IRL: 2007 calendar features 17 races

INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE TO FEATURE 17 RACES IN 2007 Fourteen events from 2006 return with addition of three new venues INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 -- With the confirmation of Michigan International Speedway on the schedule, Indy ...

INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE TO FEATURE 17 RACES IN 2007

Fourteen events from 2006 return with addition of three new venues

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 -- With the confirmation of Michigan International Speedway on the schedule, Indy Racing League officials have completed a 17-race schedule for the 2007 IndyCar® Series season, featuring the most diverse championship in all of motorsports.

The schedule, which will have races on 12 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, includes every venue which hosted the IndyCar Series in 2006 plus new events at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio and the Raceway at Belle Isle near Detroit.

"The 2007 schedule is clearly the most diverse schedule in IndyCar Series history and one of the most diverse in motorsports today," said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer for the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series. "The schedule offers night races, short ovals, superspeedways, street courses and road courses with each track offering its unique personality that should produce exciting racing."

Each IndyCar Series event will be televised nationally by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The 2007 television schedule will include seven events on ABC, five on ESPN and five on ESPN2.

"We are pleased to once again bring the speed and excitement of IndyCar Series racing to the viewers of ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 in 2007," said John Wildhack, senior vice president of programming and acquisitions for ESPN. "This will be our 43rd year at the Indianapolis 500 and our 12th with the IndyCar Series. We look forward to more of the close competition and thrilling races that this series is famous for."

For the sixth consecutive season, Homestead-Miami Speedway will serve as host for the season opener, but for the first time, IndyCar Series teams begin the season under the lights with a prime-time race on Saturday, March 24.

The race is one of five prime-time races on the schedule joining races at Texas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Nashville Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway as events held under the lights.

"We are committed to continuing the compacted schedule we introduced in 2006 with 17 races in a 25-week period, including the Month of May at Indianapolis and the two-week lead time for the event at Twin Ring Motegi," Barnhart said. "In completing the schedule, we achieved our two primary goals of returning to all of the venues that were on our 2006 calendar while adding three events. We truly appreciate the efforts made by all of the tracks allowing the IndyCar Series to maximize the potential of its 2007 schedule."

Chicagoland Speedway again will host the season finale on Sunday, Sept. 9. It will mark the second consecutive season that the 1.5-mile oval will host the season finale. The 91st Indianapolis 500 is slated for May 27. Other highlights on the 2007 schedule include:

The IndyCar Series' stop at Kansas Speedway moves to April 29 giving the IndyCar Series an extra event prior to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2002 while allowing the Kansas Speedway to offer fans a cooler springtime date rather than a hot, humid July date.

The Milwaukee Mile event moves to June 3, marking the 50th time the cars and drivers of the Indianapolis 500 will head to the historic oval in the weeks following the 500-Mile race. With the exception of two years, The Milwaukee Mile hosted the event after the Indianapolis 500 from 1947-1995. Eight drivers have been able to win the Indianapolis-Milwaukee double, including four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, for whom the IndyCar Series race is named. In addition to Foyt, many Indianapolis 500 champions have competed at The Mile, including every Indianapolis 500 winner since 1946, with the exception of 1966 "500" winner Graham Hill.

With Kansas' shift, the historic 3.37-mile road course at Watkins Glen International will have its third date in as many years, July 8, but the Fourth of July weekend has always been the track's preferred choice for the IndyCar Series event with the intent to make the weekend a mid-summer institution.

Michigan International Speedway will move from its traditional July weekend to Aug. 5 allowing the IndyCar Series to reach its intended goal of 17 events.

The ESPN alliance dates back to the league's inaugural 1996 event with ABC's first broadcast of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race in 1965, a relationship that is the second-longest in sports between a network and sports property.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Graham Hill , A.J. Foyt , Brian Barnhart