IndyCar To Return To Texas

| , RacinToday.com Tuesday, August 21 2012

Dario Franchitti, Will Power and the IndyCar Series will head back to Texas next year. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)


Texas Motor Speedway officials announced the Fort Worth track’s 2013 season schedule Tuesday and it includes an IndyCar Series event.

Despite speculation about its future at Texas Motor Speedway, the IZOD IndyCar Series will return for its 17th season with the Firestone 550 on Saturday, June 8. The event will be an INDYCAR/NASCAR doubleheader weekend as the IZOD IndyCar Series will be paired with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, a combination that has been together since the speedway opened in 1997.

Qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400 will be held Thursday, June 6, while qualifying for the Firestone 550 will take place Friday, June 7. The Firestone 550 pole qualifying will be immediately followed by the running of the WinStar World Casino 400 that night, setting up an all-evening race weekend. The race weekend concludes Saturday, June 8, with the running of the Firestone 550 – “America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race” – on the speedway that has hosted the most INDYCAR events (23) in the history of the series.

Also unveiled Tuesday is TMS’s “No Limits” Wild Asphalt Circus marketing theme for next year. The theme comes with a new logo and will be heavily incorporated into the speedway’s marketing and advertising materials, souvenir merchandise, tickets, signage, web site and the overall fan experience. In addition to the wild race action on the asphalt, fans also will be treated to a wide range of entertainment associated with the theme that will range from the newly formed “No Limits” Thrill Riders to high divers to popular musical acts.

“Most cities look forward to the circus coming to town once a year, but we’ll guarantee three coming next year to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with the Texas 500 in April, Firestone 550 in June and AAA Texas 500 in November,” said TMS president Eddie Gossage, who is in the final stages of the completion of the 2013 race sanction agreements with NASCAR and INDYCAR. “We had great success with our ‘No Limits’ campaign that had its debut in 2011, but it was time to incorporate a creative, next generation of the theme that would capture the imagination of our fans. We’re going to have some fun with this Wild Asphalt Circus theme and in the end it’s all about creating a memorable experience and environment for our fans.”

Outside of the circus-themed ambiance for next year, Texas Motor Speedway’s 2013 season schedule will consist of its three customary weekends in their traditional dates and featuring NASCAR’s three premier series and INDYCAR.

April’s Texas 500 – formerly the Samsung Mobile 500 – and November’s AAA Texas 500 will once again serve as signature events on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule as will the Firestone 550 on the IZOD IndyCar Series calendar.

The Texas 500, set for April 13, will anchor Texas Motor Speedway’s season-opening NASCAR doubleheader race weekend that is scheduled as the first Saturday night event of the Sprint Cup Series season. The three-day race week opens with practice sessions for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series on Thursday, April 11.

SportsDay Qualifying Days Powered By The Dallas Morning News for both series will be held Friday, April 12, and the day’s on-track activities will be highlighted by the running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race that evening. The race action will culminate with the Texas 500 on Saturday, April 13, which will fall on the same weekend as The Masters golf tournament but will not conflict due to the evening start time.

The Texas Motor Speedway season closes with its busiest race week of the season as all three NASCAR series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series) visit Oct. 31-Nov. 3 for the AAA Texas 500 event. The AAA Texas 500 serves as the eighth race in the 10-event, playoff-style Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup while the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series race and WinStar World Casino 350 Camping World Truck Series race could be pivotal in the championship aspirations for their respective series contenders as the season winds down.

The race week opens with two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice sessions on Thursday, Oct. 31, and is followed with a day that features all three series on track. SportsDay Qualifying Days Powered by The Dallas Morning News for the Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 and Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 will be held on Friday, Nov. 1. The day also will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series practices for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge and culminate with the WinStar World Casino 350 being run that evening.

The Nationwide Series takes center stage Saturday, Nov. 2, as SportsDay Qualifying Days Powered by The Dallas Morning News will take place in the afternoon and be followed by the evening running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge race. The day also will feature Sprint Cup Series “Happy Hour,” with the final two practice sessions being run in preparation for the next day’s AAA Texas 500.

The weekend and Texas Motor Speedway race season will conclude Sunday, Nov. 3, with the running of the AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship format. The AAA Texas 500 has proven to be a critical Chase race in determining the sport’s next champion. The mid-afternoon start offers a unique setting and strategy for teams as the race will begin in daylight and culminate under the lights.

Official start times for each event will be announced at a later date.

Season tickets, which consist of three race weekends and 16 events, begin as low as $270, and went on sale in conjunction with the schedule announcement. Season ticket holder benefits include best seat selection; discounts up to 29 percent (varies on seat location) over purchasing tickets individually; special discounts on concessions, merchandise, camping, parking and pit passes; access to the pre-race “No Limits” Wild Asphalt Circus Garage Party presented by WinStar World Casino access in April and November; and special offers on additional events held at the speedway.

Individual tickets go on sale Nov. 16, 2012, for the 2013 Texas 500 and Firestone 550 race weeks. Individual tickets for the 2013 AAA Texas 500 race week will go on sale following the 2013 Texas 500 race weekend. For additional ticket information, please call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

| , RacinToday.com Tuesday, August 21 2012
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