IRL: 1996 calendar and points system unveiled

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Press Release From: INDY RACING LEAGUE IRL POINTS SYSTEM, CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR UNVEILED INDIANAPOLIS -- Aug. 28, 1995 -- A championship scoring system that rewards performance and participation was announced today by the Indy Racing...

Press Release From:

INDY RACING LEAGUE

IRL POINTS SYSTEM, CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR UNVEILED

INDIANAPOLIS -- Aug. 28, 1995 -- A championship scoring system that rewards performance and participation was announced today by the Indy Racing League (IRL), which launches its first season on Saturday, Jan 27, 1996, with a 200-mile race on the new one-mile tri-oval at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

At the same time, IRL executive director Jack Long disclosed that the new league's season schedule would end annually with the Indianapolis 500. Both car entrant and driver championships would be determined after that race. A new season would begin with the next race, which in 1996 is a 200-miler at New Hampshire International Speedway on Aug. 18.

The oval track auto racing series opens with an abbreviated three-race season in January with races at Orlando, Phoenix International Raceway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to Orlando, Phoenix and New Hampshire, the 1996-97 IRL season also includes a 200-mile race at the new Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 15 1996. Long said additional races may be added for the 1997-98 season.

IRL's championship points system, which Long describes as a special adaptation of formulas used for other classes of motor sports, will determined both team and driver standings. Standings for both categories will be calculated on an identical basis. A first-place finish will be awarded 35 points. Second places would receive 33. The scale would then descend by one point per position down to 34th and 35th positions, should a starting field ever involve that many entrants.

To recognize consistent competition in the series, Long explained that after the first race of the season, base points earned in each event would be multiplied by the number of races run by the car entrant. The same system would apply to driver point standings.

Long added that the new scoring system is especially significant in order to implement the league's unique qualifying incentive for starting positions to the top 75 percent of the car entrants in league standings. For example, according to Long, in a 24-car field that would apply to the leading 18 entrants in IRL points rankings. At the Indianapolis 500, the top 25 in IRL entrant points could be assured positions in the 33-car field.

"Of course, those cars must attain a minimum average qualifying speed which will be established by the sanctioning United States Auto Club (USAC) and will be based on an evaluation of track conditions and safety at each venue, " Long said.

The IRL pattern for scheduling a single season of racing over parts of two calendar years was adopted to allow the league to end its championship competition at its premier and crowning event, the Indianapolis 500. "While new to racing, it is not unusual among other sports, such as pro football, basket ball and hockey," Long commented.

Long predicted the IRL's approach to qualifying and awarding points will attach more significance to car entrant standings. "Fan interest and attention to season positioning of cars as well as drivers will be greatly heightened," he said. "This will create two simultaneous 'races' among teams and drivers for championships within a single season, a pattern well-suited for league competition, which is the very essence of IRL's format."

The following tables provide specifics and examples of how the points system works.

INDY RACING LEAGUE POINTS BY FINISHING POSITION (drivers and entrants used identical scoring)

POS-PTS POS-PTS POS-PTS

      1 - 35          13 - 22        25 - 10
      2 - 33          14 - 21        26 -  9
      3 - 32          15 - 20        27 -  8
      4 - 31          16 - 19        28 -  7
      5 - 30          17 - 18        29 -  6
      6 - 29          18 - 17        30 -  5
      7 - 28          19 - 16        31 -  4
      8 - 27          20 - 15        32 -  3
      9 - 26          21 - 14        33 -  2
     10 - 25          22 - 13        34 -  1
     11 - 24          23 - 12        35 -  1
     12 - 23          24 - 11

1996 INDY RACING LEAGUE SEASON POINTS SCENARIOS (finishing positions, points awarded and multiplier totals):

                                                            Season
              Disney          Phoenix        Indy           Total
              ------------    -----------    -----------
Team A -      1st (35 pts)    10th (25)      10th (25       255 Pts
                              2x60=120pts    3x85=255pts
Team B -      2nd (33)        2nd (33)       2nd (33)       297
                              2x66=132       3x99=297
Team C -      22 (13)         14th (21)      8th (27)       183
                              2x34=68        3x61=183

(end of release)

Editors Note: If you don't understand the scoring all you need to know is the "B" team will win the Indy Racing League championship.

..Email: HeathcoteR@aol.com...................Email: SpeedNet@aol.com.. ..Los Angeles, California................AUTOSPORTS BBS..310-641-9627.. ..Opinions are mine -- Not yours -- And surely not those of SpeedNet!..

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