CHAMPCAR/CART: Las Vegas added to 2004 schedule

Champ Car World Series Announces Addition of Las Vegas Motor Speedway Superspeedway Oval to 2004 Schedule LAS VEGAS (July 7, 2004) -- When the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford decided to add another night race...

Champ Car World Series Announces Addition of Las Vegas Motor Speedway Superspeedway Oval to 2004 Schedule

LAS VEGAS (July 7, 2004) -- When the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford decided to add another night race to the 2004 schedule, it was only fitting that the series visit a city where nightfall merely signals the start of the show.

The Champ Car World Series announced Wednesday that it would add a visit to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway September 24-25 for a two-day event. The open-wheel machines will share the weekend with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on the superspeedway oval with both series racing on Saturday night. The Champ Cars will close the show Saturday night with a start time tentatively scheduled for 9 p.m. Pacific Time.

"The addition of a Champ Car World Series event is great news not only for Las Vegas Motor Speedway but also for Las Vegas as a whole," said LVMS general manager Chris Powell. "The Champ Car World Series offers some of the fastest and most technologically advanced race cars in the world and the fans attending the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck race now will be treated to an additional adrenaline rush. We're excited to offer such a great night of racing to the fans of Las Vegas as well as to those who are drawn from outside the community."

The LVMS superspeedway will be the first for Champ Car since last season's visit to EuroSpeedway Lausitz where Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) nipped Mario Dominguez (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone). Bourdais escaped a brief ride on the infield grass and found a way to win a race that saw the top-three drivers covered by a scant .245 seconds.

"We have been interested in holding a Champ Car race in Las Vegas and the opportunity to partner with Speedway Motorsports Inc. made it attractive to us," said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. "Television ratings in Las Vegas have consistently been strong for Champ Car races in the last few years and we have a strong fan base in that region."

The Champ Cars ran under the lights at the Milwaukee Mile in June in a race that saw Ryan Hunter-Reay (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) lead from wire-to-wire taking his first win of the season. This will be the fourth night race in the last two years for the Champ Cars, having run in Milwaukee and Cleveland in 2003 and conducting a night race in Milwaukee this year.

"I am really excited about the addition of Las Vegas Motor Speedway to our 2004 schedule," Hunter-Reay said. "Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a state-of-the-art racing facility, and I am very happy to race on another oval this year as Herdez Competition had a record-setting weekend when I won in Milwaukee. The diversity that Champ Car offers by racing on ovals, road and street courses makes it the most unique and challenging series anywhere. I can't think of a better place to display our product than Las Vegas."

Four Champ Car drivers call Las Vegas home. Defending series champion Paul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgstone) is one along with Alex Tagliani (#8 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), and Patrick Carpentier (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone).

"I can't tell you how excited I am about racing here," Tracy said. "All of the local guys have been out to the track and it's a first-class facility. It's the right type of venue for our cars. The fact that this is right in our backyard will open up a lot of opportunities for us to be able to test and really make this a big event."

Fans can purchase a special Champ Car ticket package through the Las Vegas Motor Speedway box office. The Champ Car ticket package sells for $61.50 and includes a Saturday reserved grandstand seat in the Earnhardt Terrace as well as a Champ Car paddock pass. Admission on Friday will be free. The Champ Car ticket package must be requested directly from the LVMS box office at 1-702-644-4444 (in Nevada) or 1-800-644-4444 to receive the offer.

-ccws-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , Michel Jourdain