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KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY NEWS AND NOTES – APRIL 29, 2010

 

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES AND FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS DRIVERS TO TEST KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY MAY 3-4

Top IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights competitors will take to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway tri-oval track for open test sessions May 3-4. Firestone Indy Lights drivers will test May 3 with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers following the next day. Sessions will begin at approximately noon and end at approximately 6:00 p.m., both days. Times will vary based on team goals and performances. Fans will be able to view sessions for free from a designated area near the track Fan Center Turn 3. The Fan Center is located off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N in Sparta, Ky.  

 

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES SOLDIERS ON AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY FRIDAY

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will open a doubleheader Richmond International Speedway weekend with a 250-lap test on a racy 0.75-mile oval Friday at 7:00 p.m., on ESPN2, Motor Racing Network Radio and Sirius XM Radio 128. Brad Keselowski reeled in his first series victory and seventh top-five finish of the season through eight starts at Talladega Superspeedway on April 18. Keselowski will start the Richmond race with a 10-point championship lead over second-place contender Kevin Harvick. Keselowski's championship advantage was reduced 50 points on April 28 by a NASCAR penalty issued to his No. 22 Penske Racing team for competing with an unapproved left front spring and right front shock. Two-time Kentucky Speedway NNS race winner Joey Logano crossed the Talladega finish line second during the Talladega event's fourth and final caution period. Harvick took third, veteran Jason Keller placed fourth and Johnny Borneman, III closed out the race top five. Harvick also clicked off his seventh top-five and top-10 finish of the season at Talladega. His only finish outside a race top five this season was a 38th-place setback in Fontana, Calif. He will make his 19th career series Richmond start on Friday. He has earned four Richmond victories, including three straight between Sept. 9, 2005 and Sept. 8, 2006, and a total of 12 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes there. Twenty-year series veteran Keller banked his 83rd career top-five and 175th career top-10 finish in Alabama. The effort marked his first top-five and top-10 finish of the season through five starts. Logano maintained the seventh spot in the series standings with his second consecutive second-place effort. He has driven to three top-five and a total of six top-10 finishes this season and trails Keselowski by 196 points. He has earned two straight top-10 finishes and an average seventh-place finish in his two career Richmond starts. Borneman, III earned his first Nationwide Series top-five finish in his 17th career series start since 2004 at Talladega. His previous series best was a 16th-place finish at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1, 2009. He placed 43rd in Fontana, Calif., and 36th at Phoenix International Raceway in his previous two starts this season. The Ramona, Calif., driver has yet to make a series start at Richmond International Raceway. Kyle Busch started the week ranked third in the series standings after suffering a season-worst 34th-place finish at Talladega. The showing stopped a string of four straight top-five series finishes and placed him 54 points behind Keselowski. Busch has captured six consecutive top-10 Nationwide Series finishes at Richmond and placed in the top five in five of those events. Justin Allgaier ranks fourth in the current edition of the series standings and is 103 points off Keselowski's pace. He placed 15th at Talladega and outside a race top 10 for the third consecutive event. He is averaging a 13th-place finish in that stretch. He earned his only top-10 Richmond finish in the series with an eighth-place effort on Sept. 11, 2009. Carl Edwards is fifth in this week's standings and 163 points behind Keselowski. Edwards placed 35th at Talladega and is now averaging a 33rd-place finish in his last two series starts. He earned the Sept. 11, 2009 Richmond victory from the 39th starting position and took second in last season's May race there. He earned his second career Richmond victory on Sept. 5, 2008. He has taken three victories and a total of five top-five and eight top-10 Richmond finishes in 10 career Nationwide starts at the storied venue. Denny Hamlin started last season's Richmond May race from the pole position. Here are the series standings: http://tinyurl.com/NNS10Stand.

 

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES TO OFFICIALLY PASS THE 2010 QUARTER POLE IN RICHMOND SATURDAY

Richard Childress Racing star Kevin Harvick jumped from fourth to second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings after scoring his first victory of the season by .011 of a second over reigning Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray in an April 25 restrictor-plate thriller at Talladega Superspeedway. Juan Pablo Montoya rolled across the finish line third, Denny Hamlin wheeled home fourth while Mark Martin survived the race that saw eight caution flags fly with a fifth-place finish. The series will stage its 10th of 36 events at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m., on FOX, Motor Racing Network Radio and Sirius XM Radio 128. Harvick will roll to Richmond looking for his second consecutive top-10 race finish of the season. He has scored top-10 finishes at the track in nine of his past 10 starts there. That stretch includes a Sept. 9, 2006 victory and a total of three top-five finishes. He has knocked out a total of four top-five and 11 top-10 series finishes at Richmond through 18 career starts. McMurray vaulted four positions in the series standings at Talladega to 17th by earning his second top-five and third top-10 finish of the season. He is 325 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, who finished 31st at Talladega after starting from the pole position. McMurray has driven to three career top-10 finishes at Richmond, but has earned only one in his last nine starts at the track. His average Richmond finish through 14 career starts is 26th. Montoya tied his season-best finish at Talladega and has taken top-five finishes in two of his past three starts. He began the week 20th in the series standings with three top-five and four top-10 finishes. He also advanced four spots in the standings at Talladega and trails Johnson by 364 points. Hamlin jumped from 11th to ninth in the standings by driving to his third top-five and top-10 finish of the season in Alabama. He has earned two victories and a total of three top-five finishes in his past four series starts. He took a Sept. 12, 2009 Richmond victory and has generated a total of four top-five and five top-10 Richmond finishes in eight career Sprint Cup Series starts at the track. Martin climbed from 10th to fourth in the standings at Talladega by snaring his fourth top-five and fifth top-10 finish of the season. He has earned three consecutive top-10 finishes this season and is 169 points behind Johnson. Martin made the first of his 48 career Richmond Sprint Cup Series starts from the pole position on Sept. 13, 1981 and drove to a seventh-place finish. He earned his only Sprint Cup Series victory at the track on Feb. 25, 1990 and has picked up a total of 17 top-five and 27 top-10 Richmond finishes in his 28-year career. His average Richmond Sprint Cup Series start is 10th and his average finish is 12th. He has earned more than $2.6 million in prize money in Sprint Cup Series events held at the track. He will bring a string of four consecutive top-five Richmond finishes into Saturday's race. Greg Biffle will start the Richmond race third in the series standings and 86 points behind Johnson. Biffle flirted with his first series victory of the season at Talladega before multiple late cautions caused his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing car to run low on fuel. He ended the Talladega race 17th. Biffle owns two top-five and five top-10 Richmond Sprint Cup Series finishes through 15 career starts, but has not reached a race top 10 there since his sixth-place finish on Sept. 9, 2006. He averaged a 19th-place finish in his last six Richmond starts. Biffle's teammate Matt Kenseth also had a rough Talladega outing as evidenced by his 28th-place finish that raised his average series finish over the past three races to 18th.  He slipped from second to fourth in the series standings and will enter the Richmond race 99 points behind Johnson. Kyle Busch will start the Richmond race holding down the fifth position in the series standings and seeking a solid performance which will help him cut into his 160-point deficit to Johnson. Busch hammered out his third straight and fourth top-10 finish of the season at Talladega by crossing the finish line ninth. He has taken top-10 finishes in four of his last five starts. He locked down a May 2, 2009 Richmond victory and followed up with a fifth-place drive at the track on Sept. 12. He has earned a total of eight top-five finishes in his 10 career starts there. Brian Vickers started last season's May Richmond race from the pole position. Here are the series standings: http://bit.ly/NSCS010. 

 

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES FACES FIRST OVAL-TRACK CHALLENGE OF 2010 IN KANSAS SATURDAY

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers will face their first oval-track test of the season on Saturday when they take on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway oval at 1:30 p.m. (EST) on ABC, XM Radio Channel 145, Sirius Radio 211, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and http://www.indycar.com. The 300-mile race opens a four-race oval track stretch that includes the May 30 Indianapolis 500, June 5 Texas Motor Speedway race and June 20 Iowa Speedway tussle. The series last raced in Long Beach, Calif., on April 18 where Ryan Hunter-Reay reeled off the second series victory of his career and the first ever for the newly-named Andretti Autosport team. Justin Wilson took second, race pole winner and Penske Racing star Will Power claimed third, Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon grabbed fourth and Hunter-Reay's teammate Tony Kanaan nailed down fifth. Hunter-Reay will enter the Kansas race third in the championship standings and 43 points behind Power, who maintained the top spot in the series standings with his fourth consecutive top-five race finish of the season on the Streets of Long Beach. Hunter-Reay has yet to earn a top-10 IZOD IndyCar Series finish in Kansas and has generated an average 17th-place finish there. Power made his only series start at Kansas with KV Racing Technology on April 27, 2008 and placed 27th after starting 18th. Helio Castroneves will enter the Kansas race second in the championship standings and 42 points behind Power. Castroneves grabbed his fourth consecutive top-10 finish of the season with a seventh-place showing in Long Beach. He has scored three straight and a total of five top-five Kansas finishes. He has not finished outside a Kansas race top 10 in eight career starts there. Wilson will start the Kansas race fourth in the standings and 47 points behind Power. Wilson earned his second top-five and third consecutive top-10 finish of the season in Long Beach. He earned his only Kansas top-10 finish with a ninth-place performance during his first career start there in 2008. He took 14th in last season's Kansas race. Defending series champion Dario Franchitti started this week fifth in the series standings and sits 60 points behind Power. Franchitti broke a streak of two top-five and three top-10 finishes with a 12th-place Long Beach finish. He has taken three career top-five Kansas Speedway finishes and is averaging an eighth-place finish there. Dixon is tied for fifth in the standings. His Long Beach finish marked his second straight top-five and third top-10 showing of the season. He earned last season's Kansas victory and has earned four straight top-five finishes there. The winning effort was his first at the track where he has manufactured a total of four top-five and five top-10 finishes. He averaged a seventh-place Kansas finish through seven starts. Graham Rahal started last Kansas season's race from the pole position. Here are the championship standings: http://bit.ly/ICS10stand.

 

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RETURNS TO ACTION SUNDAY TO CAP KANSAS WEEKEND

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will come off a four-week break this week to cap a Kansas Speedway doubleheader that begins with a Saturday IZOD IndyCar Series battle. The trucks last competed at Nashville Superspeedway on April 2 where Kyle Busch earned his first series victory of the season and second straight series top-two finish in his third start. He led 131 of a possible 150 laps in the race, including the closing 50, but had to fight off second-place finisher Kevin Harvick by 0.426 of a second at the line. Timothy Peters, who earned his third top-five series finish of the season with a fourth-place Nashville finish, will arrive in America's Heartland holding an 82-point NCWTS championship lead over Aric Almirola. Peters has yet to earn a Kansas NCWTS top-10 finish and has generated an average 22nd-place finish through his two career starts there. Almirola will make his second all-time NCWTS Kansas start and first since 2006 when he placed 18th in a Wayne Spears entry. Former Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Nationwide Series race winner Todd Bodine is third in the NCWTS standings and 93 points behind Peters. Bodine took a 2005 Kansas truck victory and has hauled away a total of one top-five and three top-10 finishes at the track. He averaged a 22nd-place finish in his last two Kansas starts. Harvick ranks third in the NCWTS standings after taking two top-five and three top-10 finishes this season. Ken Schrader will be behind the wheel of Harvick's No. 2 truck in Kansas. Matt Crafton ranks fifth in the NCWTS standings this week and trails Peters by 128 points. Crafton has wheeled to one top-five and four top-10 NCWTS Kansas finishes through nine career starts. He took seventh in last season's Kansas race. Mike Skinner took last season's Kansas victory after defending and four-time series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr., started from the pole position. Kansas race coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m., on SPEED Channel, Motor Racing Network radio and Sirius XM Radio 128. Series standings: http://tinyurl.com/NCWTS-Standings

 

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