Texas IndyCar Friday Notebook
The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the Firestone Twin 275s, a doubleheader of 114-lap races at 7:45 p.m. (CT) Saturday. The second race will follow approximately an hour after the first race concludes.
This is the 22nd IZOD IndyCar Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. Ryan Briscoe won the race in 2010. 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 in 2009. Past winners Ryan Briscoe (2010), Scott Dixon (2008), Helio Castroneves (2009, 2006 and Oct. 2004) and Tony Kanaan (June 2004) are entered in the event.
Drivers will have 12 total pushes of the Honda overtake assist - an ECU software alteration employed by Honda Performance Development - each lasting 20 seconds during both Firestone Twin 275s. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.
There is a 10-second recovery period between pushes. One overtake assist push is available for the final practice session on tonight.
Each entry for the Firestone Twin 275s receives nine sets (36 total) of Firestone Firehawks for the race weekend. It is the same formula used last year at Kentucky, Chicagoland and Homestead. It is also scheduled to be run in 2011 at Kentucky and Las Vegas.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Ana Beatriz will have Matt Curry as her engineer and Larry Curry as her strategist for the remainder of the season. Teammate Justin Wilson will have Yves Touron as his engineer and Dennis Reinbold as his strategist for the No. 22 car.
Matt Curry was the engineer on Wilson's car and Yves Touron was Paul Tracy's engineer for the Indianapolis 500 and on the No. 24 car last season.
Indy 500 champion Wheldon is presenter at CMT Music Awards: Dan Wheldon might not be as well known in Nashville as Kenny Chesney or Trace Adkins, but the Indianapolis 500 champion shared the stage with the country music stars June 8 during the CMT Music Awards in Nashville.
Wheldon joined Gary Busey and John Rich (of Big and Rich) to present the Best Duo Video Award to Sugarland for "Stuck Like Glue."
Wheldon's Victory Tour, which also has included events in New York, Fort Worth, Texas, and St. Petersburg, Fla., isn't quite complete. A full slate of media interviews and autograph sessions at the Country Music Association Festival was on tap June 9. He'll also introduce Rascal Flatts on stage for a concert at LP Field.
Bryan Herta Autosport team's entry in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 was partly sponsored by Curb Records (one of the world's leading independent music companies, featuring country artists such as Clay Walker and Hank Williams Jr.) and Big Machine Label Group (the label home of Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Rascal Flatts, among others).
Kanaan slides in dirt for charity: Tony Kanaan had a better handle June 8 on the GEICO-sponsored Late Model car prepared for the all-star Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in Ohio than last year.
Still, more practice laps would be in order for the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion to contend. For the second consecutive year, Kanaan competed in the charity team event on the dirt oval.
"Last year everything was new, and I learned a little bit more this year," said Kanaan, who will return to his more familiar No. 82 KV Racing Technology-Lotus car this week for the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway. "We did much better as far a lap times and starting position. Last year, we finished the race. This year, we had a little bit of a problem. It's so much fun, and I have to thank Tony (Stewart) and the Eldora staff so much for inviting me again.
"I became a big fan of dirt racing last year. It was my first time in the car. This year was my second time in the car, so I've already talked with the guys on the team about testing over the winter. Hopefully, I'll get a little bit better before next year."
There was an individual race winner (Clint Bowyer, who led all 30 laps in the feature), but there was also a race within the race, with the field divided into four teams, each representing a children's hospital:
Team Dallas: Kanaan, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, Ambrose, Almirola and Yeley.
Team Levine: Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Bill Elliott, David Reutimann, Austin Dillon, Ray Evernham and Cruz Pedregon.
Team Atlanta: Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Bowyer, Ken Schrader, David Gilliland, Leffler and Ron Capps.
Team St. Louis: Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Bobby Labonte, Justin Allgaier, Kenny Wallace, Ron Hornaday and Ricky Carmichael.
"Anything that involves charity and race cars I'll be in it," Kanaan said.