IndyCar's 2009 schedule close to completion

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The IndyCar Series aims to announce the 2009 season schedule by the end of July, marking the first entirely unified schedule of the IndyCar and Champ Car Series since the two merged last February. Speculation runs rampant about possible changes, which include Nashville Superspeedway being unlikely to return, while Toronto, New Hampshire and Las Vegas have all become top priorities.

 

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Going Turbo?

IRL President Brian Barnhart revealed the possibility of a return to turbocharged engines to the IndyCar Series. Citing the benefits, Barnhart mentioned turbocharged engines can be adjusted to the run on different circuits and they create a natural muffler.

Making the switch

Helio Castroneves has pondered the idea of making the switch to NASCAR. Castroneves drives for Team Penske, which happens to have a three-car team in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Driving for Penske’s NASCAR team is Castroneves’ former teammate Sam Hornish Jr., who made the switch this season.

In the past two years, several other open-wheel racers have switched to NASCAR, including Dario Franchitti. Franchitti began his rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year, but due to a lack of sponsorship, his team shut down the No. 40 car operation in early July.

Screwdriver, anyone?

After an on-track breakdown during qualifying at Watkins Glen, while waiting for his team to get to him, Castronves walked to the nearest fence and signaled to fans that he needed a screwdriver. A fan emerged from his camper and handed Castroneves the tool, but the driver’s attempt to fix his own car failed as he was unable to remove the engine cover.

Mumps breakout?

Rookie E.J. Viso was recently diagnosed with the mumps. The Venezuelan is considered to be contagious and his team was forced to pull out of the race at Nashville, but are hoping to return in the next couple of weeks. Viso is currently 17th in the points standings.

Racing update

Scott Dixon leads the IndyCar Series points standings while Castroneves, two-time Kansas Speedway winner Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick round out the top five.

Danica Patrick’s first win came in Japan in April. Since her disappointing 19th place finish at Kansas Speedway the following week, she has struggled, with her best finish being fifth.  

Ana Beatriz of Brazil became the first woman to win on the Firestone Indy Lights Series, which started in 2002. Beatriz is one of five women to take part in the series.

The IndyCar Series makes its way back to Kansas Speedway on April 26, 2009 for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300. Kansas Speedway tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 866.460.RACE or logging onto kansasspeedway.com.

© 2014 Kansas Speedway

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