Verizon IndyCar Series in the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway

Marco Andretti leads a group down the frontstretch during practice for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway — Photo by: Chris Owens

Rainguard Water Sealers 600 Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 9 – Saturday June 10

Track: Texas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval

Race distance: 248 laps / 357.12 miles

Entry List: Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (PDF)

Firestone tire allotment: Twelve sets for use through the weekend

Twitter: @TXMotorSpeedway, @IndyCar, #Rainguard600, #IndyCar

Event website: www.TexasMotorSpeedway.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2016 race winner: Graham Rahal (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda)

2015 Verizon P1 Award winner: Carlos Munoz (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda), 48.2460 seconds, 217.137 mph (two laps)

Qualifying record (two laps): Will Power, 47.7960 seconds, 219.182 mph, June 7, 2013

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 3:30 p.m. ET Friday, June 9 (same day delayed); Qualifying Encore, 7 p.m. ET Saturday, June 10; Race, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, June 10 (live). Kevin Lee is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Nick Yeoman, Brad Gillie and Michael Young, with Jake Query as the turn announcer. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon
IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features of the app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and
live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.

At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, June 9
10-11:15 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
2:15 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (2:30 p.m.)
5:45 – 6:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

Saturday, June 10
6:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice
7:01 p.m. – Driver introductions
7:40 p.m. – Command to start engines
7:45 p.m. – Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (248 laps/357.12 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Race notes:
• There have been seven different winners in eight Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix Raceway), Will Power INDYCAR Grand Prix), Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500) and Graham Rahal (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Raceway at Belle Isle-2). Bourdais’ win at St. Petersburg on March 12 gave him sole possession of sixth on the all-time list with 36 wins.

• The Rainguard Water Sealers 600 will be the 29th 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 third of six oval races on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Simon Pagenaud won the first oval of the season at Phoenix on April 29. Takuma Sato won the Indianapolis 500 on May 28.

• 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), Scott Dixon (2008 and 2015), Will Power (2011 Race 2), Ed Carpenter (2014) and Graham Rahal (2016).

• Will Power has won the pole for three of the past four Texas Motor Speedway races. Other past pole winners entered this year are Helio Castroneves (2004 Race 2), Scott Dixon (2008) and Carlos Munoz (2016). Tony 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), Helio Castroneves (2004 Race 2), Tomas Scheckter (2005), Scott Dixon (2008) and Ryan Briscoe (2010).

• Drivers who have won at Texas have gone on to win the Verizon IndyCar Series championship six times: Sam Hornish Jr. (2001 Race 2 and 2002 Race 2), Tony Kanaan (2004 Race 1), Scott Dixon (2008 and 2015) and Dario Franchitti (2011 Race 1).

• Twenty drivers entered this weekend have competed in past Verizon IndyCar Series events at Texas Motor Speedway. Thirteen of those drivers have led laps at the track: Helio Castroneves 506, Tony Kanaan 371, Scott Dixon 353, Will Power 252, James Hinchcliffe 196, Ed Carpenter 92, Marco Andretti 84, Simon Pagenaud 59, Ryan Hunter-Reay 46, Carlos Munoz 37, Graham Rahal 28, Josef Newgarden 2 and Charlie Kimball 1.

• Rookie Ed Jones will race a Verizon IndyCar Series car at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time this weekend. Jones, the 2016 Indy Lights champion, has never competed at the track in any series.

• Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 274th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 215 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing.

• Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 336th career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 335th Indy car start, which is fifth all-time. Both are competing in their 20th season of Indy car racing in 2017.

RAINGUARD WATER SEALERS 600 PRE-EVENT QUOTES:

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): “Texas is one of my favorite ovals. It’s been repaved so it’s going to be quite a different race this year. The tire degradation has changed so it’s a bit of an unknown going into it, but it’s going to be interesting. I’ve been very comfortable on ovals this year, so I’m looking forward to racing there in the No. 1 DXC Technology Chevrolet. It’s a great event with a great marketplace for INDYCAR as well. I’m looking forward to another night race which is always fun for the fans.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “After the finish we had in Race 2 at Belle Isle, I’m looking forward to Texas. The No. 2 hum by Verizon Chevrolet team really worked hard to give me a great car for both races at Belle Isle. Our last two ovals were Phoenix and Indianapolis. We learned some things between those events we want to try at Texas. Night races are
always fun and different. We’re ready to build on our momentum at Belle Isle to try and go for a win at Texas.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet): “I really like racing at Texas. It’s a fast oval and we’ve been able to win there a few times over the years. The No. 3 AAA Chevy team and myself felt like we’ve really strengthened our oval program this season, especially after finishing second at Indianapolis. I enjoy night races because they’re something different and fun for the fans.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “After a strong test at Texas earlier in the year, I look forward to getting back to the track and getting going again. The race is always exciting under the lights, and I know we’ll put on another great show for the fans.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Detroit was a bittersweet weekend for us with the podium on Saturday and the DNF on Sunday. We’re heading back to Texas, where we were very quick last year. It was definitely tough to lose the race by such a small margin after leading so many laps, but that’s the nature of 1.5-mile oval racing. Obviously, the track has
been completely repaved and re-profiled in Turns 1 and 2, so really everything goes out the window from last year, and we’ve got to start from scratch just like everybody else. Hopefully we can put our heads down and get the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car in a position to be fighting for the victory again.”

MIKHAEL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda): “We’ve had great cars and really good pace at Texas Motor Speedway, so I’m looking forward to getting on track there this weekend. The team obviously had a good result last year with James (Hinchcliffe) on the podium, so hopefully we can both capitalize on what we learned and have a good result.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “We didn’t have the weekend we wanted to last weekend in Detroit, but we’re still learning every weekend and getting better. Hopefully my second time around at Texas can be better than the first time. Last year coming to the high-banked track here in Texas was very different from anything else I’ve ever driven on. The team has been successful here in the past and we’re looking to make improvements and get a great result for the Gallagher team.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda): “This is a very tough stretch for the teams in the Verizon IndyCar Series coming off the month of May, through a doubleheader in Detroit, then right into Texas. Some of us then go right from Texas to Le Mans, so we have a lot going on. As a driver you want to be in the car as much as possible, so for us this is a good thing. We have had good cars at Texas in the past and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting good points for the championship this weekend.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “I love racing at Texas Motor Speedway, and I can’t wait to get back there this weekend. We’ve been on the podium there the last few years with a second and a third, so I think it’s time to get back on top with a win this weekend. We’ve had a rollercoaster of a season, but the No. 10 NTT Data Honda has been strong on the two ovals we’ve been to so far. I always look forward to coming back to Texas and racing under the lights, especially with our partners NTT Data and 7-Eleven being based close by and having such a strong presence at the race.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Texas can be a really fun event. It’s our second night race of the season, and it’s a fun event for fans. We had a pretty good car at Indianapolis but after we were wrecked, our race ended early. It was really disappointing, but we learned a lot that we’ll apply to the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet this weekend, and we know we’re bringing a really strong car the whole team can’t wait to race.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Texas changed its layout from last year, and we tested there earlier this year. We made a lot of improvement from where we started the test, but we still need to make a few more. It’s a really quick weekend, but I’m looking forward to it. Last year, I won the pole and led the first half of the race, so it’s a really special track for me. It was my first Indy car pole position. We’ll see what we have this year. It would be good to keep our recent momentum going and get another top-10 finish with the ABC Supply Chevrolet.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack / Bobby Rahal Automotive Honda, 2016 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 winner): “It’s great to head to Texas not only as defending race winner, but also after a great weekend in Detroit. Those wins put us back in the championship fight, and we want to continue the momentum, obviously. I’m excited about Texas. We had a good test there in April, so hopefully we can get
another victory there and keep this string going. I think it’s going to be a crazy race. Honda has been working hard and it shows. We hope to put them in victory lane again.” (About last year’s win:) “It was a good day, obviously, and a very, very competitive race. It was also challenging. As much as went for us, went against us, and there were a lot of things we had to battle through, but overall, it was a very special day. To get a win and cap what was somewhat of a difficult season off that way felt great. Those are some special memories for me. My grandmother passed away that day, so there was a lot going through my mind afterward. I didn’t know it at the time. Texas Motor Speedway is an exciting place. I’m looking forward to going back and hopefully getting another victory.” (About his TMS bobblehead:) “I’m pretty geeked. It’s pretty cool. I’m thankful to (TMS president) Eddie (Gossage), Ziz (TMS vice president of communications Mike Zizzo) and everybody at TMS for making it happen for me. It’s a pretty cool opportunity. I will enjoy it while I can and certainly get a lot of ‘you know what’ from my wife and family but I’m going to enjoy it, that’s for sure.”

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I’m really looking forward to getting back in an Indy car and race for Dale again. But before talking about me stepping in, let’s all keep sending our thoughts to (Sebastien Bourdais) for a quick recovery. I was happy to see him at the track at Indy on race day. I have big shoes to fill. That being said, I really can’t wait to be in the car on Friday and see how it feels that first lap around. It’s not the easiest place to step back in and practice is going to be very limited, but the team has been competitive everywhere, and I trust we’ll be good. It’s going to be cool working with the whole team again, and also with (engineer) Craig Hampson who I met in Le Mans when I was 16 and just getting started in racing.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “It will be my first time racing at Texas Motor Speedway. I’ve watched a lot of the previous races. It looks like a really good track for racing, but it might take a little bit of time to get used to initially. It will be about being able to build up confidence quickly and to adapt to the style of the track and the race. We missed the Texas test in April so it might be a little tough as we’ll have some extra work to do to catch up to the other teams that tested there, but I have confidence in the team. It will also be nice to get back to an oval track after our performance at Indy.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It is always great to go back to Texas. I can’t wait to see what type of race we will put on with the new layout. I am sure that it won’t disappoint. It will be an important race for the team to regain some momentum and get back on top.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I’ve had a couple of good runs at Texas Motor Speedway. The last time I ran there, we ended up fifth. That was one of the ultra-low downforce, sideways, all-over-the-track races. I’m looking forward to going back where it should be a little less of a hairy situation, but it’s always a great race and Ed Carpenter Racing has been solid there the last couple of years. There will be some differences with the new track surface, but I definitely expect for us to be strong there when we roll out.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Texas has always shown very close racing, and it’s an exciting high-speed oval. This weekend will be more challenging as Turn 1 and Turn 2 are a different style (than last year) with new architecture but more grip for the new, repaved surface. The team has shown very strong speed at Texas Motor Speedway, and we are carrying good momentum
from Indianapolis and Detroit, so I am really looking forward to having another competitive weekend.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda): “There’s definitely some unknowns going into Texas after the track changes. I don’t know if it’s going to be a pack race with the new repave or not. It’s unknown, but that always brings an element of fun. We’ve been quick at Texas in the past and usually find a good racing line, so we’ll work hard to bring results.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Texas is always such a fun race. (Track president) Eddie (Gossage) and his team do such a great job with the event and we enjoy being back at TMS each year. With the new track changes, there will a little bit of an unknown, but I’m looking forward to getting onto a different type of track with the DHL team. We’ll see what the weekend holds.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “The night race at Texas Motor Speedway is always a bit crazy. We really won’t have had the car on track during that time of the night for practice, so it leaves a bit of the unknown out there after the green flag for the race. Last year we were able to keep working on the car throughout the night and come through with a decent result. We won’t be satisfied with a mid-pack result, even after a tough start to the season. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has the potential to be strong and stay up front, and we’re ready to show it this weekend.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda): “This will only be my second race at Texas Motor Speedway, so I’m not entirely sure what we should expect now with the track changes, though I do think the race will be pretty exciting with the repave and the restructures of Turns 1 and 2. It will be an amazing event for the fans to come out and see. With it being a night race, it’s going to be quite a spectacle.”

 

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