyCar, #Firestone600
Weather forecast: Sunny; highs in the mid-90s ... low 80s for race time
Qualifications: Single-car, average of two laps. Qualification order by blind draw. Will Power (June 2013) holds the two-lap record at 219.182 mph.
Race laps: 248/372 miles on the 1.455-mile oval with 24 degrees of banking in the turns
Start: Two-wide rolling start … double-file restarts
Pit box length: 39 feet
Fuel: 40 U.S. gallons of E85 for practice/qualifying; 100 gallons for race ... Verizon IndyCar Series cars carry 18.5 U.S. gallons
He said it: "Nowadays one of the great challenges is tire management and keeping the car underneath you. There is by no means the amount of grip at Texas that there used to be as tires have changed, and the downforce levels of the cars have been greatly reduced. It has become one of the most challenging oval tracks we will run all year." -- Graham Rahal, who was runner-up in the 2012 race
2013: Will Power earned the Verizon P1 Award with a two-lap average speed of 219.182 mph. Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves won the race by 4.6919 seconds over Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
Championship chase: Power leads Team Penske teammate Castroneves by 19 points after seven races (Power has two victories, Castroneves one). The driver to win at Texas has gone on to win the championship five times. Since 1994, 11 drivers have won the eighth race of the season and gone on to win the championship.
Jim McElreathFor spectators: A Verizon IndyCar Series driver autograph session will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the INDYCAR Fan Village. ... Cody Canada and The Departed and Johnny Cooper will headline a concert following the race in the infield. The concert is free, but to gain access fans must have a ticket to the Firestone 600. Individual concert tickets also will be sold for $10 and will be available at Gate 4 once the Firestone 600 race has concluded. Fans also will have the opportunity post-race to tour the Verizon IndyCar Series garage before the concert. ... Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks, the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion, will wave the green flag to start the race. ... Jim McElreath, an Arlington, Texas, native, will give the command for the starting of engines. McElreath, 86, was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame located at Texas Motor Speedway in 2007. He also was inducted into the 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Indianapolis. He made 15 starts in the Indianapolis 500, where he was named the Rookie of the Year in 1962 (photo above) and had a career-best finish of third in 1966.
Of note: This is the 26th Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway since 1997, and the Firestone 600 will be held on the same date as that race won by Arie Luyendyk. The series competed twice there each season from 1998-2004. In 2011, the event was split into two races (114 laps/171 miles). ... There have been 18 different drivers who have won. ... Helio Castroneves holds the record for most with four (October 2004, June 2006, June 2009 and June 2013). ... Tomas Scheckter holds the record for most poles with three. ... Six drivers have won the race from the pole. ... There have been six differnt pole winners in the seven races this season (Takuma Sato the only repeater) ... Team Penske has the most team victories with eight. ... The furthest back a driver has started and won at Texas is 17th, accomplished by Justin Wilson in June 2012. ... The closest margin of victory at Texas came on Sept. 15, 2002, when Sam Hornish Jr. beat Castroneves to the finish line by .0096 of a second. Sixteen races at Texas have had a margin of victory of less than a second, and eight have been decided by less than one-tenth of a second. ... It is the second oval race this season; Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter also is entered.