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Latest IRL News and Commentary

2002 Indy 500 Fast-Facts

April 30, 2002

WHAT:

86th Indianapolis 500; fifth race in 15-race 2002 Indy Racing League season

WHERE:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2.5-mile paved oval

WHEN:

11 a.m. (EST) Sunday, May 26

DISTANCE:

200 laps/500 miles

POSTED AWARDS:

More than $9 million

CARS:

Dallara and G Force chassis; Chevy Indy V8 and Infiniti Indy V8 3.5-liter engines; Firestone tires

2001 RACE WINNER:

Helio Castroneves

2001 INDY RACING LEAGUE CHAMPION:

Sam Hornish Jr.

2002 POINTS LEADER:

Sam Hornish Jr.

TRACK RECORDS:

(Qualifying, one lap)

Arie Luyendyk, 95 Reynard/Ford Cosworth XB/Firestone, 37.895 seconds, 237.498 mph, May 12, 1996

(Qualifying, four-lap average)
Arie Luyendyk, 95 Reynard/Ford Cosworth XB/Firestone, 2 minutes, 31.908 seconds, 236.986 mph, May 12, 1996

(Race)

Arie Luyendyk, 90 Lola/Chevy Indy V8/Goodyear, 2 hours, 41 minutes, 18.404 seconds, May 27, 1990. Average: 185.981 mph

THE RACE:

-- The Indianapolis 500 has taken place annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1911 with the exception of the World War years (World War I, 1917-18 and World War II, 1942-45). It is the oldest automobile race in the United States.

-- The Indianapolis 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world.

RACE NOTES:

-- Six Indianapolis 500 champions are on the entry list: Arie Luyendyk (1990, 1997) Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Buddy Lazier (1996), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Kenny Brack (1999) and Helio Castroneves (2001). The six winners are the most on an entry list since 1994.

-- Penske Racing will seek its 12th Indianapolis 500 win. The team scored victories in 1972, '79, '81, '84, '85, '87, '88, '91, '93, '94 and 2001. Helio Castroneves captured the 11th win for Penske at the Indianapolis 500 last year and will drive for Marlboro Team Penske in this year's race.

-- Helio Castroneves will attempt to become the first back-to-back winner of the Indianapolis 500 since Al Unser in 1970 and '71. Unser now serves as a driver coach for the Indy Racing League.

-- Kenny Brack will attempt to qualify for the "500" for the first time since he won the event in 1999 driving for A.J. Foyt Racing. Brack is driving for Chip Ganassi Racing this year.

-- Of the 37 drivers on the entry list as of April 24, 20 have won a race in the Indy Racing League, CART, NASCAR Winston Cup or Formula One.

-- Al Unser Jr. and Arie Luyendyk have the chance to become one of only nine drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 at least three times if one of them drinks milk in Victory Lane on May 26. The eight drivers who have won at least three times: A.J. Foyt (1961, '64, '67, '77), Al Unser (1970, '71, '78, '87), Rick Mears (1979, '84, '88, '91), Louis Meyer (1928, '33, '36), Wilbur Shaw (1937, '39, '40), Mauri Rose (1941, '47, '48), Johnny Rutherford (1974, '76, '80) and Bobby Unser (1968, '75, '81).

-- Five former MBNA Pole Award winners are on the entry list: Arie Luyendyk (1993, 1997 and 1999), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Billy Boat (1998), Greg Ray (2000) and Scott Sharp (2001).

-- If a rookie wins this year's event, it will be the first time in Indianapolis 500 history that a rookie has won three years in a row. Juan Montoya won in 2000, and Helio Castroneves won in 2001.

-- Arie Luyendyk has the most previous starts of any driver scheduled to participate, with 15. Luyendyk came out of retirement in 2001 to attempt to claim one more victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having already won in 1990 and 1997. He announced his retirement prior to the 1999 Indianapolis 500, in which an accident in Turn 3 ended his day early. Since then he has competed only in last year's "500." Luyendyk has scored four top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes in his 15 starts.

-- There are 13 rookies on the entry list for this year's Indianapolis 500. All will attempt to capture the Bank One Rookie of the Year Award, given annually since 1952. The rookies are: Alex Barron (Blair Racing), John de Vries (Brayton Racing), Dario Franchitti (Team Green), Shigeaki Hattori (Bradley Motorsports), Johnny Herbert (Beck Motorsports), PJ Jones (Team Menard), Tony Kanaan (Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing), Anthony Lazzaro (Sam Schmidt Motorsports), George Mack (310 Racing), Max Papis (Red Bull Cheever Racing), Laurent Redon (Mi-Jack Conquest Racing), Tomas Scheckter (Red Bull Cheever Racing) and Rick Treadway (Treadway and Associates Racing).

-- If Michael Andretti leads 32 laps in this year's event, he will move into the top 10 in career laps led at the Speedway. He is 12th on the list with 398 laps, the most of any driver without a "500" victory. Andretti is also the only active driver among the top-25 lap leaders of all time.

-- Ten championship-winning teams have entered cars in this year's Indianapolis 500: five Indy Racing League championship teams (Bradley Motorsports, A.J. Foyt Racing, Team Menard, Hemelgarn Racing, Pennzoil Panther Racing), four CART championship teams (Marlboro Team Penske, Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Rahal, Team Green) and one NASCAR Winston Cup team (Richard Childress Racing). Marlboro Team Penske now competes full time in the Indy Racing League, while Target/Chip Ganassi Racing competes with a one-car effort in the IRL and two cars in CART. Richard Childress Racing is partnered with Team Menard for Robby Gordon's effort at the "500."

-- This will be the fifth time the race is scheduled to take place on May 26. Previous years include 1974, 1985, 1991 and 1996. Three of those four years produced first-time winners (Johnny Rutherford, '74, Danny Sullivan, '85 and Buddy Lazier, '96). The other produced a four-time winner (Rick Mears, '91).

-- Nine champions of major series are entered in this year's event. Five Indy Racing League champions: Scott Sharp (1996), Kenny Brack (1998), Greg Ray (1999), Buddy Lazier (2000) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2001), and four CART champions: Al Unser Jr. (1990, 1994), Michael Andretti (1991), Jimmy Vasser (1996) and Gil de Ferran (2000, 2001). Brack now competes in CART with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. Unser now competes full time in the Indy Racing League with Kelley Racing while de Ferran competes full time in the IRL with Marlboro Team Penske.

SERIES NOTES:

-- The Indy Racing League consists of a record 15 races this year between early-March and mid-September. Three new speedways are playing host to Indy Racing events in 2002: California Speedway on March 24 (won by Sam Hornish Jr.), Nazareth Speedway on April 21 (won by Scott Sharp) and Michigan International Speedway on July 28.

-- Sam Hornish Jr.'s victory March 24 at California was the fifth of his Indy Racing League career. Hornish reached five career Indy Racing victories faster than any driver in league history. It took Hornish 24 starts to achieve the feat. Scott Sharp previously was the fastest to five wins, doing so in 34 starts.

-- Sam Hornish Jr.'s margin of victory of .0281 of a second over Jaques Lazier in the Yamaha Indy 400 on March 24 at California Speedway was the second-closest finish in Indy Racing history. The closest finish in league history was Hornish over Scott Sharp by .0188 of a second in October 2001 at Texas Motor Speedway.

-- The average speed of the Yamaha Indy 400 at California Speedway was 179.345 mph, an Indy Racing League record. The previous fastest was 175.276 in October 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway, ironically set by Scott Goodyear in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara. Hornish now drives the Pennzoil Panther entry.

-- Helio Castroneves earned his second career Indy Racing League win on March 17 at Phoenix International Raceway. His first came at the 2001 Indianapolis 500. Castroneves earned two victories in his first four IRL starts, a league record. Arie Luyendyk previously had the record, by earning his second victory in his eighth start.

-- There were 10 cars on the lead lap at the finish at California Speedway, tying a league record set in 2000 at Walt Disney World Speedway and in 2001 at Kansas Speedway.

-- The 39 lead changes that took place at California Speedway are a league record. The previous record for lead changes in a race was 32 in October 2001 at Texas Motor Speedway.

-- Sam Hornish Jr. extended his Indy Racing League record of consecutive races running at the finish in the Firestone Indy 225 on April at Nazareth Speedway. Although he completed only 179 of the 225 laps, due to a mid-race accident with Buddy Lazier that put him 46 laps down, Hornish did finish the race. He has been running at the finish in 17 consecutive races.

-- Scott Sharp's victory in the Firestone Indy 225 on April 21 at Nazareth Speedway was the seventh of his career, moving him into second place on the all-time IRL win list behind Buddy Lazier, who has eight.

-- Scott Sharp has now won at least one race in six consecutive Indy Racing seasons, a league record.

-- Teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves swept the front-row starting positions for the Firestone Indy 225 on April 21 at Nazareth Speedway. Marlboro Team Penske became the first team to capture the entire front row for an IRL race since August 2001, when Scott Sharp won the MBNA Pole and Mark Dismore started second for Kelley Racing in the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

STATISTICS:

2002 points leaders
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 154
2. Gil de Ferran 149
3. Helio Castroneves 145
4. Felipe Giaffone 105
5. Scott Sharp 98
6. Jaques Lazier 90
7. Laurent Redon 81
8. Al Unser Jr. 78
9. Eliseo Salazar 77
Alex Barron 77

2002 money leaders
1. Sam Hornish Jr. $362,450
2. Gil de Ferran $301,350
3. Helio Castroneves $288,350
4. Felipe Giaffone $205,650
5. Scott Sharp $201,200

2002 wins
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 2
2. Helio Castroneves 1
Scott Sharp 1

2002 rookie points
1. Laurent Redon 81
2. Anthony Lazzaro 57
3. George Mack 53
4. Rick Treadway 50
5. Tomas Scheckter 49

2002 laps led
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 307
2. Helio Castroneves 119
3. Gil de Ferran 110
4. Al Unser Jr. 93
5. Jaques Lazier 45

2002 MBNA Poles
1. Helio Castroneves 1
Eddie Cheever Jr. 1
Gil de Ferran 1
Sam Hornish Jr. 1

2002 wins by chassis
1. Dallara 4

2002 wins by engine
1. Chevrolet 4 

--IMS--

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