INDIANAPOLIS (July 31, 2009) - The Kentucky Speedway will play host to its annual IndyCar Series race over Labor Weekend in 2010. The series schedule includes a stop in Sparta on Saturday night, Sept. 4.
First-time events in Brazil and Birmingham, Ala., also highlight the 2010 IndyCar Series. In its continuing effort to offer competitors the most diverse and challenging championship in motorsports, the 2010 IndyCar Series schedule features eight oval races, four permanent road courses and five temporary circuits.
Highlights of the 2010 schedule include:
The season opener will be contested March 14 on a series-designed circuit in Brazil. The league will announce the venue in the host city at a later date.
The temporary street course in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 28 will be the U.S. opener for the second year in a row.
The first IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama will be held April 11. The IndyCar Series conducted an Open Test at the 2.38-mile, 17-turn facility in March 2009.
The Indianapolis 500, in the middle of Indianapolis Motor Speedway's three-year Centennial Era, will be run May 30, preceded by three weeks of practice and qualifications. Pole Day is May 15.
Texas Motor Speedway will be the first race following the Indianapolis 500, racing under the lights on June 12.
The temporary circuit races in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, will be held on consecutive weekends July 18 and July 25, respectively. In 2009, the events were separated by two weeks.
The 11th IndyCar Series race at Kentucky Speedway shifts from its early August date to Labor Day weekend.
For the second year in a row, the season finale will be held on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 2.
"We feel the 2010 schedule strikes a fair balance between our three major disciplines - ovals, road course and temporary circuits - while taking us into key markets in the U.S. as well as abroad for our major partners," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. "We continue to build on the solid foundation of a schedule we created last year in the wake of unification with the goal of maintaining consistent and long-term dates for our track and fans."
Race dates at Long Beach, Calif., Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Infineon Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway, Twin Ring Motegi and the season-ender at Homestead-Miami Speedway remain at the approximate same time as their 2009 dates.
The racing calendar, which will be broadcast by VERSUS and ESPN on ABC, includes two prime-time events. More breaks also are built into the schedule, with three consecutive weekends of competition the longest stint.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the diversity of the schedule as it will help us maintain a championship tradition that has been exciting for both competitors and fans," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for the Indy Racing League. "The 2010 schedule keeps in-line with our goal to create a championship that requires drivers and teams to master a variety of tracks over the course of the season, and hopefully once again see our title battle come down to the final race of the year."
The event in Brazil, which hosted Indy car racing as recently as 2000, will be the first for the IndyCar Series in South America. The series currently features Brazilian drivers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Raphael Matos, Vitor Meira and Mario Moraes.
"While our primary focus continues to be building the sport of IndyCar Series domestically, the race in Brazil affords us a unique opportunity to visit a country that has a huge passion for open-wheel racing. With strong support from our major partner APEX-Brasil, a significant television package from TV Bandeirantes, a large number of drivers from the country and the opportunity for a unique course, it makes sense from both a business and competition standpoint," Angstadt said.
The 2010 IndyCar Series television schedule will be announced at a later date. The Indy Racing League will be announced the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights, which is celebrating its 100th race this weekend, schedule in the immediate future.