Fast Facts: ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest

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Courtesy of INDYCAR PR, here’s all you need to know ahead of this weekend’s ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ 12th round of 16 races this season:

Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015
Track: The Milwaukee Mile, a 1.015-mile oval in West Allis, Wis.
Entry List: ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest
Race distance: 250 laps / 253.75 miles
Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets for use through the weekend
Twitter: @MKE_IndyFest @IndyCar, #IndyFest, #IndyCar
Event website: http://milwaukeeindyfest.com/ 
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com 
2014 race winner: Will Power
2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Will Power, 43.1757 seconds, 169.262 mph (two laps)
One-lap qualifying record: Patrick Carpentier, 20.028 seconds, 185.500 mph, May 30, 1998
Two-lap qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 42.7766 seconds, 170.841 mph, June 18, 2011

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 4 p.m. ET Sunday, July 12 (tape delay); Race, 5 p.m. ET Sunday, July 12 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Townsend Bell, David Hobbs and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Paul Page is chief announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young, with Mark Jaynes in the turns. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races air live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app. Practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com,  indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season and this weekend’s qualifying session are available live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers, including interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where drivers are positioned, a leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter during the race.

At-track schedule (all times local): 
Saturday, July 11
5-6:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice

Sunday, July 12
9:15-10 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
12:30-1:30 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying (single-car format, two laps each), NBCSN (taped, 3 p.m.)
4 p.m. – NBCSN on air
4:35 p.m. – ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest (250 laps/253.75 miles), NBCSN (live)

Race notes:
* There have been eight different winners in 11 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Texas Motor Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Toronto), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and Graham Rahal (Auto Club Speedway). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners.

* The ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers will be the fourth of six oval races on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, Dixon won the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6 and Rahal won the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on June 27.

* Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan are the only active drivers to win at The Milwaukee Mile more than once. Hunter-Reay has three wins (2004 Champ Car, 2012 and 2013). Kanaan won back-to-back races in 2006-2007. Past winners Power (2014), Dixon (2009), Ryan Briscoe (2008), Bourdais (2006 Champ Car) and Montoya (2000) are also entered in the event. Rodger Ward won at Milwaukee a record seven times from 1957-1963.

* Team Penske has eight Indy car wins at Milwaukee, including last year with Power. Andretti Autosport has five wins. Chip Ganassi Racing has four wins, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and AJ Foyt Racing each have two wins.

* Helio Castroneves has won three poles at Milwaukee (1999, 2006 INDYCAR and 2007). Marco Andretti has won two poles (2008 and 2013). Other past pole winners entered are: Briscoe (2009), Bourdais (2006 Champ Car), Hunter-Reay (2004 Champ Car) and Montoya (2000).

* Castroneves has nine top-five starts in 14 races at Milwaukee. Andretti has three top-five starts in eight races. Dixon has nine top-10 finishes in 11 races. Kanaan has finished in the top 10 in 10 of his last 13 starts at Milwaukee.

* Since the first Indy car race at Milwaukee in 1939, 19 drivers have won at Milwaukee in their Indy car championship-winning seasons: Power (2014), Hunter-Reay (2012), Dario Franchitti (2011), Bourdais (2006), Al Unser Jr. (1994 and 1990), Nigel Mansell (1993), Michael Andretti (1991), Johnny Rutherford (1980), A.J. Foyt (1975 and 1964), Joe Leonard (1972), Al Unser (1970), Mario Andretti (1966), Rodger Ward (1962 and 1959), Jimmy Bryan (1956), Chuck Stevenson (1952), Tony Bettenhausen (1951), Johnnie Parsons (1949), Ted Horn (1947) and Rex Mays (1941).

* Since 1993, three drivers scored their first career win at Milwaukee: Briscoe (2008), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2003) and Greg Moore (1997).

* Twenty drivers entered in this year’s event have competed in past Indy car races at The Milwaukee Mile. Kanaan (15) has the most starts among the entered drivers. Twelve of those drivers have led laps at the track (Kanaan 415, Hunter-Reay 399, Castroneves 281, Montoya 267, Power 233, Dixon 202, Briscoe 190, Andretti 140, Bourdais 117, Takuma Sato 109, Justin Wilson 62 and Ed Carpenter 3).

* Kanaan seeks to start his 245th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon looks to make his 187th consecutive start this weekend.

* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda that attach to the Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all entrants. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed a separate aero kit specification for road and street course/short ovals and another for superspeedways. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding kit manufacturer.

* The No. 2 Team Penske crew of Montoya claimed the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the MAVTV 500 on June 27 with a total pit-lane time of 3 minutes, 28.28 seconds. This is Team Penske’s third Pit Stop Performance win in the last five races. The No. 2 Team Penske crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities for the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest at The Milwaukee Mile.

Mario Andretti says Colton Herta could be next American star in F1

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Mario Andretti’s last Formula One victory is also the last by an American driver in more than 42 years on the international open-wheel road racing series.

If you had told Andretti that while he was celebrating on the Grand Prix of the Netherlands podium on Aug. 27, 1978 at the Vandzoort circuit, he wouldn’t have believed it.

“Absolutely not,” Andretti told Kyle Petty during the most recent “Coffee With Kyle” episode (video above). “It’s a shame. Somehow we have so much talent here, and either there’s no invitation or something there. But I think it’s time to give some of this young talent that, in my opinion, is absolutely capable.”

The Dutch GP was the last of Andretti’s 12 victories in F1 and came during his championship season. No one since has come close to matching his success in F1.

Mario Andretti drives his Lotus-Ford to victory in the 1978 Grand Prix of the Netherlands (Bernard Cahier/Getty Images).

Andretti’s son, Michael, took a full-time ride with McLaren in 1993 but left with three races remaining in a season marred by crashes and mechanical problems.

Scott Speed was the last American to run a full F1 season in 2006, and Alexander Rossi made the most recent F1 start by a U.S. driver in 2015. Rossi has said he has no desire to return to racing in Europe after winning the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and becoming an IndyCar championship contender.

But Mario Andretti believes Andretti Autosport has another rising star with F1-caliber ability.

“Colton Herta is one that comes to mind,” Mario Andretti said. “As a young lad, his dad sent him to Europe, he was doing Formula 3, and he knows most of the circuits there. He’s trained. He’s showed in his rookie season and won some premium races at COTA (and Laguna Seca), beat two of the very best Indy has to offer (in) Will Power and Scott Dixon.

“This is one kid I’d love to see him get a break over there to fly the U.S. colors again.”

Herta, 20, seems interested in exploring an F1 leap over the next few years. After winning Sept. 13 at Mid-Ohio from the pole position (his third career victory in the NTT IndyCar Series), the No. 88 Dallara-Honda driver is ranked fourth in the standings in his sophomore year and regarded as one of the series’ top prospects.

Herta recently told RACER.com “I’d love to give Formula 1 a crack” but said he also would be happy driving in IndyCar and IMSA.

A naturalized U.S. citizen who told Petty about spending several years with his family in an Italian refugee camp before coming to America, Mario Andretti said F1 brought an enormous sense of patriotic pride.

“Formula One is like the Olympics in a sense,” he said. “You’re in a different country, a different continent. When you earn that highest step of the podium, they play your national anthem. That’s when you take nothing for granted. You feel like I’m representing my country, and the proudest moments are those.

“I’d just like to see some other American drivers experience that. It’s time.”

Mario Andretti with four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton before the Nov. 22, 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).

During the “Coffee With Kyle” conversation, Andretti also discussed:

–His versatility as a winner in IndyCar, sports cars, NASCAR and Formula One;

–His 1967 Daytona 500 victory and how he enjoyed racing with crew chief Jake Elder at the famed Holman-Moody team;

Mario Andretti Colton Herta
Mario Andretti and Kyle Petty saluted “The King” by wearing their Richard Petty-style hats during the latest “Coffee With Kyle” (NBCSN).

–Why he delayed his entry to F1 for a few years because of his earnings power in IndyCar. “I always say I’d race for free, but at the same time, you’re thinking of family and the future,” he said. “It was in the back of your mind that you can’t give up the earning power of IndyCar. That kept me from going full time in Formula One, but I always said that sometime in my career, I’d have to devote a period to Formula One.”

–On what it was like racing in an era when driver deaths were more prevalent. “If you’re going to do this, you’re not going to dwell on those negatives,” Andretti said. “There’s no way. You knew it was present. Especially in the ‘60s at the beginning of the season at the drivers meetings, you couldn’t help but look around and say, ‘I wonder who is not going to be here at the end of the season.’ We’d lose four to five guys. In ’64, we lost six guys.

“It’s something if you dwell on that, you’re going to take on a different profession. It’s a desire and love to want to drive that overcame all that and then the confidence it’s not going to happen to me. And then you pray.”

Watch the full “Coffee With Kyle” episode in the video above or by clicking here.

Mario Andretti looks on before the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2019 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).