Race Preview: Kansas
June 29, 2006 | 9:01 A.M. EST
Built: Ground was broken on Kansas Speedway on May 25, 1999. The speedway is the largest tourist attraction in the state of Kansas with 80,187 grandstand seats and 68 luxury suites.
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Distance: 200 Laps/300 miles
Banking of Turns: 15 degrees
Poster Awards: Over $1 million
Number of IRL Races Hosted: 5
Fastest Lap: 220.226 mph set by Tomas Scheckter in 2003
2005 Polesitter: Danica Patrick
2005 Podium: Tony Kanaan (winner), Dan Wheldon (2nd), Vitor Meira (3rd)
What happened in 2005?
While Rahal Letterman Racing dominated qualifying at Kansas Speedway, it was Andretti Green Racing that dominated the finish of Sunday’s Argent Mortgage Indy 300, with Tony Kanaan edging teammate Dan Wheldon at the checkered flag by .0120 seconds.
What they are Saying
"I’m definitely looking forward to the Kansas race because we’ve had some success on the 1.5-mile ovals, but for some reason, a victory has always eluded me there. I’ve finished second a couple of times, so I’d like to be able to take that next step and finally get the win. Everything went well at the open test a couple of weeks ago, and the Marlboro Team Penske car was quick and handling well. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue moving forward when we hit the track this weekend."
--Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara-Honda
"I am really excited to return to Kansas Speedway this weekend. We’ve had two top-five runs in the last two events, and I feel that we are on a roll right now. At this stage of the season and with the [championship] points being so close, a good result this weekend is critical."
--Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi Dallara-Honda for Delphi Fernandez Racing
"Kansas is one of my favorite tracks, and I always look forward to this race all season. I hope this is the year that I can finish the race and put the bad luck we seem to have here behind us. If that happens, I am confident to finish in the top five."
--Kosuke Matsuura, driver of the No .55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara-Honda for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing
"The Kansas test will help us improve because it's given us more time to pinpoint why we're lacking speed compared to some of the other cars. The engineers have been racking their brains since Indy but we just aren't as confident as we were last year. Dario and the crew were perfect at Richmond, so who knows what will happen in this race."
--John Anderson, Team Manager for the No. 27 Klein Tools/Canadian Club Dallara-Honda
"We got through a lot of our test program on both cars, the 9 and the 10, and I think we ended up 1-2, and fairly comfortable. I think the race is probably going to be a little different there. It's possible going to be a little bit warmer. The day we tested at Kansas was fairly warm conditions. It wasn’t hot like I think it’s going to be, so we may have to work on the race car a little more. We were struggling; I think most people were struggling with the high line in (Turns) 3 and 4. One and 2 were decent. We were fairly happy with how the two days went. We had some problems and got through what we needed to."
--Scott Dixon, driver of No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda
"Because the racing here is so close, tires certainly play a critical role as teams determine their race strategy and make those split-second decisions that are all the difference between winning and losing. Last year's down-to-the-wire finish saw Tony Kanaan and Andretti Green Racing opt for fuel-only on their last pit stop - the ultimate demonstration of faith in their tires. We are proud that we can supply a product whose reliability allows teams to take such calculated risks and run varying strategies, providing even more exciting racing and intrigue for the fans."
--Al Speyer, Executive Director of Firestone Racing
Schedule of Events
Saturday, July 1
Sunday, July 2