The fastest cars in auto racing will return to Bonneville Raceway on Aug. 7 for the 3rd running of the Domino's Pizza Utah "150" IndyCar event.
Jeff Nish, race producer, announced this week that the format will continue to be "150 laps around the oval. The first year the event was held we ran it on the road course. We found people liked the oval course a lot more. They can see everything from start to finish."The event will begin Saturday morning with time trials for Indy cars, stocks and sprint cars. Main events will begin at 6 p.m.
Race officials expect a field of 16 of the high-speed Indy cars for the Utah event.
Among those headed for Bonneville will be Rob Bennett from Campbell, Calif., the current points leader in the IndyCar Series; Bob Tempero from Fort Collins, Colo., winner of the first Utah event and currently in 2nd in the standings; and Jimmy Santos from San Mateo, Calif., winner of last year's event.
Indy cars get their name from the famed Indianapolis 500. The first race, held back in 1911, was won by Ray Harroun driving a special roadster with wooden tires. Last year, Al Unser Jr. won the event with an average speed over the 500 miles of 225 miles per hour.
Many of the cars entered in the Utah event did, in fact, run on the Brickyard track before moving to the IndyCar series.
The cars weigh about half as much as the average mid-size sedan, but use engines that produce between 6 and 7 times the horsepower. Most of today's Indy cars can go from zero to 100 mph in 4.5 seconds, and are capable of speeds in excess of 240 mph on long straightaways.
Tempero says the cars will reach speeds close to 100 mph on the shorter Bonneville straights.
The race strategy for this year's event will be simple, he says: 1) Keep the car on the track for the full 150 laps; 2) be aggressive enough to be within striking distance of the leader near the end; 3) have enough fuel in the tank and tread on the tires to finish; 4) be able to withstand the physical strain of 150 laps of high-speed driving.