INDYCAR SERIES Michigan Indy 400

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Firestone Indy 400 Preview

Aug 5, 2007 - 10:34 AM
August 5, 2007 
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, Michigan
Race 13 of 17 in the 2007 IndyCar Series season

TV: ESPN2, 12 p.m. EDT

Length: 200 laps
Race length: 400 miles
Track length: 2-mile asphalt oval

Qualifying record: Tomas Scheckter, 222.458 mph, 2003 Race
record: Helio Castroneves, 193.972 mph, 2006


Helio Castroneves
Team: Marlboro Team Penske
2007 Earnings: $1,368,553

Finished third two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio to remain sixth in the
standings, 151 points behind leader Dario Franchitti; has just
one victory this year despite winning a circuit-leading six
poles, including Mid-Ohio and the Indianapolis 500; took the
checkered flag at St. Petersburg on April 1 to collect his 12th
career win; posted back-to-back third place finishes at Kansas
and Indianapolis; prior to the past two races, finished out of
the top-10 for two consecutive events at Richmond and Watkins
Glen; won this race a year ago after starting from the pole.

Scott Dixon
Team: Target Chip Ganassi Racing
2007 Earnings: $1,732,717

Has won three straight races to move within 24 points of
Franchitti in the standings; took the checkered flag at Mid-Ohio
for his ninth career IndyCar series victory; won at at
Nashville after starting on the pole, to became the first repeat
winner at Nashville; started his winning streak on July 8 at
Watkins Glen; has finished out of the top-10 just once this
season with a 12th at Texas, and had been in the top-five for 10
of 12 starts; has been a runner-up four times this year; earned
his only other pole of the season at Iowa Speedway last month,
but finished 10th; finished a disappointing 16th at this race a
year ago after running out of fuel.

Dario Franchitti
Team: Andretti Green Racing
2007 Earnings: $2,652,533

Finished second to Dixon for the second straight race at
Mid-Ohio to barely maintain the top spot in the standings; only
leads Dixon by 24 points after losing another 10 points to the
New Zealander; is tied with Dixon for wins this season with
three - Richmond, Iowa and the Indy 500; has been runner-up four
times this year and has been remarkably consistent, finishing
in the top five in 11 of 12 starts; only finish out of the top
five was a seventh-place showing in the first race of the year
at Homestead-Miami Speedway; finished 12th at this race last

Danica Patrick
Team: Andretti Green Racing
2007 Earnings: $904,605

Posted her second consecutive top-five finish with a fifth place
showing at Mid-Ohio; matched her career-best IndyCar Series
finish by taking third at Nashville prior to that; now has three
top-fives this season, including a third at Texas on June 9;
after the race at Nashville complained that lapped cars kept her
from a shot at the win; remains seventh in the standings, but
is a distant 177 points behind Franchitti; started second at
Mid-Ohio, but had started no better than sixth in eight races
before that; has just seven top-five finishes in 41 career
starts; finished 17th at this race last year after suffering
mechanical problems.

Sam Hornish Jr.
Team: Marlboro Team Penske
2007 Earnings: $1,067,139

IndyCar's defending champion finished 14th at Mid-Ohio, but
remains fifth in the standings, 129 off Franchitti's pace;
placed fourth at Nashville and second at Watkins Glen before the
disappointing finish at Mid-Ohio; is the only driver among the
current top five who has yet to earn a pole this year; lone win
this season was at Texas Motor Speedway in June; made headlines
at Watkins Glen with a post-race altercation with Tony Kanaan.
After the two bumped cars during the competition, Hornish
confronted Kanaan at the end of the race, resulting in a
skirmish that involved Hornish's father, among others; struggled
to a last-place finish here a year ago after a miscalculation
in the pits.

Dan Wheldon
Team: Target Chip Ganassi Racing
2007 Earnings: $1,087,005

Started 11th and wound up 10th at Mid-Ohio for his fifth finish
out of the top-five over his past six races; was third at
Richmond over that stretch; dropped to fourth in the standings
after Mid-Ohio, 117 behind Franchitti; has two wins this season,
starting and finishing from the pole in the season opener at
Homestead; also won at Kansas; finished second at Japan, and
finished third at both Milwaukee and Richmond; finished third
after starting ninth here last year.

2006 Top 10
1. Helio Castroneves (3)
2. Vitor Meira (4)
3. Dan Wheldon (10)
4. Tony Kanaan (11)
5. Tomas Scheckter (2)
6. Scott Sharp (8)
7. Ed Carpenter (20)
8. Marco Andretti (26)
9. Kosuke Matsuura (55)
10. Jeff Simmons (17)

Past Champions
2006 Helio Castroneves, 193.972 mph
2005 Bryan Herta, 167.197 mph
2004 Buddy Rice, 182.123 mph
2003 Alex Barron, 180.917 mph
2002 Tomas Scheckter, 179.044 mph

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