||This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
|Venue||Texas Motor Speedway|
|Distance||550.395 km (342.000 mi)|
|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-Present)
Firestone Twin 275s (2011)
Lone Star 500 (1998)
Mall.com 500 (1999)
Excite 500 (2000)
Chevy 500 (2001-2004)
|Most wins (driver)||Sam Hornish, Jr. & Hélio Castroneves (3)|
|Most wins (team)||Team Penske (7)|
|Most wins (manufacturer)||Dallara (20)
Honda & Oldsmobile (9)
The Firestone 550 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 will continue to do so 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 550 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.
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. 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. Side-by-side racing has produced some of the closest two-car and three-car finishes in series history.
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.
In 2003, Gil de Ferran was leading on lap 187 when Kenny Bräck crashed on the backstrech. 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).
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). Starting 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).
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, 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
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." 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.
Indycar Series history (Fort Worth)
|Season||Date||Driver||Team||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1996-97||June 7, 1997||Arie Luyendyk*||Treadway Racing||G-Force||Oldsmobile||208||312 (502.115)||2:19:48||133.903||Report|
|1998||June 6||Billy Boat||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Dallara||Oldsmobile||208||312 (502.115)||2:08:46||145.388||Report|
|September 20||John Paul, Jr.||Byrd/Cunningham Racing||G-Force||Oldsmobile||208||312 (502.115)||2:21:53||131.931||Report|
|1999||June 12||Scott Goodyear||Panther Racing||G-Force||Oldsmobile||208||312 (502.115)||2:00:06||150.069||Report|
|October 17||Mark Dismore||Kelley Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||208||312 (502.115)||2:14:16||135.246||Report|
|2000||June 11*||Scott Sharp||Kelley Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||208||312 (502.115)||1:47:20||169.182||Report|
|October 15||Scott Goodyear||Panther Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||208||312 (502.115)||1:43:36||175.276||Report|
|2001||June 9||Scott Sharp||Kelley Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||200||300 (482.803)||1:55:44||150.873||Report|
|October 6*||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Panther Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||200||300 (482.803)||1:43:36||168.523||Report|
|2002||June 8||Jeff Ward||Chip Ganassi Racing||G-Force||Chevrolet||200||300 (482.803)||1:45:50||164.984||Report|
|September 15||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Panther Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||200||300 (482.803)||1:46:29||163.981||Report|
|2003||June 7||Al Unser, Jr.||Kelley Racing||Dallara||Toyota||200||300 (482.803)||1:43:48||168.213||Report|
|October 13||Gil de Ferran||Team Penske||Dallara||Toyota||195*||292.5 (470.733)||1:48:56||156.268||Report|
|2004||June 12||Tony Kanaan||Andretti Green Racing||Dallara||Honda||200||300 (482.803)||1:53:24||153.965||Report|
|October 17||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara||Toyota||200||300 (482.803)||1:49:32||159.397||Report|
|2005||June 11||Tomas Scheckter||Panther Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||200||300 (482.803)||1:45:47||165.047||Report|
|2006||June 10||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara||Honda||200||300 (482.803)||1:34:01||185.71||Report|
|2007||June 9||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Team Penske||Dallara||Honda||228||342 (550.395)||1:52:15||177.314||Report|
|2008||June 7||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||228||342 (550.395)||2:04:36||159.74||Report|
|2009||June 6||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara||Honda||228||342 (550.395)||1:55:16||172.677||Report|
|2010||June 5||Ryan Briscoe||Team Penske||Dallara||Honda||228||342 (550.395)||2:04:47||159.508||Report|
|2011||June 11||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||114||171 (275.197)||0:54:47||181.649||Report|
|Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara||Honda||114||171 (275.197)||0:48:09||206.693|
|2012||June 9||Justin Wilson||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara||Honda||228||342 (550.395)||1:59:02||167.217||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.
AAA Championship car history (Arlington)
|Season||Date||Race Name||Driver||Team||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1947||November 2||Arlington 100||Ted Horn||Ted Horn Enterprises||Horn||Offy||95||100.89 (162.366)||1:10:25||86.001|
|1948||April 25||Arlington 100||Ted Horn||Horn Enterprises||Horn||Offy||95||100.89 (162.366)||1:17:00||78.644|
|1949||April 24||Arlington 100||Johnnie Parsons||Kurtis||Offy||95||100.89 (162.366)||1:16:40||83.15|
|July 17||Universal Speedways Race of Champions||Mel Hansen||Lesovsky||Offy||50||53.1 (85.456)|
|1950||April 30||MGM Sweepstakes||Duane Carter||Sprint Car||30||31.86 (51.273)||0:22:44||84.087|
USAC Championship car history (College Station)
|Season||Date||Race Name||Driver||Team||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1973||April 7||Texas 200||Al Unser||Vels Parnelli Jones||Parnelli||Offenhauser||100||200 (321.868)||1:18:19||153.224|
|October 6||Texas 200||Gary Bettenhausen||Team Penske||McLaren||Offy||100||200 (321.868)||1:05:58||181.91|
|1976||August 1||Texas 150||A.J. Foyt||Gilmore Racing||Coyote||Foyt||75||150 (241.401)||0:52:04||172.885|
|October 31||Benihana World Series of Auto Racing||Johnny Rutherford||Team McLaren||McLaren||Offenhauser||100||200 (321.868)||1:19:50||150.315|
|1977||April 2||Texas Grand Prix||Tom Sneva||Team Penske||McLaren||Cosworth||100||200 (321.868)||1:16:05||157.711|
|July 31||American Parts 200||Johnny Rutherford||Team McLaren||McLaren||Cosworth||100||200 (321.868)||1:13:05||164.191|
|1978||April 15||Coors 200||Danny Ongais||Interscope Racing||Parnelli||Cosworth||100||200 (321.868)||1:09:08||173.594|
|August 6||Texas Grand Prix||A.J. Foyt||Gilmore Racing||Coyote||Foyt||100||200 (321.868)||1:15:27||159.06|
|1979||April 8||Coors 200||A.J. Foyt||Gilmore Racing||Coyote||Foyt||100||200 (321.868)||1:32:37||129.574|
|July 29||Lubrilon Grand Prix||A.J. Foyt||Gilmore Racing||Parnelli||Cosworth||100||200 (321.868)||1:13:39||162.934|
IndyCar Series races