IRL: Texas Motor Speedway announces 2007 schedule

TMS Announces 2007 Race Schedule * Schedule To Be Highlighted By Dickies 500 Returning To A Finish Under The Lights * Season Tickets Now On Sale, Free "10 Years Strong" Anniversary Book For Purchases By Oct. 2 ...

TMS Announces 2007 Race Schedule

* Schedule To Be Highlighted By Dickies 500 Returning To A Finish Under The Lights

* Season Tickets Now On Sale, Free "10 Years Strong" Anniversary Book For Purchases By Oct. 2

FORT WORTH, Texas (August 16, 2006): The 2007 Texas Motor Speedway race schedule will mirror this season's lineup with three marquee weekends and will be highlighted by the return of the Dickies 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race concluding under the lights of "The Great American Speedway!"

The season kicks off April 12-15 with the RadioShack 500 weekend that features the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series and Crown Royal International Race of Champions. The Indy Racing League IndyCar Series makes its annual visit June 7-9 for the Bombardier Learjet 500k weekend and will be joined by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The season wraps up in grand fashion Nov. 1-4 with the Dickies 500 NASCAR triple-header weekend featuring the NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series.

The Dickies 500 is slated for a late afternoon start (exact start time TBD) to ensure that the dramatic Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event will finish beneath the lights. The inaugural Dickies 500 in 2005 was the first NEXTEL Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway ever scheduled to finish in the evening, but scheduling did not allow for the same conclusion this year.

"This is a prime example of a sanctioning body (NASCAR), television partner (ABC) and a promoter working together to give the fans in the stands and the viewers at home what they wanted," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "The fans want a NASCAR race under the lights and I'm extremely pleased with all the parties involved that we were able to deliver. It is decisions like these that make the sport even stronger."

The only other modification of note between the 2006 and 2007 schedules will be the RadioShack 500 being moved a week back.

The RadioShack 500 weekend is set for April 12-15 -- a week later than this season -- and the shift avoids two potential conflicts for fans. The move to Sunday, April 15 ensures that the RadioShack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race will not be held on Easter Sunday as NASCAR will remain idle for that holiday weekend. The Cup event also will not go head-to-head on television with The Masters, golf's most prestigious tournament that will run during Easter weekend.

The RadioShack 500 will be one of three races for that weekend. The race action will begin with the Crown Royal IROC event on Friday evening, April 13, and be followed by a Saturday, April 14 matinee with the O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Busch Series race. The Dallas Morning News Qualifying will be held Thursday, April 12 (Busch Series) and Friday, April 13 (NEXTEL Cup). The week also features Aaron's Fandango 6, a special event featuring NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers for season ticket holders only, on the evening of April 12.

The featured event for the weekend also undergoes a slight name change as RadioShack will be recognized as the primary race sponsor. The event has been known as the Samsung/RadioShack 500 since 2002, but will be renamed the RadioShack 500 beginning in 2007.

The IRL IndyCar Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will pair up once again for a June race weekend that features all the action under the lights. The race week begins Thursday, June 7 with qualifying for both the IndyCar Series and Craftsman Truck Series. The Craftsman Truck Series returns the next evening -- Friday, June 8 -- to compete in the Sam's Town 400. The weekend closes on Saturday, June 9 with the IndyCar Series field battling in the Bombardier Learjet 500k, "America's Original Nighttime Indycar Race."

"We're still working on a couple of items that will make this schedule even more enticing to the fans and we will be announcing those plans down the road," Gossage said. "Expect to see some tweaks that make this event even more fun for the fans."

The final major race weekend of the season arrives in November, where Texas Motor Speedway can heighten or deflate championship aspirations for drivers contending in the playoff-style Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. The Dickies 500, set for Sunday, Nov. 4, is the eighth stop in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

The Dickies 500 anchors a NASCAR triple-header weekend as the NEXTEL Cup Series stars are joined by the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series.

The Silverado 350k Craftsman Truck Series race will be held on the evening of Friday, Nov. 2 and be followed the next day by the O'Reilly Challenge Busch Series race on Saturday, Nov. 3. Qualifying for the three series will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1 (Craftsman Truck Series) and Friday, Nov. 2 (NEXTEL Cup, Busch Series).

In addition to the three major event weekends on the 1.5-mile superspeedway, the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track will host a major event of its own in March. The Pro Cuts Texas World Dirt Track Championship featuring late-model and modified cars will be held March 1-3.

Season tickets for the 2007 season are now available by calling 817-215-8500 or logging onto www.texasmotorspeedway.com. Those who purchase season tickets by Oct. 2 will receive a limited edition commemorative "10 Years Strong" anniversary book. Season ticket packages begin at $289.

Individual tickets for the 2007 RadioShack 500 race weekend will go on sale following this season's Dickies 500 that will be run on Sunday, Nov. 5.

2007 season-ticket packages available by calling (817) 215-8500 or logging onto www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

-credit: tms

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Series IndyCar , IROC , NASCAR