Fast Facts: Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix

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Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Fast Facts

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016

Track: Phoenix International Raceway, a 1.022-mile oval

Race distance: 250 laps / 255.5 miles

Entry List:  Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (PDF)

Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary with an additional set available to rookie drivers and those outside the top 10 in Verizon IndyCar Series points

Twitter: @PhoenixRaceway, @IndyCar, #DDCPhoenixGrandPrix, #IndyCar

Event website:

INDYCAR website:

2005 race winner: Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota)

2005 pole winner: Bryan Herta (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda), 20.3837 seconds (176.612 mph)

Qualifying lap record: Arie Luyendyk (19.608 seconds; 183.599 mph) set on March 23, 1996

NBCSN television telecasts (also available on the NBC Sports Live Extra app):Practice, 1 p.m. ET Friday, April 1; Qualifying, 5 p.m. ET Friday, April 1; Race, 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, April 2. Rick Allen is the lead announcer for NBCSN’s broadcast this weekend alongside analysts Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.

Video Streaming: Friday’s 9:15 p.m. ET practice session for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix will be available on the INDYCAR YouTube channel ( and

Radio broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying is broadcast on Sirius 212, XM 209,, and the INDYCAR Mobile app. Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions plus Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practice and qualifying are on, and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, April 1

10-11:15 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, NBCSN (Live)

2-3 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single-car format, two laps each), NBCSN (Live)

6:15-6:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice, live stream onRaceControl.IndyCar.Com

Saturday, April 2

2:30 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series systems check

5:30 p.m. – NBCSN on air

6:15 p.m. – Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (250 laps/255.5 miles), NBCSN (Live).

Race Notes:

* Juan Pablo Montoya claimed the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 13 for the second consecutive season. Montoya has led the points after 16 of the last 17 Verizon IndyCar Series events (only failing to lead following the 2015 season finale at Sonoma).

* The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix will be the first Indy car event conducted at Phoenix International Raceway since 2005 and 62nd Indy car race since the track opened in 1964.

* This is the first of five oval races on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Other ovas events scheduled are: the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil (May 29), the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway (June 11), the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (July 10) and the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway (Aug. 21).

* Four drivers entered this weekend have previously raced Indy cars at Phoenix International Raceway: Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. Al Unser has the most wins by an Indy car driver at the track (six). Castroneves (2002) and Kanaan (2003 and 2004) are the only past PIR winners entered in this year’s race.

* Eleven drivers have won the Phoenix race from the pole: Castroneves (2002), Arie Luyendyk (1996), Rick Mears (1982, 1989 and 1990), Al Unser (1969 and 1985), Tom Sneva (1984), Teo Fabi (1983), Johnny Rutherford (1977), Gordon Johncock (1973), Bobby Unser (1968, 1972), Lloyd Ruby (1967) and Mario Andretti (1966).

* Drivers who have won at Phoenix have gone on to win the Indy car championship nine times: A.J. Foyt (1964, first race; 1975, second race), Mario Andretti (1966, second race), Bobby Unser (1968, first race), Al Unser (1970, first race; 1985), Rick Mears (1982, first race), Bobby Rahal (1992), Buddy Lazier (2000), Hornish (2001) and Kanaan (2004).

* Three drivers will make their first Indy car oval start this weekend at Phoenix – Max Chilton, Luca Filippi and Alexander Rossi. Chilton and Rossi, along with Conor Daly, are Sunoco Rookie of the Year award candidates. Chilton and Rossi made their series debut at St. Petersburg after competing previously in Formula One.

* The 2016 season is the second in which aerodynamic bodywork component kits are used. The aero kits, produced by engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda for their respective supplied teams, are the latest technical innovation to enhance on-track performance through competitive aerodynamic development. Each manufacturer produces two kits for teams – one for short ovals/road courses/street courses and another for superspeedway ovals – but within each kit, teams have multiple component options available.

* The second season of aero kit competition complements the fifth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the manufacturer champion.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.