Race Preview: Homestead
March 23, 2007 | 8:32 A.M. EST
History: The facility, which opened in 1995, features a 1.5-mile asphalt oval which was re-configured to its current high-banked 1.5-mile layout in 2003.
Track Length: 1.5-mile oval
Race Distance: 200 Laps
Banking of Turns: 18-20 degrees of variable banking
Poster Awards: More than $1 million
Number of IRL Races Hosted: 6
Fastest Lap: 218.539 mph set by Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006
2006 Polesitter: Sam Hornish Jr.
2006 Podium: Dan Wheldon (winner), Helio Castroneves (2nd), Sam Hornish Jr. (3rd)
What happened in 2006?
Dan Wheldon passed Helio Castroneves in a sprint to the finish line and held on to win by .0147 seconds Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway to score his second consecutive victory in the IRL IndyCar Series season-opening Toyota Indy 300 presented by XM Satellite Radio.
- The winner at Miami has gone on to win the IndyCar Series championship four times in the last six seasons.
- The IndyCar Series season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway will mark the first time a race will be run on 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol. The IndyCar Series is the first in motorsports to embrace a renewable fuel source. Ethanol is an environmentally-friendly fuel, distilled from high-starch crops (primarily corn) produced in the United States. During his State of the Union address in February, President Bush emphasized the need for a significant increase in ethanol production. Learn about the changes made to prepare cars for 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol and how the IndyCar Series is helping promote the message of renewable fuels.
"I start off every season with one goal - to win the Championship - and 2007 will be no different. We had a strong campaign in 2006, but I think that the competition will be much tougher this year. I think a lot of teams got a wake-up call last season and they’ve worked hard over the past few months to make sure they are where they need to be. I think it will be an exciting year and I think Team Penske has what it takes to get the job done."
--Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Penske Racing Dallara/Honda
"You don’t really get a really good idea of where you really are until you get that first race under your belt. We saw some of the usual suspects at the front, but preseason testing isn’t always a good indication and there are bound to be some surprises in the first two races. We have a lot to build on. Last year was a strong year and we’re looking to improve on it. Consistency will be the key and capitalizing on every opportunity. It should be a fun year."
--Scott Dixon, Driver of the No. 9 Target Honda/Dallara
"Miami-Homestead is not a standard shaped oval. Although the turns are similar at both ends they are different because of the winds. In turns one and two the cars get loose, and in turns three and four, they tend to push or understeer. It’s a tough track to get a handle on. However, it will be good in the race because of the variable banking which means the different grooves have different angles of banking: 18-19-20 degrees, allowing for a lot of side-by-side racing. I think it’s the only track like that"
--Darren Manning, driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda
Schedule of Events
Friday, March 23
- Practice 1: Noon – 2:00 p.m. (ET) (Session divided into two groups)
- Practice 2: 5:40 – 7:40 p.m. (ET) (Session divided into two groups)
- Qualifying: 8:45 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, March 24
- Race: 8:00 p.m. (ET)