Firestone Indy 200 set Saturday night

Viso is considered contagious, leading Indy Racing League officials to test all employees who came in contact with the Venezuelan during last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

Viso’s HVM Racing team, in its first IndyCar season, will not participate at Nashville. Viso is 13th in the point standings, third among series rookies.

"The track is definitely a challenge because it’s concrete," said Helio Castroneves, who has four top-five finishes in six starts at the track but is mired in a 25-race winless streak.

"Definitely for the drivers and for the engineers, it’s a challenge to find grip, but once you have it there’s a great chance you’ll be in good shape."

Only 12 of the 26 drivers entered in the event have competed at the track before.

Rookies and transition drivers had a two-hour practice session July 10, and all drivers will have two hours, 45 minutes of practice today.

"From what I hear it’s pretty tough," said Justin Wilson, who will make his first start at the track.

"You are close to being flat-out driving around on your own. I guess in the race I might have to start lifting though because there will be a lot of traffic. I have been to a few racetracks that have concrete sections on them. It’s generally very bumpy and quite difficult to drive on, so it’s very challenging. On an oval I can only imagine what that does. I can imagine that once the rubber goes down, it starts to lay some grip down there and it would start to get quite grippy. It will be interesting to see what kind of concrete it is and how it affects things."

The driver and team that find the right combination for the Firestone Indy 200 will take home one of the most unique trophies in racing - a hand-painted Gibson guitar.

"It’s a unique trophy," Castroneves said. "I really cherish and I really want to have that in my collection, so hopefully this year will be the year."

TICKETS – Nashville Superspeedway has partnered with Kroger to offer a $5 discount for tickets (up to four) with a Kroger card. This offer is good over the phone (1-866-RACE-TIX) or at the NSS box office, of by going online at

ELECTRONIC COVERAGE — The Firestone Indy 200 will be telecast live in High Definition at 7 p.m. by ESPN. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network.

A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and

The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Sunbelt Rentals 100 on July 12 at Nashville Superspeedway.

The race will be telecast at 1 p.m. July 17 on ESPN2.


Friday, July 11

10 a.m.    Parking Lots & gates open

10:15 a.m.    IndyCar Series Ppractice

12:30 a.m.    Firestone Indy Lights Series practice

1:30 p.m.    IndyCar Series practice

4 p.m.    Firestone Indy Lights Series pualifying

5:30 p.m.    IndyCar Series pualifying

7 p.m.    Autograph session

Saturday, July 12

12 p.m.    Parking Lots open

2:30 p.m.    Gates and Fanwalk open

3:30 p.m.    Sunbelt Rentals 100 Firestone Indy Lights Series race

5 p.m.    Kate and Kacey Coppola concert presented by Dillon Transportation

7 p.m.    Firestone Indy 200 IndyCar Series race