The IndyCars travel to the Bluegrass state this weekend for Saturday night’s Indy 300 at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The event for the series comes after a week’s vacation that was preceded by a string of six consecutive race weekends for the drivers and crews.
With only four Championship-points paying events remaining on the ’08 schedule the Kentucky race will be pivotal for those drivers wishing to catch current series leader Scott Dixon. Dixon, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion, leads the points’ table by 65 over closest rival Helio Castroneves, the 2001 and 2002 Indianapolis 500 champion. 2005 Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon lies third, 115 points back.
Tony Kanaan is the defending race winner at Kentucky. The 2004 Indy Racing League Series Champion currently sits fourth in the Championship. Kanaan won the pole position for the ’07 edition with an average speed of over 218 MPH for the flying lap. Kanaan took the checkers last year by 1.7 seconds over Dixon with an average race speed of 180.5 MPH.
The Kentucky race will feature plenty of Indy legacies. A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of four-time Indy 500 champion A.J. Foyt, will return to Kentucky with his Vision Racing team. Foyt finished third at the ’07 Kentucky race.
Marco Andretti, grandson of 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, is currently tenth in the season points standings. Last year at Kentucky Andretti started 15th in the field and climbed his way through to a fourth place finish.
Graham Rahal, son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, will be making his debut at Kentucky for the IndyCars. Rahal won the St Petersburg race earlier this season and sits 17th in the points going into Saturday’s event.
Dixon will be looking to consolidate his points lead Saturday. The native New Zealander won the series championship in 2003. Last season he lost the championship race on the final corner of the final lap of the season at the Chicagoland Speedway when his car ran out of fuel while leading, allowing Dario Franchitti to pass him for the win and the series title.