St. Petersburg Times


1. MARCH 6: Toyota Indy 300, Homestead
Comment: Dan Wheldon, who won three times as a rookie in 2004, picked up where he left off, winning by 3.69 seconds over Sam Hornish.

2. MARCH 19: XM Satellite Radio Indy 200, Avondale, Ariz.
Comment: Hornish outdueled Dario Franchitti on a late restart to win and take the points lead. Franchitti brushed the wall and fell to fourth.

3. APRIL 3: Grand Prix
of St. Petersburg
Comment: The first road race in series history and the second major open-wheel race in the city in three years.

4. APRIL 30: Indy Japan 300, Suzuka
Comment: Wheldon earned his first series victory in the race last year on his way to a runnerup points finish.

5. MAY 29: Indianapolis 500
Comment: Team Penske's three-race winning streak at Indy ended with Buddy Rice's win in the rain-shortened 2004 race.

6. JUNE 11: Bombardier 500,
Fort Worth, Texas
Comment: This is the 16th IRL race here, the most for any track since the series was founded in 1996.

7. JUNE 25: SunTrust Indy Challenge, Richmond, Va.
Comment: The track has seen four winners and four pole-sitters in its four IRL races.

8. JULY 3: Argent Mortgage Indy 300, Kansas City, Kan.
Comment: Buddy Rice won from the pole for the second time in 2004 here.

9. JULY 16: Firestone Indy 200, Gladeville, Tenn.
Comment: Another place without a repeat winner or pole-sitter in four series races.

10. JULY 24: West Allis, Wis.
Comment: The oldest track in the series began running races in 1903 and runs both Champ Car and IRL races.

11. JULY 31: Michigan Indy 400, Brooklyn
Comment: One of two 2-mile ovals in the series; it switched from CART to IRL in 2002.

12. AUG. 14: Bluegrass 300,
Sparta, Ky.
Comment: Adrian Fernandez won here last year to start a run of three victories in five races.

13. AUG. 21: Honda Indy 225,
Fountain, Colo.
Comment: Greg Ray, who swept two races here in 1999, is the only two-time winner here.

14. AUG. 28: TBA, Sonoma, Calif.
Comment: The second road course race in the series runs both Nextel Cup and IRL races, as does Watkins Glen.

15. SEPT. 11: Delphi Indy 300,
Joliet, Ill.
Comment: The series' closest 1-2-3 finish was here in 2003 when Hornish, Scott Dixon and Bryan Herta were covered by 0.01 seconds.

16. SEPT. 25: Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix, N.Y.
Comment: One of America's most venerable circuits closes the series' road course portion of the schedule.

17. OCT. 16: Toyota Indy 400,
Fontana, Calif.
Comment: Moved from the second-to-last to the last spot on the schedule, replacing Texas.

– JIM TOMLIN, Times staff writer


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