IPS: 2008 schedule announced

INDY PRO SERIES TO CONTEST 16-RACE SCHEDULE IN 2008 INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007 -- The Indy Pro Series will again offer one of the most diverse and cost-efficient schedules in motorsports in 2008, featuring a record-tying 16 races...

INDY PRO SERIES TO CONTEST 16-RACE SCHEDULE IN 2008

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007 -- The Indy Pro Series will again offer one of the most diverse and cost-efficient schedules in motorsports in 2008, featuring a record-tying 16 races divided evenly among eight ovals and eight road/street courses.

For the sixth consecutive season, the series will begin competition on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 29. The series then heads to the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. April 5-6 for the first of four doubleheader race weekends slated for 2008.

On April 27, Indy Pro Series teams will return to Kansas Speedway, site of the first race in series history, before beginning preparations for the series' premier event -- the Freedom 100 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 23 two days before the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

"We're very excited to offer a 16-race schedule for the second consecutive season," Indy Pro Series Executive Director Roger Bailey said. "Just like the IndyCar Series, our champion will have to succeed on all types of racing circuits from short ovals, speedways and the 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis to road and street courses.

"The opportunity to compete on Carb Day at Indianapolis in front of more than 100,000 fans is an experience that is second to none for our drivers, teams and sponsors."

The Freedom 100 begins a stretch of three consecutive races on ovals before the season ends with alternating road-course and oval events. All of the road-course events will be doubleheader weekends, including at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which debuted on the Indy Pro Series schedule with a single race in 2007 and the a same-day doubleheader at Watkins Glen International on July 5.

"The doubleheader race weekends are very important to us," Bailey said. "They allow us to maximize the amount of racing we do while helping us to contain costs. The inverted fields in the second races have allowed for a lot of passing and exciting racing for the fans."

For the third consecutive year, the season will conclude at Chicagoland Speedway, which saw the closest finish in Indy Racing League history in 2007 when Logan Gomez beat Alex Lloyd by 0.0005 of a second.

The Indy Pro Series is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Teams compete for almost $4 million in prize money in cars that are second in speed only to the IndyCar Series at most tracks they visit. The complete Indy Pro Series schedule is telecast on ESPN 2 and available through live Webcasts. Graduates of this fast and cost-effective series include Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV.

-credit: irl

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