FONTANA, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 4, 2001 - The Indy Racing League will compete at California Speedway for the first time on Sunday, March 24, 2002, Indy Racing League President and CEO Tony George and California Speedway President Bill Miller ...
FONTANA, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 4, 2001 - The Indy Racing League will compete at California Speedway for the first time on Sunday, March 24, 2002, Indy Racing League President and CEO Tony George and California Speedway President Bill Miller announced today. The 400-mile race will consist of 200 laps on the 2-mile superspeedway at Fontana, Calif. The long-awaited debut of Indy Racing in Southern California will be televised live on ESPN2.
"The Los Angeles market is very important to our league from a corporate sponsorship and media awareness standpoint," George said. "In addition, we experienced an unprecedented amount of positive response to our oval racing product from fans throughout the 2001 season. I am confident this enthusiasm will continue as we grow even more in 2002, especially when the great race fans in Southern California experience the Indy Racing League. "I know our teams and drivers are looking forward to all that California Speedway and the community has to offer."
The 2002 Indy Racing Northern Light Series schedule now grows to 15 events, the largest in the history of the Indy Racing League, which debuted in 1996 after being founded by George to promote the American tradition of open-wheel, oval-track racing. The California Speedway race is the third event on the schedule, highlighted by the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26.
"California Speedway is proud to welcome the IRL to our family of events," Miller said. "We have been saying for some time that we want to grow the number of events at the speedway, and adding the IRL to our traditional schedule that we've had for the last five years takes another step toward accomplishing that goal. We look forward to working with the IRL as the series ventures to the West Coast for the first time."
California Speedway, which is owned by International Speedway Corporation, joins seven of its "sister" tracks owned or partially owned by ISC on the 2002 Indy Racing schedule. The tracks are: Homestead-Miami, Phoenix, Nazareth, Richmond, Kansas City, Michigan and Joliet (Chicagoland).
"We appreciate the efforts of Tony George and the IRL staff in making this event at California Speedway a reality," said John Saunders, ISC senior vice president of operations. "Adding the IRL at California Speedway continues our company's commitment to the Southern California marketplace in providing additional motorsports events at the speedway, as well as further expanding our overall oval strategy with the Indy Racing League."
2002 IRL Schedule <pre> 03-02 Homestead-Miami Speedway 03-17 Phoenix International Raceway 03-24 California Speedway 04-21 Nazareth Speedway 05-26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 06-08 Texas Motor Speedway 06-16 Pikes Peak International Raceway 06-29 Richmond International Raceway 07-07 Kansas Speedway 07-20 Nashville Superspeedway 07-28 Michigan International Speedway 08-11 Kentucky Speedway 08-25 Gateway International Raceway 09-08 Chicagoland Speedway 09-15 Texas Motor Speedway