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The SunTrust Indy Challenge was an IndyCar Series race held at Richmond International Raceway near Richmond, Virginia from 2001-2009. From 2001-2007, the race was scheduled for 250 laps (187.5 miles), from 2008-2009, the race distance was extended to 300 laps.

SunTrust Indy Challenge
Richmond International Speedway.png
VenueRichmond International Raceway
Corporate sponsorSunTrust Banks
First race2001
Last race2009
Distance225 miles (362 km)
Laps300
Previous namesSunTrust Indy Challenge Presented by XM Satellite Radio (2006-2007)
Most wins (driver)Sam Hornish, Jr. (2)
Scott Dixon (2)
Most wins (team)Andretti Green Racing (3)

The event debuted as a Saturday night race in 2001. The event became one of the more popular races on the schedule, and was arguably the most successful IndyCar race held in traditional "NASCAR Country". The race hearkened back to the classic short track "bull ring" style of racing known for during the AAA and USAC eras of Indy car racing.

ISC traditionally paired the race with other open-wheeled racing. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour once accompanied the race, but in later years USAC open-wheel short track racing had been on the undercard.

AAA held two National Championship sprint car races at the track when it was still a half-mile dirt track under the name Strawberry Hill Speedway. Later, NASCAR sanctioned two Championship Car events at nearby Martinsville Speedway in 1952 and 1953.

On July 30, 2009, RIR track President Doug Fritz announced that the SunTrust Indy Challenge would not be on the 2010 IndyCar Series schedule. The costs to put on the event and possible loss of sponsorship was cited as the reason for the IRL and RIR to not come to an agreement on the event.[1]

Past winnersEdit

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
AAA Championship Car history
1946 October 12   Ted Horn Ted Horn Engineering Offy 20 10 (16.093) 0:07:27 80.537
November 10   Tommy Hinnershitz Ted Horn Engineering 25 12.5 (20.116)
1947

2000
Not held
IRL IndyCar Series history
2001 June 30   Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 250 187.5 (301.752) 1:55:27 97.435 Report
2002 June 29   Sam Hornish, Jr. Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet 250 187.5 (301.752) 1:53:30 99.124 Report
2003 June 28   Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing G-Force Toyota 206* 154.5 (248.643) 1:26:48 106.798 Report
2004 June 26   Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 250 187.5 (301.752) 1:38:11 114.589 Report
2005 June 25   Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Toyota 250 187.5 (301.752) 1:38:33 114.153 Report
2006 June 24   Sam Hornish, Jr. Team Penske Dallara Honda 250 187.5 (301.752) 1:26:49 129.572 Report
2007 June 30   Dario Franchitti Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 250 187.5 (301.752) 1:24:20 133.408 Report
2008 June 28   Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 300 225 (362.102) 2:04:06 108.79 Report
2009 June 27   Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 300 225 (362.102) 1:48:02 124.952 Report
  • 2003: Race shortened due to rain.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Paulk, Ralph N. (30 July 2009). "RIR loses IndyCar Series race". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2011.

External linksEdit