For Immediate Release
IRL ADDS RACE AT PIKES PEAK TO 1997-98 SCHEDULE
DENVER, August 7, 1996 -- Indy Racing League and Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) officials announced today that the newly-built one-mile oval in Fountain, Colo., will be host to an IRL event Sunday, June 29, 1997, featuring the stars and cars of the Indianapolis 500.
Tony George, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founder of the IRL, made the announcement alongside C.C. Myers, PPIR owner and president. Others in attendance included Jack Long, executive director of the IRL; Cary Agajanian, executive vice president of the United States Auto Club for the IRL; Linda Clifford of PPIR, and Brian Turner, PPIR general manager. Also on hand were IRL race car drivers Buzz Calkins, winner of the IRL's inaugural Indy 200 at Walt Disney World, and Eddie Cheever, both Colorado residents.
"We're happy to add this racetrack to the IRL family of great, oval auto racing venues," commented George. "We look forward to being in on the beginning of many years of motorsports excitement at this track. And I also look forward to building our partnership with C.C. Myers and the Pikes Peak International Raceway staff."
Myers, owner and president of the $35 million facility, said, "We are excited to announce our first race and honor the association with the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500. Pikes Peak International Raceway represents an important part of a tremendous renaissance in oval track racing all over the country and will be the only facility of its kind in the entire Rocky Mountain region. And, with the race set for the Sunday prior to the July 4 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, we have created a special week of motor racing in Colorado."
Track construction began in April 1996 and completion is targeted for early 1997. A re-development of the Pikes Peak Meadows horse racing track, the site is adjacent to I-25 10 miles south of Colorado Springs. America's newest motorsports complex will feature a one-mile D-shaped oval race track and a 1.35-mile road course with grandstand seating for 40,000 in the first phase. The distance and name of the 1997 IRL event will be announced at a later date.
The new 1996-97 IRL season begins next week with the True Value 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH. That will be followed by the Sept. 15 race at the new Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway Jan. 25, 1997, a 200-miler in Phoenix on March 23, and the season-ending Indianapolis 500 May 25. The race at Pikes Peak will be part of the 1997-98 IRL championship season. ...IRL96-14...