DETROIT (November 7, 2000) - The Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be showcased as the featured Saturday event during the debut Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) weekend next April at Texas Motor Speedway. The April 27-29 weekend will ...
DETROIT (November 7, 2000) - The Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be showcased as the featured Saturday event during the debut Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) weekend next April at Texas Motor Speedway. The April 27-29 weekend will feature a 100-mile Dayton Indy Lights sprint on Saturday in addition to Sunday's headlining Texas 600 FedEx Championship Series race.
The Saturday slot for the Dayton Indy Lights race, the top-rung CART driver development series, was confirmed by Texas Motor Speedway and Indy Lights officials this week following last month's 2001 schedule announcement. The Texas race will be Round Three of 12 races on next year's Dayton Indy Lights Championship schedule and the first oval track race of the season.
"We are firmly committed to partnering with tracks that will work with us in promoting the Dayton Indy Lights Championship," said Indy Lights President and CEO Roger Bailey. "At the moment, race fans have more products from which to choose than ever before and Indy Lights will only thrive if track operators like our new friends in Texas view our races as marketable and promotable events in their own right. We look forward to stepping into the spotlight at Texas Motor Speedway next spring and I know all of the great race fans in that area will not be disappointed."
"We are excited to be bringing another weekend of racing to Texas Motor Speedway," said speedway General Manager Eddie Gossage. "The addition of CART and the Dayton Indy Lights series will provide even more competitive racing for our fans to enjoy. When you see the level of talent that has come from the Indy Lights series, it just tells you what a great series it really is. I'm sure our open wheel racing fans here in Texas recognize the names of former series champions Paul Tracy and Robbie Buhl. I believe the fans will really enjoy seeing this event paired with qualifying for the Texas 600. It'll be a great day of racing."
A "spec" (short for specification) series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship places and emphasis on driver talent through the use of identical Lola T97/20 Indy Lights race cars. The teams own the Lolas but lease sealed GM V6 engines from the series to further equalize the competition. It all adds up to close and competitive racing that is at its best on big oval tracks like Texas Motor Speedway. Race fans can expect three abreast racing at speeds in the 190-mph range and numerous lead and position changes every lap.
Past Dayton Indy Lights champions include Tracy (1990), Buhl (1992), Bryan Herta (1993), the late Greg Moore (1995), Tony Kanaan (1997), Cristiano da Matta (1998) and Oriol Servia (1999).
The 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship concluded late last month at California Speedway where 20-year-old New Zealander Scott Dixon (Invensys/Powerware/PacWest Lights Lola) clinched the title to became the 15th series champion. Dixon is expected graduate to CART Champ Car competition next year with PacWest.