July 30, 2006 on ABC
10 Countdown to Race Weekend
– Driving the No. 10 car for his first season with Target
Chip Ganassi Racing is 2005 series champion Dan Wheldon. Wheldon
finished second in last season’s Firestone Indy 400
at MIS while driving for Andretti Green. He won the opening
race of 2006 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
– Tony Kanaan will be making career start No. 9 in the
Firestone Indy 400 at MIS. Kanaan recorded his first ever
open wheel victory at the 2-mile oval back in 1999. He has
since gone on to win six IRL IndyCar Series races, including
three during his championship season in 2004. He has yet to
win in 2006, but has led the most laps in IndyCar Series competition
at MIS (208).
– Danica Patrick will make her second career start at
MIS in the Firestone Indy 400. Last season, Patrick finished
20th after starting in the No. 8 position. In 2006, Patrick
has registered a number of top-10 showings, including an eighth-place
finish at Indianapolis and a fourth-place finish at Nashville.
– Bryan Herta won the 2005 Firestone Indy 400 at MIS
last season in the No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone
and became the 12th different first-time winner in the last
12 major open-wheel races at the track, dating back to 1995
when Scott Pruett took the checkered flag at MIS for his first
– Just six drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 and
the open-wheel event at MIS in the same season. In 2004, Buddy
Rice became the latest to accomplish the feat. Other drivers
who have completed the double include Johnny Rutherford in
1980, Gordon Johncock in 1982, Bobby Rahal in 1986, Rick Mears
in 1991, and now-NASCAR-bound Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.
– This season’s Firestone Indy 400 will be the
fifth IRL IndyCar Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Past champions include Tomas Scheckter (2002), Alex Barron
(2003), Buddy Rice (2004), and Bryan Herta (2005).
– Vitor Meira, the driver of the No. 4 Honda for Vision
Racing, has been strong in 2006, with eight top-10 and five
top-five finishes in nine races so far this season. Currently,
he sits fifth in points. Meira is on the verge of his best
season yet in the IRL IndyCar Series.
– Only three rookie drivers in the history of the IRL
IndyCar Series have won a race in their first season of competition.
The last rookie success happened at MIS when Tomas Scheckter
won in 2002, following Buzz Calkins (1996 at Walt Disney World)
and Jim Guthrie (1997 at Phoenix). Will Marco Andretti become
the fourth in 2006?
– Just two drivers have finished in the top 10 in each
of the four IRL IndyCar Series races at MIS. Scott Sharp and
Sam Hornish Jr. have each turned the top-10 trick in 2002,
2003, 2004, and 2005, but neither has taken a checkered flag
at the two-mile oval.
– 1960s driver Ronnie Bucknum had one victory in his
IndyCar career. His lone win came on October 13, 1968 at Michigan
International Speedway. 38 years later, Bucknum’s son,
Jeff, will make his first MIS start in the Firestone Indy
400 in hopes of repeating his father’s success.
day, a new fact about MIS will be added up until the start
of the race!!
are still available for the Firestone Indy 400 on Sunday, July 30,
along with all events at MIS during the weekend, including IndyCar
Series practice and qualifying on Saturday, July 29, and exhibits
by historic Indy cars and Corvettes. Fans can purchase tickets by
logging on to www.MISpeedway.com,
or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.
The MIS ticket hotline is open from 9:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M.
seven days a week.
Michigan International Speedway
to our 2006
IRL FIRESTONE INDY 400 Index.
for all your Nascar
Tickets. We have premium Nascar
Nextel Cup Series Tickets for all Nascar
IRL :: IRL :: IRL :: IRL ::
the MIS Ticket Hotline
354-1010 or (517) 592-6672
online 24/7 at www.MISpeedway.com
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