IndyCar: Race Preview for Phoenix International Raceway

This weekend, it’s time for the 2nd round of the Verizon IndyCar Series at Phoenix International Raceway, Arizona. The raceway is located near Avondale in the Estrella mountains. Phoenix International Raceway opened in 1964 and it has a long history of Open Wheel Racing. But IndyCar has not been racing here for the last eleven years. After the recent reconfiguration, the raceway now measures 1.645 km (1.022 mile) tri-oval.

Open-wheel history at Phoenix
The race, officially called Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, will be held under the lights. The green flag waves early Sunday morning at 03.15 CET (09:15 PM EST). TV coverage starts at 02:30 CET (08.30 PM CET).

Sam Hornish Jr 2014 Gardner Denver 200 at Road Americ
Sam Hornish Jr by Royalbroil (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Racing at Phoenix began on a dirt oval at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in 1915. The race was revived in 1950 by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and then passed on to the United States Auto Club (USAC) in 1956. USAC moved the race to the newly built Phoenix International Raceway in 1964.

The race became a CART event in 1979, and joined the Indy Racing League in 1996 (Arie Luynendyk as winner). The last CART Race at Phoenix was won by Robby Gordon in 1996.

The last time IndyCar raced at Phoenix International Raceway was back in 2005. The winner that year was the three times IndyCar champion (2001,2002,2006) and Indy 500 (2006) winner of Sam Hornish Jr. in the #6 Dallara-Ilmor-Honda (Team Penske).

Montoya is the leader

Juan Pablo Montoya will start this weekend race at Phoenix as overall championship leader. Montoya, the season opener winner in St. Petersburg , won over his Penske teammate, the Frenchman Simon Pagenaud.

The 2014 IndyCar Champion Will Power will make a comeback this weekend. The Australian Will Power sat out the last race due to a crash in practice. Power, who drove 90 laps in a private test session at Barber Motorsports Park, will be ready to fight for the win again.

Other  Updates

# 12 The 35 year old Will Power will take his Dallara Penske back from Oriol Servia. Power had missed the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg because of illness.

# 16 The 22 year old American Spencer Pigot (R) will miss the scheduled race in Phoenix. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will not replace him in his Dallara-Honda car.

# 20 The 35 year-old American Ed Carpenter will, as planned, drive the Oval races in 2016 in his Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet.

# 98 The 24 year-old American Alexander Rossi (R) is  missing in the # 98 of Andretti Autosport. The Team will not replace him.

(R = Rookie)

Verizon IndyCar Series winner at Pheonix International Raceway from 1996-2005:

1996 Arie Luynendyk, Netherlands
1997 Jim Guthrie, USA
1998 Scott Sharp, USA
1999 Scott Goodyear, Canada
2000 Buddy Lazier, USA
2001 Sam Hornish Jr., USA
2002 Helio Castroneves, Brasil
2003 Tony Kanaan, Brasil
2004 Tony Kanaan, Brasil
2005 Sam Hornish Jr., USA


Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix International Raceway

Written by: Kevin Moesch | @Kevin_Moesch

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