Firestone 600

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Firestone 600
TexasMotorSpeedway.PNG
IndyCar Series
Venue Texas Motor Speedway
Corporate sponsor Firestone
First race 1997
Distance 598.676 km (372.000 mi)
Laps 248
Previous names Spring Race
True Value 500 (1997-1998)
Longhorn 500 (1999)
Casino Magic 500 (2000-2001)
Boomtown 500 (2002)
Bombardier 500 (2003-2004)
Bombardier Learjet 500 (2005-2006)
Bombardier Learjet 550 (2007-2009)
Firestone 550 (2010, 2012-2013)
Firestone Twin 275s (2011)
Fall Race
Lone Star 500 (1998)
Mall.com 500 (1999)
Excite 500 (2000)
Chevy 500 (2001-2004)
Most wins (driver) Hélio Castroneves (4)
Most wins (team) Team Penske (8)
Most wins (manufacturer) Dallara (21)
Honda & Oldsmobile (9)

The Firestone 600 is an IndyCar Series race held at Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth, Texas. The race is held on a Saturday night in early June. From 1997 until 2005, it served as the first race after the Indianapolis 500. It resumed this place in 2010 and in 2011. When it debuted in 1997, it was the first IndyCar race in the state of Texas since 1979.

Since its inception, the Firestone 600 has widely been considered[who?] the second-largest oval track race on the IndyCar Series calendar (second only to the Indy 500) in terms of attendance, popularity, and prestige.

History[edit]

The first Championship/Indy car races in the Dallas/Fort Worth area took place at Arlington Downs Raceway in nearby Arlington, Texas. AAA sanctioned five races from 1947-1950. USAC sanctioned ten Championship car events at Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas. The race was discontinued when the track closed in 1981.

In 1997, the IndyCar Series debuted at the track on a Saturday night in early June. It marked the first-ever superspeedway night race for American open wheel racing.[citation needed] During the race, one of the electronic scoring wires malfunctioned in the pit area, which caused unexpected scoring errors. Billy Boat was scored as the leader, and took the checkered flag as the winner. Arie Luyendyk, who felt he had been robbed of the win, stormed victory lane, where he was lunged at by Boat's owner, A. J. Foyt. Quickly the fight broke up. The next morning, it was determined that Luyendyk actually was the official winner. Foyt refused to return the trophy, and the race has since become a famous part of Texas Motor Speedway lore. Luyendyk received a replacement, and the "official" trophy years later, presented to him by track president Eddie Gossage.

The IndyCar Series races at Texas have widely been regarded by media, fans, and competitors, as the best racing in the series.[citation needed] Side-by-side racing has produced some of the closest two-car and three-car finishes in series history.[1][2]

For 2014, the race will be extended to 600 kilometers.[3]

Fall race[edit]

From 1998-2004, a second 500 km IndyCar Series race was held at the track in the fall. Known commonly as "Texas II," the race was always held during the day. It served as the IndyCar Series' season finale for each of its runnings. The fall race was discontinued after 2004 when the Ferko lawsuit forced NASCAR to eliminate the Grand Slam and give the circuit its desired second Nextel Cup race.[citation needed]

In 2003, Gil de Ferran was leading on lap 187 when Kenny Bräck crashed on the backstretch. The massive accident seriously injured Bräck, and he raced only limitedly afterwards. With the race winding down under caution, and with cleanup still ongoing, officials stopped the race after 195 laps when it was clear they would not have time to go back to green. de Ferran was declared the winner in what was his final race in IndyCar (he had announced his retirement during the season).

Race length[edit]

When the track opened, the one-lap distance was measured as 1.5 miles (2.4 km). IndyCar Series races were originally 208 laps (312 mi/500 km) long. In 2001, timing and scoring officials revised the measurement as 1.455 miles (2.342 km), and the races were changed to an even 200 laps (291 mi/468.319 km). In 2007, the race was lengthened to 228 laps in an effort to create a longer product for time value purposes. Using the traditional 1.5-mile (2.4 km) measurement, the race became 342 miles (550.4 km). However, official IndyCar timing and scoring maintained the 1.455-mile (2.342 km) measurement, and the race was officially 331.74 miles (533.88 km). Starting in 2014, the race is extended to 600 kilometers.

In addition, the start time was moved to 9:00 p.m. CDT (10:00 p.m. EDT) so the event would take place almost entirely under the lights, rather than in the mid-summer twilight.[4]

Twin races[edit]

For 2011, a special Twin race format was adopted, a throwback to the USAC-style twin races of the 1970s and early 1980s. The race would consist of two 275-km (114 laps) races, with each race declaring a separate winner, and each race awarding half points towards the season championship. The starting lineup for the first race was determined during standard time trials. After the completion of the first race, a "halftime" was observed, and the starting lineup for the second race was determined by a random draw.

A mild controversy resulted from the halftime draw for the second race's lineup. It differed from previous "twin" races where the finishing positions for the first race determined the lineup, or the finishing positions were inverted. It was considered unfair by some,[5] and it was magnified when points contenders Will Power and Dario Franchitti drew 3rd and 28th starting positions, respectively. For 2012, the twin-race format was scrapped.

Champ Car race[edit]

The CART Champ Car series scheduled a race at the track for April 29, 2001. Following practice and qualifying, however, the race was cancelled "due to irresolvable concerns over the physical demands placed on the drivers at race speeds."[6] All but four drivers reported they had experienced vertigo-like symptoms due to lateral g-forces from driving in excess of 230 mph (370 km/h) on the steep 24 degree banks.

The Dayton Indy Lights race was completed with two cautions.

Past winners[edit]

AAA Championship car history (Arlington)[edit]

Season Date Race Name Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (km)
1947 November 2 Arlington 100 United States Ted Horn Ted Horn Enterprises Horn Offy 95 100.89 (162.366) 1:10:25 86.001
1948 April 25 Arlington 100 United States Ted Horn Horn Enterprises Horn Offy 95 100.89 (162.366) 1:17:00 78.644
1949 April 24 Arlington 100 United States Johnnie Parsons Kurtis Offy 95 100.89 (162.366) 1:16:40 83.15
July 17 Universal Speedways Race of Champions United States Mel Hansen Lesovsky Offy 50 53.1 (85.456)
1950 April 30 MGM Sweepstakes United States Duane Carter Sprint Car 30 31.86 (51.273) 0:22:44 84.087

USAC Championship car history (College Station)[edit]

See Texas World Speedway

Season Date Race Name Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (km)
1973 April 7 Texas 200 United States Al Unser Vels Parnelli Jones Parnelli Offenhauser 100 200 (321.868) 1:18:19 153.224
October 6 Texas 200 United States Gary Bettenhausen Team Penske McLaren Offy 100 200 (321.868) 1:05:58 181.91
1976 August 1 Texas 150 United States A.J. Foyt Gilmore Racing Coyote Foyt 75 150 (241.401) 0:52:04 172.885
October 31 Benihana World Series of Auto Racing United States Johnny Rutherford Team McLaren McLaren Offenhauser 100 200 (321.868) 1:19:50 150.315
1977 April 2 Texas Grand Prix United States Tom Sneva Team Penske McLaren Cosworth 100 200 (321.868) 1:16:05 157.711
July 31 American Parts 200 United States Johnny Rutherford Team McLaren McLaren Cosworth 100 200 (321.868) 1:13:05 164.191
1978 April 15 Coors 200 United States Danny Ongais Interscope Racing Parnelli Cosworth 100 200 (321.868) 1:09:08 173.594
August 6 Texas Grand Prix United States A.J. Foyt Gilmore Racing Coyote Foyt 100 200 (321.868) 1:15:27 159.06
1979 April 8 Coors 200 United States A.J. Foyt Gilmore Racing Coyote Foyt 100 200 (321.868) 1:32:37 129.574
July 29 Lubrilon Grand Prix United States A.J. Foyt Gilmore Racing Parnelli Cosworth 100 200 (321.868) 1:13:39 162.934
1980 Race cancelled

Indycar Series history (Fort Worth)[edit]

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
1996-97 June 7, 1997 Netherlands Arie Luyendyk* Treadway Racing G-Force Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:19:48 133.903 Report
1998 June 6 United States Billy Boat A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:08:46 145.388 Report
September 20 United States John Paul, Jr. Byrd/Cunningham Racing G-Force Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:21:53 131.931 Report
1999 June 12 Canada Scott Goodyear Panther Racing G-Force Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:00:06 150.069 Report
October 17 United States Mark Dismore Kelley Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:14:16 135.246 Report
2000 June 11* United States Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 1:47:20 169.182 Report
October 15 Canada Scott Goodyear Panther Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 1:43:36 175.276 Report
2001 June 9 United States Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 200 300 (482.803) 1:55:44 150.873 Report
October 6* United States Sam Hornish, Jr. Panther Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 200 300 (482.803) 1:43:36 168.523 Report
2002 June 8 United States Jeff Ward Chip Ganassi Racing G-Force Chevrolet 200 300 (482.803) 1:45:50 164.984 Report
September 15 United States Sam Hornish, Jr. Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet 200 300 (482.803) 1:46:29 163.981 Report
2003 June 7 United States Al Unser, Jr. Kelley Racing Dallara Toyota 200 300 (482.803) 1:43:48 168.213 Report
October 13 Brazil Gil de Ferran Team Penske Dallara Toyota 195* 292.5 (470.733) 1:48:56 156.268 Report
2004 June 12 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 200 300 (482.803) 1:53:24 153.965 Report
October 17 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Toyota 200 300 (482.803) 1:49:32 159.397 Report
2005 June 11 South Africa Tomas Scheckter Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet 200 300 (482.803) 1:45:47 165.047 Report
2006 June 10 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Honda 200 300 (482.803) 1:34:01 185.71 Report
2007 June 9 United States Sam Hornish, Jr. Team Penske Dallara Honda 228 342 (550.395) 1:52:15 177.314 Report
2008 June 7 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 228 342 (550.395) 2:04:36 159.74 Report
2009 June 6 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Honda 228 342 (550.395) 1:55:16 172.677 Report
2010 June 5 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Dallara Honda 228 342 (550.395) 2:04:47 159.508 Report
2011 June 11 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 114 171 (275.197) 0:54:47 181.649 Report
Australia Will Power Team Penske Dallara Honda 114 171 (275.197) 0:48:09 206.693
2012 June 9 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda 228 342 (550.395) 1:59:02 167.217 Report
2013 June 8 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 228 342 (550.395) 1:52:17 177.257 Report
2014 June 7 United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara Chevrolet 248 372 (598.676) 2:01:26 178.301 Report
  • 1997: Billy Boat took checkered flag as the winner due to scoring error; Luyendyk declared official winner the following day.
  • 2000: Postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain.
  • 2001: Postponed from September 16 due to 9/11.
  • 2003: Race shortened due to crash involving Kenny Bräck.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
Current
IndyCar Series races
Succeeded by
Grand Prix of Houston