IRL headlines

Dixon provides No. 100 Castroneves hits L.A. for awards shows Public to vote for Firestone “Tire”-rific move of the race Drivers reap post-race awards

1. Dixon provides No. 100: Scott Dixon’s victory in the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway was the 100th for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in six motorsports series since its inception in 1990 as a one-car Indy car racing program.

Of the 100 wins, 22 have come in the IndyCar Series - the first with Juan Pablo Montoya in the Indianapolis 500. He led 167 of the 200 laps in the Aurora/G Force.

It was the fourth victory of the season for the driver of the No. 9 car, which assisted in pushing his IndyCar Series points lead to 63 over Team Penske's Helio Castroneves (finished third) as the series travels to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this week. Dixon led 53 of the 171 laps in the Honda-powered Dallara before the race was called.

"Having been a part of this team for almost seven years now, you understand exactly what it takes to win the big races and championships at the highest levels of racing," said Dixon, this year's Indianapolis 500 winner who also won the IndyCar Series title in his rookie season in 2003. "I think the tremendous amount of success the organization has seen is a direct result of the team Chip has assembled over the years. The people are the ones that truly make a difference."


2. Castroneves hits L.A. for awards shows: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves is taking time away from the hectic IndyCar Series schedule to go to Los Angeles for two events this week.

This evening, Castroneves will be attending Univision’s “Premios Deportes” Awards in Pasadena, Calif. Castroneves has been nominated for an award in the “Auto Racer of the Year” category along with fellow IndyCar Series driver Milka Duno and NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

In addition, Castroneves will be presenting the “All-Star Soccer Team of the Year Award,” which will be decided by fan votes.

The July 14 ceremonies mark the first-ever “Premios Deportes” Awards that were created to honor Latin athletes and their talent, perseverance, and character; as well as their impact on the Latin Community. IndyCar Series driver Mario Moraes will also attend the event.

 “It is truly an honor to be recognized by the Latin community for my contribution to the sports world,” said Castroneves of his award nomination. “Being from Brazil, the Latin community in the United States is a tremendously important part of my life. To be considered one of the top Latin drivers competing in America is something I’m very proud of, and I will certainly keep my fingers crossed at tonight’s ceremony!”

As if one awards show this week wasn’t enough for Castroneves, he will remain

in Los Angeles to attend the 16th Annual ESPY Awards on July 16.

Castroneves' role at the ceremony will be two-fold, he will present the “Female

International Athlete of the Year” ESPY, and he will work as a correspondent

for Entertainment Tonight, reporting from the red carpet and behind the scenes at the Nokia Theater.

It's Castroneves' second tour as an E.T.'s correspondent. He also provided post-show interviews for the entertainment show during the most recent season of “Dancing with the Stars.”

 “I am really looking forward to attending the ESPY’s this week,” Castroneves said. “The evening is a perfect opportunity for athletes to interact with one another away from the track, field and court; and it’s always a good time. And this year, not only do I have the honor of presenting an award, but I also get to work with ‘Entertainment Tonight.’ I had a blast trying things on the other side of the camera during the most recent season of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ so I’m definitely looking forward to hitting the red carpet on Wednesday night.”

Castroneves could run into familiar faces on the red carpet. Danica Patrick is nominated for two awards (Best Female Athlete and Best Moment) while Scott Dixon is nominated for best driver.

In addition, Castroneves will also be taping a segment with professional snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, which is slated to air during the “Countdown Show” leading up to the awards broadcast. The piece will feature the pair as they highlight the gift bags that ESPY nominees and presenters will be receiving.


3. Public to vote for Firestone “Tire”-rific move of the race: Fans will have the ultimate say in who receives a $10,000 race bonus from Firestone. After each IndyCar Series race, Firestone executives pick three “Tire”-rific Moves of the Race, on-track moves where the drivers had to rely on their Firestone Firehawk tires. Fans can vote for the winner at

            Ryan Hunter-Reay won the fans’ vote from the race at Watkins Glen and was awarded $10,000 during pre-race ceremonies at Nashville Superspeedway.

            From the Firestone Indy 200, fans can choose from:

Helio Castroneves for his pass of Tony Kanaan for third on the final restart. Mario Moraes for advancing the most spots -- 20th to 10th for second top 10 in a row. Scott Dixon and his crew for a lightning-fast pit stop.' In past seasons, Firestone has awarded the bonus to the driver who led the lap that corresponded to the total number of races in IndyCar Series history.


4. Drivers reap post-race awards: Scott Dixon reaped the benefits from winning the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Dixon was presented an IndyCar Series timepiece from Ritmo Mundo, the official timepiece of the IndyCar Series. Ritmo Mundo presents a timepiece to the winner of each IndyCar Series event in 2008. In addition, Dixon won the $5,000 DirecTV Crystal Clear Moment of the Race and also collected $1,000 from Bosch.

            Helio Castroneves won the $10,000 PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award while Tony Kanaan won the $2,000 Lincoln Welders Hard Charger Award for being the race leader who started furthest back, and Vitor Meira collected the $2,000 XTrac Award.


            The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Honda Indy 200 at Mid Ohio Presented by Westfield Insurance July 20 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with a doubleheader race weekend at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. The first Mid-Ohio 100 is scheduled for 5:25 p.m., on July 19. The second race will take placeat 10:35 a.m., on July 20. Both races will air at 2 p.m. (EDT) July 24 on ESPN2 and live on ESPN2's coverage of the Sunbelt Rentals 100 at 2:30 p.m. on July 17.