Chicagoland To Open 2011 Chase
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Beginning next season, Chicagoland Speedway will host the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
The announcement was made Monday morning during a press conference/teleconference held in Chicago.
Chicagoland, located in Joliet, Ill., will supplant New Hamsphire Motor Speedway as the first race of the 10-race, 12-driver playoff.
New Hampshire has served as the opening site for the Chase since the playoff began in 2004.
Chicagoland has been hosting its Sprint Cup race in July since that track opened in 2001.
The announcement is the second concerning the 2011 schedule in a week. Last week it was announced that Atlanta Motor Speedway would lose one of its races and that it would likely be awarded to Kentucky Speedway.
Attending the press conference were drivers David Reutimann and Kevin Harvick – both of whom have won races at Chicagoland. Also in attendance were track president Craig Rust and ASCAR Sr. Vice President of Racing Operations, Steve O’Donnell.
“We jumped at it,” Rust said. “It brings a little more prestige” to the track.
The race will moved from a Saturday night to Sunday afternoon event.
“Perfect place to start the Chase,” Reutimann, who won there last month, said.
O’Donnell said that another change to the schedule will be made on Tuesday when Auto Club Speedway makes an announcement.
Monday’s announcement also had a ripple effect for the IZOD IndyCar Series as Rust said that his track’s open-wheel weekend – which has been in the autumn – will be moved to an undisclosed different time of the year.
More pieces of the schedule puzzle for 2011 will be put into place on Tuesday.
Kansas Speedway will announce that it is getting a second Cup date and Kentucky, it is expected, will announce that it is getting the date which Atlanta Motor Speedway is losing.One Comment