IRL: IRL - Copper Classic at Phoenix

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, June 26, 2000 - The road to Indy for aspiring open-wheel drivers often goes through a prestigious annual race in Phoenix, and now the junction between the two is closer than ever. The Copper World Classic...

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, June 26, 2000 - The road to Indy for aspiring open-wheel drivers often goes through a prestigious annual race in Phoenix, and now the junction between the two is closer than ever. The Copper World Classic will take place March 17-18, 2001, at Phoenix International Raceway in conjunction with the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season opener at the 1-mile desert oval, creating one of the most exciting weekends of open-wheel racing in America. Since its debut in 1977, the Copper World Classic has produced some of America's most exciting motorsports competition in a variety of different racing formulas. This new Copper World Classic concept will be the first to offer race fans a comprehensive "Road to Indy" package in one open-wheel weekend. Racing series that will compete during the weekend are the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series, USAC MCI WorldCom National/Western Midget Car Series and SRL Supermodifieds. "The weekend combination of the Copper World Classic and the Indy Racing Northern Light Series should please anyone who loves open-wheel racing, and we are excited to be a part of it," said Tony George, Indy Racing League founder. So is Indy Racing driver Jimmy Kite. After all, Kite's thrilling victory in the Silver Bullet Series feature in the 1997 Copper World Classic propelled him into a full-time ride in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. Kite now drives the Big Daddy's BBQ/Blueprint Racing Special in Indy Racing competition. Other Copper World winners who have gone on to success in Indy Racing include 1996-97 Indy Racing League champion Tony Stewart, 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Billy Boat and Davey Hamilton. "If anything, I think it will add to it because the Copper World has always been open wheel," Kite said. "All those guys that are running midgets, Silver Bullet cars and supermodifieds want to be where we are now. So to know that we're being part of the Copper World with the Indy Racing cars, I think it's going to add to it. "A lot of fans have to pick if they want to go to the Copper World or the Indy Racing event at Phoenix, and now that they can come to it all in one weekend. I think it's going to be a huge event for the fans." Kite plans to return to his racing roots next March at Phoenix and compete in the USAC Midget feature and the Indy Racing Northern Light Series event. He also is trying to get a ride in a Silver Bullet Series car for the weekend.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series IndyCar , USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Davey Hamilton , Billy Boat , Jimmy Kite , Tony George