Bombardier Learjet 550k

First-time winner at Texas? With nine rookies in the IndyCar Series field and several other drivers competing in the IndyCar Series for the first time, will a driver win his or her first race at Texas Motor Speedway? Already this season, Graham Rahal, Danica Patrick and Ryan Briscoe have won their first career races. Despite 18 IndyCar Series races at Texas, only won driver won his first series race at the track – Al Unser Jr. in 2000. Don’t blink Texas features the closest racing in the IndyCar Series. In 18 races on the 1.5-mile oval, 13 have been determined by less than one second. Six races, including last year’s, have been had a margin of victory of less than one-tenth of a second. Will there be another side-by-side finish? Penske domination Prior to Ryan Briscoe’s win June 1 at The Milwaukee Mile, Team Penske’s last victory came at Texas in 2007. The team has four wins at Texas, including the last two. Helio Castroneves, a two-time winner at Texas, has led 214 laps in nine starts. Can Team Penske win its third in a row at Texas? Dixon maintains points lead Scott Dixon holds a 28-point lead in the standings over Helio Castroneves. Dixon has two victories and has led 508 of the last 825 laps, including 100 or more laps in four consecutive races. The 2003 IndyCar Series champion has finished second twice at Texas, leading 63 laps. Can Dixon breakthrough for his victory at Texas? Meira-Panther eye Victory Lane The perfect storm could be brewing for Panther Racing and driver Vitor Meira. Panther has five victories at Texas – more than any other team in the IndyCar Series – and Meira has seven top-10 finishes in eight starts at Texas, including four top-fives. The team finished second at Indy and had a strong run at Milwaukee. Can they find Victory Lane at Texas? Beware the Dragon Luczo Dragon Racing returns to IndyCar Series competition at Texas with driver Tomas Scheckter. The team has added Texas and Chicagoland to the limited schedule they had planned for 2008. Scheckter has led 371 laps at Texas, is a three-time pole winner and won the event in 2005. The team qualified fourth at Kansas and 11th at Indianapolis and had solid runs in both races? Can Scheckter dominate at Texas with a new team? Race Notes: The Bombardier Learjet 550k will be the 19th IndyCar Series event conducted at Texas Motor Speedway, the most of any track on the IndyCar Series schedule. Helio Castroneves (2004, 2006) is a two-time winner of the event. Tony Kanaan (2004) and Tomas Scheckter (2005) also are past winners at Texas. Three drivers entered have won the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award at Texas: Tomas Scheckter (2002, 2003 and 2005), Helio Castroneves (2004) and Vitor Meira (2002). Fourteen drivers entered in the Bombardier Learjet 550k have raced in previous IndyCar Series events at the track. Eight of those drivers have led laps (Tomas Scheckter 371, Tony Kanaan 266, Dan Wheldon 246, Helio Castroneves 216, Scott Dixon 63, Vitor Meira 12, Buddy Rice 7, and Danica Patrick 2). Four Indianapolis 500 champions are expected to participate in the Bombardier Learjet 550k: Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004), Dan Wheldon (2005) and Scott Dixon (2008). Three IndyCar Series champions are scheduled to participate in the Bombardier Learjet 550k: Scott Dixon (2003), Tony Kanaan (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005). Season-to-Date: ·         Helio Castroneves is the only driver to finish in the top five in all six races this season. Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan are the only other driver to finish in the top 10 in five races. ·         Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon are the only drivers to complete all 1,108 laps in 2008. ·         Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dan Wheldon are the only drivers running at the finish of every race in 2008. Milestones & Records: Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 104th career IndyCar Series start. It would also be his 102nd consecutive start. Helio Castroneves can establish an IndyCar Series record for most consecutive seasons with at least one win should he win the Bombardier Learjet 550k. Castroneves is tied with Scott Sharp with victories in seven consecutive seasons. Helio Castroneves can extend his IndyCar Series record for consecutive seasons with a pole to seven if he can win the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award. Vitor Meira has gone 82 starts without a victory in the IndyCar Series, the longest drought of any IndyCar Series driver. Schedule (local time): June 5 7:40-9:10 p.m. – IndyCar Series practice June 6 2-3:30 p.m. – IndyCar Series practice (two groups) 5:45 p.m. – PEAK Motor Oil Pole Qualifying June 7 7:30 p.m. – Bombardier Learjet 550k pre-race 8:30 p.m. – Bombardier Learjet 550k (228 laps/342 miles)