Danica Patrick, Hideki Mutoh Turn Test Laps at Richmond
Andretti Green Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Hideki Mutoh spent Monday testing their Honda Dallaras at Richmond International Raceway in advance of the upcoming SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race at America’s Premier Short Track. Patrick, Mutoh and the rest of the stars of the IndyCar Series will return to Richmond International Raceway June 27-28 for an exciting weekend of open-wheel racing “under the lights,” featuring the eighth annual SunTrust Indy Challenge.
Patrick, who became the first female driver to win an IndyCar Series race earlier this season with her victory at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, has made three career starts at Richmond International Raceway with a best finish of sixth last season. For Mutoh, who is in his first full season racing in the IndyCar Series, it was his first visit to Richmond International Raceway. During an afternoon press conference, both drivers stressed the benefits and importance of testing.
“It’s so rare to get to come to a track that you race at and practice before you actually come here [to race],” Patrick said. “All this testing is very, very useful. When we come back in a couple of weeks, you’ll be on Lap 100 and you’ll already be comfortable and of course it helps the team be able to have a good set up to start with so we can all progress from the first practice on. There are a lot of good things that come from testing.”
“This is my first time here,” Mutoh said. “This is the smallest track I’ve been on in my career. I was asking Danica this morning how to run this track; which line should I take and where are the bumps—that kind of thing. She taught me well.”
The SunTrust Indy Challenge IndyCar Series race is the headlining event of an exciting weekend of open-wheel racing at Richmond International Raceway June 27-28. The weekend starts with NBC12 Day Friday, June 27, featuring IndyCar Series Pole Qualifying and the “Showdown at Sundown” USAC National Sprint Car Series race. Friday’s ticket also includes admission to an autograph session featuring all of the IndyCar Series drivers. On Saturday, June 28, the James River Grounds 100 USAC Silver Crown Series race precedes the SunTrust Indy Challenge.
The Indy Paddock Zone Fan Hospitality package is the best way to experience the thrills of open-wheel racing at Richmond International Raceway. For only $104, fans will receive a general admission ticket for NBC 12 Day Friday, a reserved seat for Saturday, featuring the SunTrust Indy Challenge, a weekend Pre-Race Pit/Garage Pass (must be 18 and older) and admission to the climate-controlled Indy Paddock Zone hospitality area on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, Friday’s ticket includes the autograph session with all of the IndyCar Series drivers.
The Indy Paddock Zone hospitality area on Saturday includes the appearances by Patrick, Tony Kanaan, Vitor Meira, other IndyCar Series personalities and track president Doug Fritz, an all you can eat dinner buffet, unlimited sodas and water, three beer tickets for guests 21 and older (with valid ID), music and interactive games, prizes and more!
The Pre-Race Pit/Garage pass allows entry to the IndyCar Series garage area and pit road area on both Friday and Saturday. The passes expire one hour before the start of the USAC races. To take advantage of the Pre-Race Pit/Garage pass, guests must by 18 years of age or older with a valid ID. Additionally, no coolers are allowed in the Indy Paddock Zone hospitality area or on pit road.
To purchase the Indy Paddock Zone package, tickets to the SunTrust Indy Challenge or for more information, call the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) or log on to www.rir.com. RIR PR