Texas Motor Speedway to host 2010 event

TEXAS 550K SET FOR JUNE 10-12 AT TMS Off Week Tradition Returns Between IndyCar Series' Two Marquee Events, The Indianapolis 500 And Texas 550k, After Four-Year Absence FORT WORTH, Texas (July 31, 2009) The Indy Racing League will announce its...

TEXAS 550K SET FOR JUNE 10-12 AT TMS
Off Week Tradition Returns Between IndyCar Series' Two Marquee Events, The Indianapolis 500 And Texas 550k, After Four-Year Absence

FORT WORTH, Texas (July 31, 2009) The Indy Racing League will announce its 2010 IndyCar Series race schedule later today and the Texas 550k is slotted for June 10- 12 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Texas 550k retains its traditional spot on the schedule two weeks following the Indianapolis 500 but will be a week later than this year's June 6 race as a result of when the Memorial Day weekend falls in 2010.

The race also will regain a tradition as an off week will return between the Indy 500 and Texas 550k for 2010. When Texas Motor Speedway joined the IndyCar Series schedule in 1997, the IRL had positioned an off week between Indy and Texas for the first nine seasons. In 2006, the series slotted Watkins Glen between Indy and Texas and then opted for Milwaukee the past three years.

"I think having the IndyCar Series' two marquee events follow each other again should ramp up the momentum and excitement for the second half of the season," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "Teams spend a long, grueling month at Indy in preparation for the biggest race in the world the Indianapolis 500 and it's tough to go straight to another race a few days later.

"This will allow the Indy 500 winner plenty of time to bask in the spotlight for achieving one of the world's greatest sporting accomplishments and then bring that spotlight to Texas and shine it on the sport's second-biggest race here at `The Great American Speedway!' And you won't find a more exciting race than the Indy cars on the high banks under the lone star at night. We're pleased our loyalty to the IRL has been rewarded."

IndyCar Series star Helio Castroneves of Team Penske won both the Indy 500 and Texas 550k this season, and concurs with Gossage's thoughts on the off week being beneficial.

"I think it's great to have a week off between the Indianapolis 500 and the next IndyCar Series event at Texas Motor Speedway," said Castroneves, a three-time winner of the Indy 500 as well as at Texas. "This will not only give everyone a chance for a week of much-needed rest, but it will also allow more promotion of the Indy 500 winner. I think that with this situation, everyone wins."

The tentative race week schedule will open with IndyCar Series practice Thursday, June 10, and be followed by practice and qualifying Friday, June 11, and the Texas 550k on Saturday, June 12. The Texas 550k "America's Original Nighttime IndyCar Series race" will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. CT and be televised on VERSUS for the second consecutive year.

The 2010 event will mark the 14th consecutive year that Texas Motor Speedway has played host to an IndyCar Series race, dating to the opening of the speedway and second season of the IRL in 1997. Overall, this will be the 21st IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, which previously had hosted a fall event from 1998-2004.

The Texas 550k has been paired with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event each year since 1997 and the WinStar World Casino 400 is anticipated to be part of the weekend when NASCAR announces its 2010 schedules in the coming weeks.

The Texas 550k IndyCar Series race will be part of the Texas Motor Speedway season-ticket package that also includes two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series events. Season ticket packages, starting as low as $279, will go on sale when the full 2010 TMS schedule is announced in the coming weeks. Individual tickets for the Texas 550k will become available on Nov.11. For additional ticket information, please call (817) 215-8500.

-credit: tms

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves
Teams Team Penske