IZOD IndyCar series championship to be decided in finale, MAVTV 500

Race Broadcast Saturday, Oct. 19 8 p.m. (ET) NBCSN

Qualifying Broadcast Friday, Oct. 18 7 p.m. (ET) NBCSN

Track Auto Club Speedway (2-mile D-shaped oval)

Distance 250 laps/500 miles

Radio IMS Radio Network XM 211/Sirius 211

2012 Race Winner Ed Carpenter

2012 Pole Sitter Marco Andretti (1:06.6455 (two-lap cumulative time), 216.069 mph)

Track Record Gil de Ferran (30.255, 241.428 mph) Oct. 2000

First Indy car Race 9/28/1997

Dixon, Castroneves take championship battle to California

The IZOD IndyCar Series championship is a two-man race between Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves. Dixon took advantage of Castroneves’ misfortune at Houston and took the points lead. He leads the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner by 25 heading into the finale, but Castroneves isn’t ready to concede. The IZOD IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the final race for the eighth year in a row. Which driver will win the title?

Penske vs. Ganassi for title

For the sixth year in a row, a driver from Team Penske will compete for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship, and the competition is longtime rival Target Chip Ganassi Racing – Indy car racing’s equivalent to the rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Can Team Penske secure its first title since 2006, or will Chip Ganassi’s team claim another Indy car crown?

Last chance to claim a win in 2013

Indy car race winners Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson have finished on podium in 2013, but they are still looking for a trip to Victory Lane. Can one of these drivers take the win at the final race of the season at Auto Club Speedway and become the record-tying 11th driver to win a race?

Manufacturer’s title still up for grabs

The tight competition of the IZOD IndyCar Series isn’t exclusive to the drivers’ championship. Chevrolet and Honda are tied in the manufacturer standings. Both took their ninth win by splitting the doubleheader in Houston. Who will come out on top in Southern California?

Final leg of Fuzzy’s Triple Crown to test endurance of drivers, teams

The MAVTV 500 will be a test of man and machine as the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams will race 500 miles around one of the series’ fastest ovals. Tony Kanaan claimed a dramatic win in the Indianapolis 500 in May, while Scott Dixon was a surprise winner at Pocono in July. Can Kanaan sweep the 500-milers in 2013 and claim the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown bonus of $250,000? Or can Dixon add another bonus award to his 2013 account?

Keep an eye on Carpenter

Ed Carpenter claimed his first win as an owner/driver when he won the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in 2012, and he would like nothing more than to successfully defend his title. Carpenter, who won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in May, recorded all four of his top-10 finishes on ovals this season and has won the last two IZOD IndyCar Series season finales. Will he keep his streak going?

Race Notes:

· The MAVTV 500 will be the 12th Indy car race at Auto Club Speedway and the sixth IZOD IndyCar Series event. Ed Carpenter won the race in 2012.

· CART and Champ Car held six Indy car races at Auto Club Speedway from 1997-2002. Mauricio Gugelmin won the pole for the first Indy car race at Auto Club Speedway in 1997. Mark Blundell won the race.

· Jimmy Vasser, Adrian Fernandez and Sam Hornish Jr., are the only drivers to win at Auto Club Speedway more than once. Vasser won in 1998 and 2002; Fernandez won in 1998 and 2004 and Hornish won back-to-back races in 2002 and 2003. Ed Carpenter (2012) is the only past winner entered in the MAVTV 500.

· Five drivers who have won the pole at Auto Club Speedway are entered in the MAVTV 500. They are: Alex Tagliani (2001), Tony Kanaan (2002), Helio Castroneves (2003), Scott Dixon (2004) and Marco Andretti (2012).

· Dario Franchitti (2005) is the only driver to win at Auto Club Speedway from the pole position.

Firestone Firehawk race tires are the same superspeedway tire specification run earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway.Each entry receives 15 sets of tires for the race weekend. Rookie drivers and those outside the top 10 in points receive a 16th set that must be returned following the first practice session.Tire stagger of approximately 0.45 of an inch is available. Tire stagger, created by molding the right rear tire with a slightly larger diameter than the left rear, helps IndyCars turn more smoothly on oval tracks.Firestone Fun Fact: At Auto Club Speedway, the Firestone Firehawk right rear tire can carry the load of an entire Honda Civic or Chevy Cruze through the turns. The amount of side force all four tire positions can carry is up to four times the weight of an entire IndyCar.

Championship Facts:

· Scott Dixon leads the IZOD IndyCar Series championship with one race to go for the fourth time in his career. Dixon won the title in 2003 and 2008 and finished second to Dario Franchitti in 2009.

· Dixon leads Helio Castroneves by 25 points. It is the first time he's led in 2013.

· There are two drivers eligible for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. Dixon will clinch his third series title with a finish of fifth, regardless of where Castroneves finishes.

· This is the eighth straight season that the IZOD IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the final race.

Season to Date:

· Scott Dixon and Will Power split the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader. Dixon extended his active lead in race wins. Power won his 20th Indy car race.

· Simon Pagenaud won for the second time in his Indy car career when he won the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

· Will Power won his 19th Indy car race in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. It was his third win in four years at Sonoma.

· Charlie Kimball won his first Indy car race in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. He was the 210th driver to win an Indy car race and the fourth first-time winner in 2013.

· Scott Dixon swept the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader to become the active leader in wins. The wins were his 31st and 32nd of his Indy car career.

· Scott Dixon led the first podium sweep for Chip Ganassi Racing when he won the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco. It was his first win of 2013 and the 30th of his Indy car career.

· Marco Andretti won his second pole position of 2013 at Pocono. It was his fourth career pole position.

· James Hinchcliffe won the Iowa Corn Indy 250. It was his third win of 2013 and the fourth straight win at Iowa for Andretti Autosport. Helio Castroneves won qualifying heat No. 3 to secure his first pole of the season.

· Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Milwaukee IndyFest for the second consecutive year. It was Hunter-Reay's second win of 2013 and the fourth for Andretti Autosport.

· Helio Castroneves won his 28th Indy car race in the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.

· Will Power won his 31st career Indy car pole at Texas.

· Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud split the wins in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit. It was Conway's second Indy car win and Pagenaud's first Indy car victory.

· Tony Kanaan won the 97th Indianapolis 500 to record his 16th Indy car victory.

· Ed Carpenter won his first pole position since 2010 at Kentucky when he won the pole for the 97th Indianapolis 500.

· There were a race-record 14 leaders and race-record 68 lead changes at Indianapolis.

· James Hinchcliffe won the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 with a last-lap, last-turn pass of Takuma Sato. It was his second win of 2013 and the third win in four races for Andretti Autosport.

· Takuma Sato won his first Indy car race in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He was the 208th driver to win an Indy car race and first Japanese driver to win. It was A.J. Foyt's first win as a car owner since 2002.

· Dario Franchitti won his 30th career Indy car pole at Long Beach.

· Ryan Hunter-Reay won his 10th Indy car race in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park from the pole position. It was the second time he had won a race from pole.

· James Hinchcliffe won the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It was the first win of his Indy car career. He was the 207th driver to win an Indy car race.

· Will Power won his 30th career Indy car pole at St. Petersburg.

· Tristan Vautier started his first career IZOD IndyCar Series race at St. Petersburg.

· James Davison and Luca Filippi made their first career IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Mid-Ohio.

· Lucas Luhr started his first career IZOD IndyCar Series race at Sonoma.

· Stefan Wilson started his first career IZOD IndyCar Series race at Baltimore.

Milestones & Records:

· Scott Dixon moved into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time wins list with his wins at Toronto's Exhibition Place. Dixon won his 31st and 32nd race to pass Sebastien Bourdais, Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy.

· With their next victory, either Dario Franchitti or Sebastien Bourdais will break a tie for eighth place on the all-time wins list. Franchitti and Bourdais are tied with Paul Tracy with 31 wins.

· Scott Dixon extended his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to nine with his win at Pocono Raceway.

· Helio Castroneves moved into sole possession of 11th place on the all-time victory list with his win at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. Castroneves won his 28th race to break a tie with Johnny Rutherford.

· Helio Castroneves needs two earned poles to reach 40 in his Indy car career after he won the Verizon P1 Award at Iowa Speedway.

· Will Power recorded the 30th pole of his Indy car career at St. Petersburg and his 31st pole position at Texas.

· Dario Franchitti recorded the 33rd pole of his Indy car career at Sonoma, which gave him sole possession of sixth on the all-time list.

· Scott Dixon earned the 20th pole position of his Indy car career when he won the Verizon P1 Award at Baltimore. Dixon tied Gordon Johncock for 14th all-time.

· With his pole at Toronto 2, Scott Dixon extended his IZOD IndyCar Series streak to eight consecutive seasons.

· Scott Dixon's second-place finish at Houston 2 was the 31st of his Indy car career. He tied Al Unser for fifth on the all-time list.

· Dario Franchitti is the active leader in top-five finishes with 119, which tied Bobby Rahal for sixth on the all-time list. Franchitti finished third at Sonoma.

· Helio Castroneves tied Rick Mears for ninth on the all-time list by recording the 111th top-five finish of his Indy car career at Toronto 2.

· Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 215th consecutive start extending his all-time record. Scott Dixon with 156 straight starts (sixth all-time), Marco Andretti with 132 straight starts (12th all-time) and Ryan Hunter-Reay with 107 straight starts (tied for 19th all-time) are the only other active drivers with a streak of 100 consecutive starts or more.

· Helio Castroneves is the active leader in starts with 276, which is eighth on the all-time list.

· Tony Kanaan has 275 starts, which is ninth on the all-time list.

· Dario Franchitti passed Bobby Rahal for 10th all-time by starting both races at Houston. Franchitti has 265 starts.

· Will Power led 91 laps at Houston to surpass 1,900 laps led in his Indy car career. Power has led 1,906 laps in his career.

At-Track Schedule (all times local):

Friday, Oct. 18

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series practice 1

2:15 - 3:45 p.m. - MAVTV 500 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (Race 1). (Cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (Taped, 7 p.m. ET)

6:05 - 6:35 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series final practice

Saturday, Oct. 19

12:30-12:35 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series systems check

5 p.m. - MAVTV 500 pre-race

5:50 p.m. - MAVTV 500 (250 laps/500 miles), NBCSN (Live).