IRL: New dates for Kansas Speedway, Watkins Glen in 2007

NEW DATES FOR KANSAS SPEEDWAY, WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL ON 2007 INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series races at Kansas Speedway and Watkins Glen International will have new dates in 2007, series...

NEW DATES FOR KANSAS SPEEDWAY, WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL ON 2007 INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series races at Kansas Speedway and Watkins Glen International will have new dates in 2007, series officials announced.

The IndyCar Series' stop at Kansas moves to April 29, while the Watkins Glen event will move to the July 8 date previously occupied by Kansas. A 100-mile Indy Pro Series race will be held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series event at Watkins Glen International.

"Moving these two races will maximize the potential of the 2007 schedule," said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series "We'd like to thank Jeff Boerger, Craig Rust and everyone at ISC for their flexibility and their assistance in building our 2007 schedule."

The announcement brings the confirmed number of 2007 events to nine. The IndyCar Series has raced at the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway since 2001, and it is the site of three of the closest finishes in series history. Officials with Kansas Speedway requested the date change due to oppressive heat at recent events.

"Our race fans come first," said Jeff Boerger, president of Kansas Speedway. "They've really stuck with us over the past six years because that's how exciting IndyCar Series racing is. But moving this race weekend to the springtime will make the weekend even more spectacular. It will be cooler for fans, the drivers, the media and the staff."

The shift of the 300-mile event at Kansas Speedway gives the IndyCar Series an extra event prior to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2002.

"We're excited to make this date change announcement in conjunction with Kansas Speedway and pleased to assist Jeff and his staff respond to their fan base's desire for a race date offering cooler temperatures," Barnhart said. "Putting Kansas Speedway on the schedule right before the Indianapolis 500 allows an already successful event to grow even more in stature while offering the IndyCar Series a great platform heading in to the month of May."

With Kansas' shift, the historic 3.37-mile road course at Watkins Glen International will have its third date in as many years. Despite the change, track officials hope to make the IndyCar Series event weekend a mid-summer institution.

"The 4th of July weekend has always been one of our preferred choices for the IndyCar Series weekend," Watkins Glen International President Craig Rust said. "We are thrilled to have worked with Kansas Speedway and the Indy Racing League on this date change and hope that it will become a tradition that our fans can enjoy with their families each year surrounding the holiday weekend."

Watkins Glen is already planning several fan activities throughout the new July weekend including a large display of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.

"We are pleased to give Craig Rust and his staff at Watkins Glen International a date they have long preferred and thank him for his flexibility the past couple of years," said Barnhart. "In just two years, The Glen has quickly become an anticipated race on the IndyCar Series schedule, and we look forward to building on not only the track but the region's open-wheel racing legacy."

The IndyCar Series has previously announced seven events for 2007:
April 1 -- Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.*
May 27 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
June 3 -- The Milwaukee Mile*
June 9 -- Texas Motor Speedway
June 24 -- Iowa Speedway*
July 14 -- Nashville Superspeedway*
Aug. 11 -- Kentucky Speedway*.

The remainder of the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule will be announced at a later date.

* denotes Indy Pro Series event to be held also.

-credit: irl

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