CART Announces Record 20-Race Schedule For 1999 FedEx Championship Series Troy, MI (September 28, 1998) - An August visit to the newly constructed Chicago Motor Speedway and the movement of several dates within the lineup...
CART Announces Record 20-Race Schedule For 1999 FedEx Championship Series
Troy, MI (September 28, 1998) - An August visit to the newly constructed Chicago Motor Speedway and the movement of several dates within the lineup of events highlight the CART record 20-race FedEx Championship Series schedule for 1999 announced today by Championship Auto Racing Teams' (NYSE: MPH) Chairman and CEO Andrew Craig.
Next year's 20-race schedule marks the largest number of races the open-wheel sanctioning organization has conducted in a single season since it began racing in 1979.
"The demand for our races has never been greater," said Craig. "We have several more proposals for races than we can accommodate at this time and that obviously presents CART with exciting opportunities in the future."
In adding Chicago to its schedule, CART is entering the third-largest market area in the United States. The oval under construction at Chicago Motor Speedway is being built specifically with the Champ Cars in mind. The track is banked only slightly - six degrees - in the corners and is the widest track, at 70 feet, on the Champ Car circuit to accommodate exciting, side-by-side racing among the cars and drivers that comprise the world's most competitive open-wheel series.
The new racing venue is being built on the site of Sportsman's Park, a longtime horse racing facility in Cicero, Ill. The mile track will be placed alongside a new and improved seven-furlong horse race track.
"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to bring the FedEx Championship Series to one of the world's most important cities," said Craig. "There hasn't been a facility suitable for Champ Cars in the Chicago area until now. We are confident our brand of exciting, high-horsepower, open-wheel racing will become a real favorite with the people of the Windy City."
"With up to 12 races on ABC, we have worked to maximize the number of network broadcasts. Twelve races on network will represent a record number for the series," said Keith Allo, vice president of Broadcast Services for CART. "There is not a weekend without a full slate of major sports attractions and, in constructing our 1999 schedule, we have looked for every opportunity to minimize conflicts. As a consequence, a number of races move to new dates for 1999."
After its third annual Spring Training session on Feb. 2-4 at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex in Florida, the FedEx Championship Series kicks off its 1999 season March 21 at the same facility with the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota.
>From there, the FedEx Series moves to Twin Ring Motegi in Japan on Saturday, April 10, for the series' second visit to the oval where Adrian Fernandez won the inaugural event earlier this year. After flying back across the Pacific, the Champ Cars return to the streets of Long Beach for the 25th anniversary of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18.
The race for the PPG Cup continues with the May 2 Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota at Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania. The fourth annual Rio 400 on the Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway at the Nelson Piquet International Raceway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is set for Saturday, May 15. May 29 marks the third running of the Motorola 300 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., the third and final Saturday race of the year across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis.
Milwaukee is the next stop as the Miller Lite 200 is slated for June 6 at the historic Milwaukee Mile. The Champ Cars then visit Portland, Ore., for the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline on June 20. The Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Star Bank is set for June 27 at Burke Lakefront Airport on Ohio's North Coast.
July 11 finds the FedEx Championship Series returning to Wisconsin for the Texaco/Havoline 200 at Road America and, on July 18, it's the Molson Indy through the streets of Exhibition Place in Toronto. The month winds up with the fourth annual U.S. 500 Presented by Toyota at Michigan Speedway on July 25 in the Irish Hills west of Detroit.
The FedEx Championship Series' annual stop in Detroit occurs Aug. 8 at the Raceway on Belle Isle and the series returns to Ohio the following weekend with the Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Aug. 22 marks the inaugural race at the Chicago Motor Speedway.
After a weekend off, the schedule resumes with the Sept. 5 Molson Indy Vancouver and the Champ Cars make their 17th annual visit to Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., for the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey featuring the Texaco/Havoline 300 on Sept. 12. The Texaco Grand Prix of Houston closes out the month on Sept. 26.
The final two races of the year find the Champ Cars on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia for the 1999 Honda Indy on Oct. 17. The season concludes with the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota on Oct. 31 at California Speedway in Fontana, where CART kicks off its "Million Dollar Payday" program in just a few weeks.
ABC and ESPN will air all of the 20 events in the U.S. in 1999. A schedule of air times, as well as local event start times, will be released after they are finalized. Additionally, FedEx Championship Series events air in more than 190 countries around the world.
1999 FedEx Championship Series Schedule
Date Race/Venue/Location TV March 21 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex Homestead, Fla. USA ABC
April 10* Japan 500 Twin Ring Motegi Motegi, Japan ABC or ESPN
April 18 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Long Beach, Calif. USA ABC
May 2 Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota Nazareth Speedway Nazareth, Pa. USA ESPN
May 15* Rio 400 Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway at Nelson Piquet Intl. Raceway Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ABC
May 29* Motorola 300 Gateway International Raceway Madison, Ill. USA ABC
June 6 Miller Lite 200 The Milwaukee Mile West Allis, Wis. USA ABC
June 20 Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline Portland International Raceway Portland, Ore. USA ABC
June 27 Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Star Bank Burke Lakefront Airport Cleveland, Ohio USA ESPN
July 11 Texaco/Havoline 200 Road America Elkhart, Lake, Wis. USA ABC
July 18 Molson Indy Exhibition Place Toronto, Ontario, Canada ABC
July 25 U.S. 500 Presented by Toyota Michigan Speedway Brooklyn, Mich. USA ABC
Aug. 8 Grand Prix of Detroit The Raceway on Belle Isle Detroit, Mich. USA ABC
Aug. 15 Miller Lite 200 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio USA ESPN
Aug. 22 Chicago Grand Prix Chicago Motor Speedway Cicero, Ill. USA ESPN
Sept. 5++ Molson Indy Vancouver Concord Pacific Place Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada ESPN
Sept. 12 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Texaco/Havoline 300 Laguna Seca Raceway Monterey, Calif. USA ESPN
Sept. 26 Texaco Grand Prix of Houston Houston, Texas USA ABC
Oct. 17 1999 Honda Indy Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia ESPN
Oct. 31 Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota Fontana, Calif. USA ESPN
*Saturday race. Local starting times and television air times to be released at a later date.
++Subject to track approval
Source: CART Online