Friday, June 10, 2011

Texas INDYCAR Preview

Texas INDYCAR Preview

The IZOD IndyCar Series will saddle up for two 114 lap races at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday Night. IndyCar Garage is live at Texas with coverage throughout the weekend.
Five stories to watch at Texas Motor Speedway

1. Twin races return

The last time INDYCAR had twin races, it was 1981 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Rick Mears swept both. The format of two races in the same night returns to arguably the most exciting track to watch INDYCAR racing. The first 114 lap race will start at 7:45 Central time follow by a one hour half time. During the halftime, a victory lane celebration will be for race winner #1 and then the pre-race stage will be brought back onto the front stretch for the random draw of the starting positions for the second race. Starting with the last-place finisher of race 1 and closing with the race 1 winner, each driver will walk onto stage and spin one of the 30 Firestone tires to reveal their starting position for race #2.

2. Oval Racing is exciting
INDYCAR arguably offers the most excitement and drama when they race on ovals. Texas Motor Speedway offers INDYCAR at 215 mph and allows for two and three wide pack racing. Danica Patrick is a huge fan of ovals, was quoted as “This is IndyCar racing at its best “ when asked about the racing at Texas. Oval racing at Texas also can be very dangerous, just ask Davey Hamilton of Dryer and Reinbold Racing. 10 years ago at Texas, Hamilton was involved in a scary backstretch crash that nearly paralyzed him. Hamilton was scheduled to race last year at Texas, but was unable to participate because of the lack of cars for Dragon Racing. Hamilton will get his chance tomorrow night as he prepares for his second race of the 2011 season and first at Texas since 2001.

3. Dan Wheldon is in Texas but…..

Two time Indy 500 Champion and reigning Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon will be at Texas Motor Speedway for the race on Saturday night but will be in the broadcast booth for VERSUS and not the cockpit. Wheldon, drove for Bryan Herta Autosport in a one off effort for the Indy 500, won on a last lap pass of J.R. Hildebrand, who hit the wall in turn four. Wheldon’s winning car actually is being driven by Wade Cunningham of Sam Schmidt Motorsports for this race, and it’s a 2003 model. Bottom line is that INDYCAR needs its Indy 500 champ in a full-time ride, not in the broadcast booth two weeks after he won the season’s biggest race. Wheldon turned down a one off ride at Texas with KV Racing, and also has offers from NASCAR as well. It’s likely it could be 2012 before fans see Wheldon in an INDYCAR Ride.

4. Alex Tagliani makes it two for two

Alex Tagliani of Sam Schmidt Motorsports captured his second pole of the 2011 season, and his second in a row. Tagliani was the feel good story of the Indy 500 when he started on the pole at Indy for the first time in his career. Tagliani was the only driver over 215 mph, and his teammate Wade Cunningham will start 8th, driving the same car Dan Wheldon took to victory lane two weeks ago at the Indy 500. Hopefully Tagliani can translate his qualifying good luck into a trip into victory lane.

5. Predication's for the race

Texas will have two winners, I get two chances make predication's on who will win the race. Let’s not forget that I predicated Ryan Briscoe would win last year at Texas and he took home his only victory of the 2010 season at Texas last year.

Race one
Winner: Dario Franchitti
Second: Will Power
Third: Marco Andretti

Race Two
Winner: Tony Kanaan
Second: Danica Patrick
Third: Dario Franchitti

Tune in tomorrow for more live coverage from Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar Garage will have a pre-race interview with Simona De Silverstro and another live IndyCar Garage Weekly at 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Check it out and tune in!

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