Texas Notebook - Thursday UPDATE Did you know that the Versus races are broadcast only to a total of 46 countries and territories worldwide. The ESPN on ABC races are broadcast to a total of 180 countries and territories worldwide. By contract, ESPN holds the international distribution rights to the five ESPN on ABC races for its networks worldwide. So any race on Versus will be seen by far less countries worldwide than the races on ABC. Latin America, including Mexico, is an example of a region that will see only the 5 races shown on ABC in the USA. Mark C.
06/05/09 This is the 20th IndyCar Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. Scott Dixon won the race in 2008. Gil de Ferran holds the single-lap qualifying record with a lap of 23.5031 seconds, 222.864 mph set in October 2003. Scott Dixon holds the four-lap qualifying record of 214.878 mph set last year. Past winners Scott Dixon (2008), Helio Castroneves (2006 and Oct. 2004), Tomas Scheckter (2005) and Tony Kanaan (June 2004) are entered in the event.
Danica Patrick is on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, joining luminaries such as Angelina Jolie (first on the list), Oprah Winfrey (second) and President Barack Obama (49th).
The Celebrity 100, which includes film and television actors, models, chefs, athletes, authors, and musicians, is a measure of entertainment-related earnings and media visibility (exposure in print, television, radio and online). The earnings estimates consist of pre-tax income between June 2008 and June 2009. Management, agent, and attorney fees are not deducted.
Patrick, who is ranked No. 100, broke through last year in Japan when she became the first woman to win a major closed-course auto race. Her third-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 on May 24 was the highest ever for a female driver. Patrick, who has four consecutive top-five finishes in the books, will compete this weekend in the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway in the No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola car for Andretti Green Racing.
Alex Tagliani has driven on the Texas Motor Speedway oval before, but this will be the first time he'll compete in a race. Tagliani, who advanced 22 positions to finish 11th in his first Indianapolis 500 on May 24, will drive the No. 34 entry with sponsorship from the Rexall Edmonton Indy, Lifelock, TDS and the King Tut exhibit that continues its national tour with a stop at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis starting June 27.
ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 34 Conquest Racing): "I remember my first time in Texas in 2001 back when I was in CART. It was pretty crazy having to cancel the race because of the sustained G forces. I enjoyed running at Texas back then so I'm looking forward to my first race here this weekend. I'm still fresh from our great run and unbelievable experience at Indy," he said. "It was great teamwork. This weekend will again be important for us. We will keep on doing our best and it will be a great opportunity for us to keep progressing on these types of tracks."
Luczo Dragon Racing co-owner Steve Luczo is not at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. He is in Sicily to present scholarships and receives honorary citizenship in Corleone, Italy, his family's hometown.
Luczo will present scholarships in honor of his mother Rose Luczo to students in Corleone. He and Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, will receive honorary citizenship June 6 in a ceremony at City Hall.
Dario Franchitti hopes running an Energizer livery at Texas will bring him the same luck it has for Scott Dixon over the last three years at TCGR.
Dixon has won the three races he has used the Energizer scheme. In 2006, Dixon won at Watkins Glen in the Energizer car. In 2007 and 2008 Dixon won at Nashville Superspeedway.
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Energizer): "I didn't know that (Scott was undefeated in the Energizer car), maybe he'll want to trade cars this weekend since I seem to run better in the Target colors. I know Dan (Wheldon) wasn't undefeated in the Energizer car. I just want to win races regardless of what the car looks like.