IRL: Pikes Peak: Event extended to 225 miles

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, June 15, 2002 - Teams and drivers in contention for the Indy Racing League championship always have mentioned rhythm as a key component for success. In past seasons, finding that rhythm sometimes was tough because ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, June 15, 2002 - Teams and drivers in contention for the Indy Racing League championship always have mentioned rhythm as a key component for success.

In past seasons, finding that rhythm sometimes was tough because the schedule had some large gaps between races.

This year? No problem.

With eight races in the next 13 weeks, Indy Racing League drivers and teams will have plenty of chances to gain winning rhythm. Fans also will have regular and frequent opportunities to watch the exciting, side-by-side racing that is a trademark of America's premier open-wheel racing series.

Five of the eight remaining races will be two-day events. The two-day events: June 15-16, Pikes Peak International Raceway; June 28-29, Richmond International Raceway; July 19-20, Nashville Superspeedway; Aug. 10-11, Kentucky Speedway; Aug. 24-25, Gateway International Raceway.

The two-day events will reduce operational costs for both teams and tracks, while fans will be treated to two intense days of competition. The first day of each of these events will include two practice sessions and MBNA Pole Qualifying, while the second day will include final practice and the race.

An interesting mix of tracks and race distances also are a highlight of the remaining eight races of the 15-event schedule.

Track lengths range from the .75-mile "bullring" oval at Richmond to the 2-mile, high-speed oval at Michigan International Speedway. Also in the mix are the 1-mile oval at Pikes Peak, the asymmetrical, 1.25-mile oval at Gateway, the all-concrete 1.33-mile oval at Nashville, and the 1.5-mile, high-speed tracks at Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

Distances range from 187.5 miles at Richmond to the league's first 400-mile event at Michigan.

The Pikes Peak event has been extended from 200 to 225 miles, providing teams and drivers more mileage for racing and more strategic options. The longer race also gives more wheel-to-wheel thrills to fans.

Adding to the variety and excitement are popular night events, at Richmond and Nashville.

Fans also can follow the rising Indy Racing stars of tomorrow during Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series races at the final seven events of the season.

The new IRL development series debuts July 7 at Kansas Speedway and will stage 100-mile races during each of the remaining events on the schedule.

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Series IndyCar