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2013 MAVTV 500 :: IZOD IndyCar Series Championships

 

AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY IN FONTANA, CA

Saturday, October 19, 2013 on NBC Sports

 

IndyCar title-deciding race stats: What and when to watch the MAVTV 500

Graphic credit: IndyCar.com

Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves pose for a photo with the IndyCar series world championship trophy.

 

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LOS ANGELES – The IZOD IndyCar Series championship duel between Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves will be played out Oct. 19 in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

It's the eighth consecutive year that the IZOD IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the final race, and it's the sixth year in a row that a driver from Team Penske will compete for the title. The team last earned the series title in 2006 with Sam Hornish Jr.

A Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver – either Dixon or Dario Franchitti -- has claimed the championship four of the past five years.

Dixon takes a 25-point lead into to 250-lap twilight race on the 2-mile D-shaped oval (8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network), but here's an interesting note: he's the last championship points leader entering the finale to close the deal. That was in 2008, when Dixon led Castroneves by 30 points heading to Chicagoland Speedway (the final gap was 17 points). In 2003, Dixon's other title season, he and Castroneves were tied entering the finale at Texas Motor Speedway.

"Each year is very different the way the points shake out, but it always seems to come down to the last race, the last lap, the last corner," Dixon said. "I'm just pleased to be in contention because it is so competitive in the IndyCar Series these days."

The principals gathered Oct. 17 at L.A. Live for a final round of interviews and photos, including with the Astor Cup that will be presented to the champion following the race.

“I know he’s strong enough mentally because he’s been in these situations,” Castroneves said of Dixon. “But who knows what could happen. It's going to be an exciting weekend at Auto Club Speedway. We had a very fast Auto Club of Southern California car at the Fontana test a couple of weeks ago and we go into this weekend with a lot of confidence.

"I have all the faith in the world in my team and I know we are capable of getting the job done on Saturday night. Everyone should make sure they are watching, because I have a feeling this is going to be an awesome race."

Practice and qualifications are Oct. 18. Real-time Timing & Scoring augmented by the IMS Radio Network broadcast is available on www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 app for all sessions and the race.

The full schedule (all times Eastern):

Oct. 18 -- 1:45-3:15 p.m. practice
5:15 p.m. qualifications (7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network)
9:05-9:35 p.m. practice

Oct. 19 -- 8 p.m. MAVTV 500 on NBC Sports Network
Oct. 20 -- 8:30 p.m. INDYCAR Championship Celebration streamed live on www.indycar.com and INDYCAR 13 app.

Of note

* With one race to go, the 2013 points battle is the largest since 2008 when first and second were separated by 30 points. The average points deficit with one to go since 2005 is 13.

* Castroneves has nine starts at Auto Club Speedway with a best finish of fifth in 2002 and 2013. Dixon has six starts at Auto Club Speedway with a best finish of second in 2003. He finished third in the 2013 race.

* Castroneves has 16 oval victories (2001-Indianapolis; 2002-Phoenix, Indianapolis; 2003-Gateway, Nazareth; 2004-Texas 2; 2005-Richmond; 2006-Motegi, Texas, Michigan; 2008-Chicagoland; 2009-Indianapolis, Texas; 2010-Kentucky, Motegi; 2013-Texas).

* Dixon has 18 oval victories (2001-Nazareth; 2003-Homestead, Pikes Peak, Richmond; 2006- Nashville; 2007- Nashville; 2008-Homestead, Indianapolis, Texas, Nashville, Kentucky; 2009-Kansas, Milwaukee, Richmond, Motegi; 2010-Kansas, Homestead; 2013-Pocono).

* Four of Castroneves' wins have come on superspeedways, while two of Dixon’s wins have come on a superspeedway.

2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Points Possibilities: DOWNLOAD (PDF)

Source: IndyCar.com

 

 

Graphic credit: IndyCar.com

Dixon and Castroneves shaking hands before the MAVTV 500.

 

 

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