Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway
TV: NBCSN telecasts the race live (7 p.m. local/Central), with green flag at 7:50. Brian Till is the chief announcer, with Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy the analysts.
Radio/web: The race will be broadcast on IMS Radio Network affiliates (7 p.m. local/Central), www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 14 app (both in conjunction with real-time Timing & Scoring), XM 209 and Sirius 213. Paul Page is the chief announcer.
Twitter: @TXMotorSpeedway, @IndyCar, #Firestone600
Weather forecast: Clear with air temperature in the mid-80s for race time
Race laps: 248/372 miles on the 1.455-mile oval with 24 degrees of banking in the turns
Click it: Firestone 600 qualifying results
Start/restarts: Two-wide rolling start with single-file restarts.
Fuel/stops: 100 gallons per entry. Four service stops likely for race distance ... Verizon IndyCar Series cars carry 18.5 U.S. gallons
Tires: Firestone Racing has supplied the same racing slicks used at Texas Motor Speedway in 2013. The same construction/compound will be used at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30.
Qualifications: Will Power earned the Verizon P1 Award for the second consecutive year at Texas with a two-lap average speed of 218.896 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske entry. Six drivers have won the previous 25 races from the pole. Josef Newgarden, driving the No. 67 Strike/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, qualified a career-best second.
He said it: "Vision is the most important thing during night races. The race starts in daylight, and heads into darkness as laps progress. While you're driving you have to make an adjustment to the steering wheel to ensure you can see the lights and info it displays. And your helmet visor gets very tricky. You can use a different visor than normal, or tinted peel offs for the visor. It's very stressful preparation for the race because you have to know when the sun is going to set to layer your peel-offs properly. There's obviously no time to reorder them during the race." -- Simon Pagenaud
2013: Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves won the race by 4.6919 seconds over Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
Championship chase: Power leads Castroneves by 20 points after seven races (Power has two victories, Castroneves one). The driver to win at Texas has gone on to win the championship five times. Since 1994, 11 drivers have won the eighth race of the season and gone on to win the championship.
Of note: This is the 26th Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway since 1997, and the Firestone 600 will be held on the same date as thatrace won by Arie Luyendyk. There have been 18 different drivers who have won. ... Helio Castroneves holds the record for most with four (October 2004, June 2006, June 2009 and June 2013). ... Juan Pablo Montoya, who competed in 17 NASCAR races at Texas, qualified fourth in his maiden Indy car race at the speedway. ... Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray pace car. ... INDYCAR announced June 6 its modification to the restart procedures. It had employed double-file restarts on all oval tracks, except the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and single-file restarts on all road and street course events. "This year we've made improvements in our ability to monitor and police restarts that has resulted in great single-file restarts at all of our events, including the Indianapolis 500," said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competitions and Operations. "We also felt it was important to place our competitors in the exact running order as they were prior to the caution and not provide an advantage to some drivers because of the lane they were in during a double-file restart."
For spectators: Cody Canada and The Departed and Johnny Cooper will headline a concert following the race in the infield. The concert is free, but to gain access fans must have a ticket to the Firestone 600. Individual concert tickets also will be sold for $10 and will be available at Gate 4 once the Firestone 600 race has concluded. Fans also will have the opportunity post-race to tour the Verizon IndyCar Series garage before the concert. ... Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks, the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion, will wave the green flag to start the race. ... Jim McElreath, an Arlington, Texas, native, will give the command for the starting of engines. McElreath, 86, was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame located at Texas Motor Speedway in 2007. He also was inducted into the 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Indianapolis. He made 15 starts in the Indianapolis 500, where he was named the Rookie of the Year in 1962 (photo above) and had a career-best finish of third in 1966.