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IndyCar Series - Milwaukee IndyFest Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, June 16th
SITE: The Milwaukee Mile -- West Allis, Wisconsin
TRACK: one-mile oval - 1,265 feet (Frontstretch); 1,265 feet (Backstretch)
ANNUAL: 8th
TELEVISION: ABC
ANNOUNCERS: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Eddie Cheever
RADIO: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS XM Satellite
START TIME: 1 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Dario Franchitti
RUNNER-UP: Graham Rahal
POLE WINNER: Dario Franchitti (Finished 1st)
LAPS: 225
MILES: 225
QUALIFYING RECORD: Helio Castroneves, 2006 (172.477 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Scott Dixon, 2009 (138.784 m.p.h.)
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Dario Franchitti16James Hinchcliffe16
2Graham Rahal127Scott Dixon3
3Oriol Servia108Takuma Sato5
4Will Power179Helio Castroneves2
5Danica Patrick1510Justin Wilson13
2011 Milwaukee IndyFest Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 117.390 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 56 minutes, 43.5877 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.4271 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 62 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 5 among 3 drivers
POLE WINNER: Dario Franchitti (170.841 m.p.h.)
FASTEST LAP: Dario Franchitti, 163.349 m.p.h., Lap 10
Past Milwaukee IndyFest Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Dario Franchitti (1st) -- Dallara-Honda -- 117.390 m.p.h.
2010 -- Not held
2009 -- Scott Dixon (4th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 138.784 m.p.h. (race record)
2008 -- Ryan Briscoe (11th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 133.428 m.p.h.
2007 -- Tony Kanaan (3rd) -- Dallara-Honda -- 127.220 m.p.h.
2006 -- Tony Kanaan (4th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 133.513 m.p.h.
2005 -- Sam Hornish Jr (1st) -- Dallara-Toyota -- 122.733 m.p.h.
2004 -- Dario Franchitti (7th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 128.272 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225 (2004), ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt
225 (2005-09), Milwaukee 225 (2011). Series did not compete at Milwaukee
during 2010 season.
 
Past Milwaukee IndyFest Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Dario Franchitti -- 1st
2010 -- Not held
2009 -- Ryan Briscoe -- 2nd
2008 -- Marco Andretti -- 21st
2007 -- Helio Castroneves -- 16th
2006 -- Helio Castroneves -- 14th
2005 -- Sam Hornish Jr -- 1st
2004 -- Vitor Meira -- 5th
Last Race Results
RACE: Firestone 550k (June 9th)
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway -- Fort Worth, Texas
MILES: 342 (550 kilometers)
LAPS: 228
WINNER: Justin Wilson
RUNNER-UP: Graham Rahal
THIRD: Ryan Briscoe
FOURTH: James Hinchcliffe
FIFTH: J.R. Hildebrand
POLE WINNER: Alex Tagliani (Finished 9th)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 59 minutes, 2.0131 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 3.9202 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 167.217 m.p.h.
CAUTION FLAGS: 4 for 32 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 9 among 7 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Alex Tagliani 1-20; Scott Dixon 21-116; Justin Wilson 117-125;
Dixon 126-133; James Hinchcliffe 134-141; Dixon 142-170; Will
Power 171-194; Ryan Briscoe 195-199; Graham Rahal 200-226; Wilson
227-228.
Milwaukee IndyFest Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
2Ryan Briscoe (Sydney, Australia)Hitachi/Team Penske
3Helio Castroneves (Sao Paulo, Brz)Penske Truck Rental/Team Penske
4J.R. Hildebrand (Sausalito, CA)U.S. National Guard/Panther Racing
5E.J. Viso (Caracas, Venezuela)Citgo/PDVSA/KV Racing Technology
6Katherine Legge (Guildford,England)TrueCar/Dragon Racing
8Rubens Barrichello (Sao Paulo, Brz)BMC/Embrase/KV Racing Technology
9Scott Dixon (Auckland, New Zealand)Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
10 *Dario Franchitti (Scotland)Cottonelle/Chip Ganassi Racing
11Tony Kanaan (Salvador, Brazil)GEICO/KV Racing Technology
12Will Power (Toowoomba, Australia)Verizon/Team Penske
14Mike Conway (Bromley, England)ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Enterprises
15Takuma Sato (Tokyo, Japan)Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
18Justin Wilson (Sheffield, England)Sonny's Bar B-Q/Dale Coyne Racing
19Jamie Jakes (Leeds, England)Boy Scouts America/Dale Coyne Racing
20Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis, IN)Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing
22Oriol Servia (Pals, Spain)Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
26Marco Andretti (Nazareth, PA)RC Cola/Andretti Autosport
27James Hinchcliffe (Toronto, Canada)GoDaddy.com/Andretti Autosport
28Ryan Hunter-Reay (Boca Raton, FL)DHL/Sun Drop/Andretti Autosport
38Graham Rahal (New Albany, OH)Service Central/Chip Ganassi Racing
67Josef Newgarden (Nashville, TN)Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
77Simon Pagenaud (Poitiers, France)Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports
78Simona de Silvestro (Switzerland)Nuclear Energy/Lotus-HVM Racing
83Charlie Kimball (Camarillo, CA)NovoLog FlexPen/Chip Ganassi Racing
98Alex Tagliani (Lachenaie, Canada)Team Barracuda/Bryan Herta Autosport
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish in eight previous years)
Driver20042005200620072008200920102011
Dario FranchittiWon2nd6th2nd---3rd---Won
Graham Rahal------------25th4th---2nd
Oriol Servia------------6th------3rd
Will Power------------14th------4th
James Hinchcliffe---------------------6th
Scott Dixon22nd13th10th4th2ndWon---7th
Takuma Sato---------------------8th
Helio Castroneves12th16th14th16th5th11th---9th
Justin Wilson------------7th15th---10th
Ryan Briscoe---22nd18th---Won2nd---11th
Marco Andretti------5th15th21st7th---13th
Ed Carpenter---12th16th7th20th16th---16th
Alex Tagliani---------------------18th
Tony Kanaan4th4thWonWon3rd19th---19th
J.R. Hildebrand---------------------21st
Ryan Hunter-Reay------------15th12th---26th
 
Mover of the Week
J.R. Hildebrand - Started 23rd on the grid and finished 5th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Scott Dixon
Darkhorse - Tony Kanaan
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Dario Franchitti) - Finished 14th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Marco Andretti) - Finished 17th
 
NOTES:
Following a one-year hiatus, the Milwaukee IndyFest returned to the IndyCar Series in 2011, as Dario Franchitti raced to victory.

Franchitti, the pole sitter, led 161 of 225 laps, but had to rally in the closing laps to claim his third victory of the season and the 29th of his IndyCar career. He won the inaugural race at Milwaukee in 2004.

Helio Castroneves led in the late going, but experienced low pressure in his left rear tire. Tony Kanaan was running second and attempting to catch Castroneves for the top position, but lost control and backed into the wall in turn four with fewer than 30 laps remaining.

During the caution, Castroneves was forced to pit for four new tires. That allowed Franchitti to take the lead for good. Franchitti crossed the finish line 1.4 seconds ahead of his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Graham Rahal.

With his win this season at the Indianapolis 500, Franchitti's win total has reached 21. Currently sixth on the points list, Franchitti is 64 points behind Will Power in the standings and will have to put his season into high gear if he's to win his fourth straight championship.

Prior to last season, the Milwaukee IndyFest was last held in 2009, as Scott Dixon raced to victory, defeating Ryan Briscoe by 2.1257 seconds. Dixon passed Briscoe with 25 laps remaining for his 18th win of his IndyCar career. Dixon quickly pulled away from the field and held nearly a three-second margin with 15 laps remaining. Briscoe, who led 154 laps, couldn't put a run together over the final laps, allowing Dixon to cruise into victory lane.

Second on the points list, Dixon now owns 27 career titles, including one win in seven starts this year with four top-five finishes.

In 2008 and starting from the 11th position, Briscoe took the lead for the first time on lap 177 and then for the final time on the 207th lap and held on to defeat Scott Dixon under the caution for his first career IndyCar title. Dixon dominated the race, as he led twice for a whopping 147 laps, but could do no better than second. Pole sitter Marco Andretti failed to finish the race due to contact and placed 21st. The victory was the 300th for Roger Penske.

Back in 2007, Tony Kanaan led only 25 laps, however 24 were the final laps of the race, as he outran Dario Franchitti down the stretch for his ninth career title and second straight at the Milwaukee Mile. Kanaan, who started third on the grid, defeated Franchitti by 2.5707 seconds. Pole sitter Helio Castroneves' rear wing collapsed on lap 201, as he failed to finish the race, placing 16th. Castroneves led for a race-high 126 laps.

Tony Kanaan reclaimed the lead on lap 180 of the 225-lap race in 2006 and held on to defeat Sam Hornish Jr by less than two seconds for the win. Kanaan, who led for a race-high 127 laps on four occasions, posted his seventh career IndyCar title. Pole sitter Helio Castroneves led the first 31 laps, but failed to finish the race, as he placed 14th.

Since 1903, The Milwaukee Mile has been one of the premier racetracks in the United States. During the past century, the facility has helped to shape the face of auto racing. The Milwaukee Mile has hosted a variety of events from turn-of-the- century "speed contests" and 24-hour endurance races to Depression and World War II era open-wheel car duels, USAC stock car events, midget racing, CART, NASCAR and IndyCar competition. The one-mile oval drives more like a road course because of the flat corners, which produces exciting racing. Drivers can't go flat out on the course, which creates overtaking opportunities in the turns as well as the straights. Little has changed to the configuration since opening in 1903.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves has struggled at the Milwaukee Mile with just two top-10 finish in seven tries. Although he has captured the pole for this race twice, his best finish is fifth in 2008.

Although off to a somewhat slow start in 2012, Tony Kanaan might be the man to beat this week. Kanaan has recorded five top-five finishes in his last seven starts at Milwaukee. Kanaan won at Milwaukee in 2006 and 2007 and nearly won the race in 2011 before crashing late in the race. Kanaan will attempt to make his 189th consecutive Indy car start, dating to Portland in 2001. Jimmy Vasser holds the all-time record of 211.

In the seven previous races at Milwaukee, only Dario Franchitti (2011) won the IZOD IndyCar Series title in the same year that he won at Milwaukee. From 2006-2009, a Milwaukee podium finishers did win the title.

The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the June 23 Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway. Marco Andretti is the defending race winner.

06/12 15:51:15 ET

As of June 12, 2012, at 03:51 PM ET

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