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Texas Turns Down INDYCAR

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, June 15 2012

Texas Motor Speedway says it will not welcome the IndyCar Series back for a second race this season. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

FORT WORTH, Texas – Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage has declined an invitation from INDYCAR officials to host the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series finale in Fort Worth.

The opportunity arose Wednesday following cancellation of an IndyCar race scheduled for Aug. 19 in Qingdao, China, which left the sanctioning body and Randy Bernard, INDYCAR president/CEO, seeking another event to fulfill the original 16-race schedule. INDYCAR contacted Gossage to see if Texas Motor Speedway had an interest in hosting the season-finale in either late September or early October.

“We appreciate INDYCAR reaching out to us for that opportunity, but there were numerous issues and obstacles to overcome to successfully promote the event like the past 23 IZOD IndyCar Series events we have hosted here,” Gossage said Friday afternoon in a statement. “Our focus during that fall period _ ranging from operations to marketing _ is squarely on the Nov. 1-4 AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend, especially with it being a key Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. We couldn’t justify dividing resources between the two events to make it happen and it would be an injustice to both due to the scheduling.”

Texas Motor Speedway played host to last Saturday night’s Firestone 550k won by Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing, its 23rd IZOD IndyCar Series event and most of any speedway in the history of the series. Ironically, the race was run amid mounting speculation that INDYCAR might not return to TMS in 2013 because of issues related to safety and finances. TMS’ spot on next year’s schedule has yet to be resolved.

The IndyCar Series has run annually at Texas Motor Speedway since it opened in 1997, and two races were held at the facility from 1998 to 2004, including the season-finale on six occasions (1999-2004).

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, June 15 2012
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