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IndyCar to host $1m non-points race at Thermal Club in March

The IndyCar Series has announced a non-points special event with a $1m prize to the winner at The Thermal Club in 2024.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

The exhibition race at the 17-turn, 3.067-mile circuit will take place Sunday, March 24, following an Open Test and qualifications Friday and Saturday, March 22-23.

Per the series release, the event “will receive a network broadcast showcase on NBC.”

“The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will add an incredible new event to our schedule with next year’s spectacular racing showcase at The Thermal Club,” said Penske Entertainment Corp. president & CEO Mark Miles. “This world-class venue just down the road from the world’s premier entertainment market is the perfect place to bring our hyper-competitive racing and growing star power.”

Championship points will not be on the line. The event, which will feature a multimillion-dollar purse, will begin with a draw party and “embed members of The Thermal Club with each race team and driver.”

The format for the weekend will consist of a qualifying session, along with two heat races, with the top six from each advancing to an All-Star showcase. The top five finishing teams will split their earnings with The Thermal Club members, including a $1 million prize awarded to the winner.

A charitable component to the unique event will be announced at a later date.

North America’s premier open-wheel championship tested at the circuit based outside Palm Springs, California in February ahead of the 2023 season.

“The experience the teams had at The Thermal Club was second to none,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “We treated it like a preseason scrimmage, and, looking back, it was the perfect launch to this record-breaking season.

“The facility is spectacular, and we cannot wait to return and showcase INDYCAR in a whole new way.”

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: IndyCar Series

John Rodgers, owner of The Thermal Club, said: “After having a smooth 2023 NTT IndyCar Series test, we are proud to welcome IndyCar back to The Thermal Club during the 2024 season.

“The teams, drivers and the entire IndyCar Series paddock are true professionals, and we look forward to developing our relationship with them in the future. This marquee racing showcase in March promises to be special for everyone, including spectators, Thermal members and race fans tuning in at home.”

There will be limited tickets available to IndyCar fans, with more details to be provided in the future.

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