FOUNTAIN, Colo. - In perhaps the biggest development in the two-year history of Pikes Peak International Raceway, the Pep Boys Indy Racing League has awarded the Colorado track two Indy car races for 1999. â€œThis is a very positive message...
FOUNTAIN, Colo. - In perhaps the biggest development in the two-year history of Pikes Peak International Raceway, the Pep Boys Indy Racing League has awarded the Colorado track two Indy car races for 1999.
“This is a very positive message sent by the Indy Racing League that they have a lot of faith in Pikes Peak International Raceway,” said Lex Dudas, PPIR general manager.
“We have always made it clear that we support the Indy Racing League and what it stands for in open-wheel racing,” he added.
This development comes on the heels of PPIR’s announcement Thursday that its final attendance figures showed a total of 193,364 attended events in 1998, which was an increase of 40,999 guests over the 1997 inaugural season (152,385).
“We are delighted with our second season, and our long-term plans are right on track,” Dudas said. “We are very happy with the overall season, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
The largest single day (32,537) and weekend (52,633) attendance of the 1998 season was at the Radisson 200 Pep Boys Indy Racing League event in August. In 1997 the IRL drew 55,600 for the weekend but the event was in June and it was the biggest motorsports event in the Rocky Mountain region in more than a decade.
“Considering we were following an inaugural season, our Radisson 200 crowd was outstanding,” Dudas said.
Dudas added that Radisson Hotels Worldwide will continue as the event sponsor for one of the 1999 IRL events and be involved in the other as well.
“Having two Indy car races in 1999 gives us a greater opportunity to get very creative in how we market these events to our customers and corporate clients,” he said.
The addition of the second IRL race at PPIR further strengthens Colorado’s position as a hotbed for Indy car racing.
The Denver Metro area is home to the Indy Car teams of Cobb Brothers Racing and Bradley Motorsports, and a new team that is being based in Colorado Springs. One of the major chassis constructors for the IRL is G Force, which is based in Golden.
Drivers Buddy Lazier of Vail and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever also have Colorado ties.