Firestone 600 Fast Facts
Date: Saturday, June 6, 2015
Track: Texas Motor Speedway, a 1.455-mile oval
Entry List: Firestone 600 (PDF)
Race distance: 248 laps / 360.84 miles
Firestone tire allotment: Eleven sets for use through the weekend
Event website: www.TexasMotorSpeedway.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2014 race winner: Ed Carpenter
2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Will Power, 47.8584 seconds, 218.896 mph (two laps)
Qualifying record (two laps): Will Power, 47.7960 seconds, 219.182 mph, June 7, 2013
Qualifying record (one lap): Gil de Ferran, 23.5031 seconds, 222.864 mph, Oct. 10, 2003
NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 6 p.m. ET Friday, June 5; Race, 8 p.m. ETSaturday, June 6. Brian Till is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Paul Page is the chief announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.comand on the INDYCAR 15 app. Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.
Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season are available on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR 15 app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where a fan’s favorite driver is positioned, leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter as drivers talk strategy with their pit crews during the race.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, June 5
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
3:15-4:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying (single-car format, cumulative time of two laps)
6:45-7:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
Saturday, June 6
3:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series systems check
7 p.m. – NBCSN on air
7:50 p.m. – Firestone 600 (248 laps/360.84 miles)
* There have been seven different winners in eight Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1) and Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners. Dixon’s win at Long Beach onApril 19 gave him sole possession of fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36. He is the active leader in wins.
* The Firestone 600 will be the 27th Indy car event conducted at Texas Motor Speedway since the track opened in 1997. TMS hosted two races a year from 1998-2004 and featured a doubleheader event in 2011.
* This is the second of six oval races on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Montoya won the first this season, the Indianapolis 500, on May 24.
* Helio Castroneves has won four times at Texas Motor Speedway (2004 Race 2, 2006, 2009 and 2013), the most wins by an Indy car driver at the track. He is one of six past TMS winners entered in this year’s race, along with Tony Kanaan (2004 Race 1), Dixon (2008), Ryan Briscoe (2010), Will Power (2011 Race 2) and Ed Carpenter (2014).
* Power has won the pole for the past two Texas Motor Speedway races. Other past pole winners entered this year are Castroneves (2004 Race 2), Dixon (2008) and Briscoe (2010). Kanaan won a draw to start first for the second of the 2011 doubleheader races.
* Six drivers have won the Texas race from the pole: Sam Hornish Jr. (2001 Race 2), Gil de Ferran (2003 Race 2), Castroneves (2004 Race 2), Tomas Scheckter (2005), Dixon (2008) and Briscoe (2010).
* Drivers who have won at Texas have gone on to win the Verizon IndyCar Series championship five times: Hornish (2001 Race 2 and 2002 Race 2), Kanaan (2004 Race 1), Dixon (2008) and Dario Franchitti (2011 Race 1).
* Twenty drivers entered this weekend have competed in past Verizon IndyCar Series events at Texas Motor Speedway. Ten of those drivers have led laps at the track (Marco Andretti 82, Briscoe 282, Carpenter 91, Castroneves 492, Dixon 256, Ryan Hunter-Reay 35, Kanaan 313, Montoya 13, Power 245 and Graham Rahal 27).
* Three drivers entered this weekend – Gabby Chaves, Stefano Coletti and Sage Karam – will make their first attempt to start a Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
* Kanaan seeks to start his 242nd consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 183 consecutive starts heading into the weekend.
* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed separate aero kit specifications for road and street course/short ovals and superspeedways for the Dallara IR-12 chassis. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer. The superspeedway versions of the kits made their competition debut at the Indianapolis 500 and will be used again this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
* The No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske crew of Helio Castoneves won the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award during Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit with a total pit lane time of 52.462 seconds. During Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport crew of Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award with a total pit lane time of 55.464 seconds. The Hitachi Team Penske crew and the DHL Andretti Autosport crew will receive their respective $5,000 awards during pre-race festivities at the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Firestone 600 pre-race driver quotes:
WILL POWER (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I love racing at Texas, and after how strong our Verizon Chevy was at Indianapolis last month, I’m even more confident going there this weekend. I know we can win at Texas because this team has done it before with my first Verizon IndyCar Series oval win there in 2011. We obviously left some points on the table in Detroit after getting caught up in the accident late in the second race. I know my teammates will be quick so we need to make sure we match their pace early and have a shot at the end. The great thing about the Verizon IndyCar Series is that you have to be a master of many different disciplines, including ovals, if you want to be a champion. We have made great strides in that area, but it’s something I’m constantly working on to stay at the top of my game.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I am as confident as I have ever been heading into Texas this weekend. I told someone the other day that I really feel like we should win the race. The No. 2 Verizon Chevy team is hitting its stride at the moment. We have speed in the car every weekend. If we can just minimize our mistakes and execute properly I don’t think there is anything we can’t accomplish. There are two goals every year for Team Penske in the Verizon IndyCar Series. One is to win the Indianapolis 500, which we were fortunate enough to do. The second is to keep the Verizon IndyCar Series championship within the team. We are halfway through the season with a lot of racing left to go, but I like our chances to do both for Roger (Penske) and everyone that works so hard in this organization.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet): “If you look around the track at Texas Motor Speedway you notice there are streets that are named after several drivers. There isn’t one named after me, though. I told Eddie Gossage (track president) last year that I want to have my own street at Texas. I mean, I am the only four-time Verizon IndyCar Series winner at the track. He assured me that if I make it five wins there will be a ‘Helio Castroneves Boulevard.’ at Texas Motor Speedway. I love racing at Texas. It’s just super fast. You don’t get the sensation of speed anywhere like you do there. I’m confident we can get the AAA Chevrolet into Victory Lane and, hopefully, gain a lot of points this weekend.”
STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): “I am looking forward to getting back to an oval. I had never been on one until Indianapolis a few weeks ago and after I had got used to it, I had a lot of fun. Texas will be different, though, with some big banking, so I will have a lot to learn. I will need to try and get as many laps in as I can and see how it goes, but I always like a challenge. After everything the people in Texas have gone through over the last few weeks, I hope we can put on a good show and that my thoughts are with those that have lost someone and/or their homes in these terrible times.”
SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Lexar Chevrolet): “I’ve had Texas circled on the calendar since the start of the year. It’s such a fast track that rewards high speeds, and I think that really suits my driving style. I’ll be looking to my teammates for advice and setup information here as this will be my first race at TMS in an Indy car. It seems like they always manage to have an exciting race there and I can’t wait to finally be a part of one.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Energizer Chevrolet): “Texas Motor Speedway has gone through different evolutions of racing over the years. You had pack racing, then it spread out with very low downforce and degradation of the tires. There was lots of overtaking and I think we’re in a really good spot right now this year with the aero kits. We’ll have to see how it plays out, but it’s such a tough track because you start just before dusk and then it gets colder because it’s so hot during the day. The car on the track changes a lot and you’ve got to be really fast to try to keep up with it – especially over a fairly long distance too. I love Texas as a race because it’s a lot of fun. I think two years ago I crashed out of it but it was probably one of the races I had the most fun in a long time at.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing): “The last three races for NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing have been really frustrating, so we’re all ready to get to Texas where I’ve had some good results over the years and see what we can do there. I think this year’s Firestone 600 will be an interesting race with the high speeds and new aero kits, but the series has been working hard to make sure we’re prepared for the fast track at Texas Motor Speedway. I’m excited to get to Texas, especially with my sponsor NTT Data being headquartered there. We’ll have a lot of fans out there and I can’t wait to get out there and drive the No. 10 Chevrolet.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “I am not a believer in momentum, but obviously we are coming off a fantastic win in Detroit, so we’re looking forward to a good race on the oval at Texas Motor Speedway. It has been kind of a trying effort for me there the last couple of years after a great IROC race in 2005. I think the Hydroxycut KVSH team is heading in the right direction on ovals. We have made some progress and are understanding the car better. Hopefully all the hard work will pay off and we can shoot some guns in victory circle.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Texas Motor Speedway is a thrilling track. It has got the steepest bank in the Verizon IndyCar Series and that gives us a lot of exciting racing. We can go side-by-side more often and sometimes even three-wide, although the recent reduction of downforce makes it quite challenging. I think Texas gives fans and us, as drivers, always great racing. As we are a Texas-based team, it’s our home race too. We have lots of support from the fans and many of the crew’s families come to the race, so I am really looking forward to having another strong weekend.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda): “It’s hard to say what to expect at Texas Motor Speedway this year. In recent years, the racing has been difficult because we removed downforce and made the racing harder and harder. At this point, it’s hard to say what it’s going to be like but I’m sure we will put on a good race. We are going back to using the old style main plane, so I don’t know that anybody has a real idea of where the car is going to be, performance-wise, just yet. At Indy, the aero kit was very good but there are a couple of different things that will change for Texas as far as the aero kit goes. We’re just going to have to see how it all plays out. But we always put on a good race and a good show, so I’m sure it will be the same. The first things I think about when I think about the race at TMS are close racing and craziness. It’s always close and always hard-fought. It feels good to get that race under your belt.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): “I am really looking forward to getting back to Texas after winning there last year. The team had a tough month of May, so I am ready to go out and build some momentum to finish the season strong.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet): “I really enjoy racing at Texas and feel as though a win could be just around the corner. Team Penske has won a lot of races there so the team knows how to prepare for the tough, high banks of that track. The coolest part about Texas, to me, is racing under the lights. Night racing just adds a little more excitement to the sport and I know the Avaya Chevrolet will look fantastic under the lights. We already have the best racing in the world in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Texas fits right in with that because we put on a great show there for all the race fans in that area. It’s going to be an honor to represent Avaya again after our strong showing in Indianapolis. The car would also look great in victory lane.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV/Cinsay Honda): “So we are heading back to Texas and back in the oval mind frame. Last year we were OK in Dallas, so we’ll see how the new aero kit will perform there. Let’s hope to continue our good momentum from our win in Detroit.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “Texas Motor Speedway always produces a great race. I’ve always liked the night race there. We need to keep a streak going of top-five finishes to build on points. We are pushing as hard as ever to get a win – especially in Snapple’s backyard of Dallas. It’ll be great to give them a win at home. If we can keep gaining on it and get a win, we can move up into the top three in the championship.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I didn’t spend much time growing up in Dallas, but I was born there, so I’ll always have that little bit of tie to Texas Motor Speedway. It’s a great event each year, and I hope that this weekend we can get the DHL Honda to a good position in the field. It’s been a bit of frustrating start to the season for us and we need to see each weekend as an opportunity to turn it around and get the back up to the front where we belong. We have a good team. We have good strategies. We have the drive to win. We just need all of these things to come together for us.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “I really enjoy this oval. It’s very quick and the high banking makes for some good racing. There are a lot of different lines that you can take and tire degradation makes the race very interesting strategically. And I like the ovals at night. It’s spectacular for the fans to watch the cars under the lights. There’s a real stadium atmosphere and as a driver that’s something I truly enjoy.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet): “Texas Motor Speedway is going to be good. I’m excited to get there. Ed (Carpenter) had a very good race there, winning last year so we’re hoping to repeat that this year. We’ve had a really fun time working together with this whole group, both the Hartman Oil crew and the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew. For me on the driving side, it’s been nice having Ed as someone to lean on and learn from. Hopefully, I can use him more at Texas. I think we’re going to have good cars going there. We just have to cross all our T’s and dot all our I’s and I think we’ll be in a good position.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet): “After a rough weekend in Detroit, I think we’re all ready to head down to Texas Motor Speedway for the Firestone 600. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team scored a top-10 finish there last year, and I think we can improve on that this weekend. It’s more of a mental race than you’d expect because of the speeds and how much the car changes throughout the duration of one stint. We’ll definitely be working on our qualifying to start up front and go racing with the No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet from there.”
GABBY CHAVES (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda): “I’m very excited to go to Texas, especially after our best result of the year so far (ninth in Detroit 2). We’re hoping to continue with the momentum. Being my first time on a 1.5-mile high banked oval in the big car, I’m excited for that. We had a strong car at the Indy 500, so we feel confident the Bowers & Wilkins car will be good in Texas as well. I’m also looking forward to racing under the lights for the first time and to keep making progress as we’ve done every race weekend this year, so far.”