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Super Weekend at the Brickyard coming to IMS

in July 2012
Wednesday, July 06, 2011

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Indy can expect the same huge crowd the Grand-Am's biggest race attracts - The Rolex 24 at Daytona.  Notice all the  people packed like sardines in the grandstands
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard.

It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will make their IMS debuts.

The 19th annual Brickyard 400 for the Sprint Cup Series will race on the oval Sunday, July 29, with the Nationwide Series also racing on the oval Saturday, July 28. GRAND-AM will conduct separate races for its Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on the 13-turn IMS road course Friday, July 27.

"The Super Weekend at the Brickyard will offer non-stop excitement for every auto racing fan with the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "There will be competitive, fender-rubbing action from many different types of machinery for four days, featuring established stars and rising talents, on both the IMS oval and road course.

"This will be an unforgettable event and the start of a great new racing tradition at the Speedway."

All four days of Super Weekend at the Brickyard will be packed with on-track action, providing great value for fans:

Thursday, July 26: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice

Friday, July 27: GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge practice, qualifying and races

Saturday, July 28: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice, qualifying and race; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying

Sunday, July 29: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 race

Brickfest, a music festival featuring a headlining national act, also will return during the Super Weekend at the Brickyard after its debut during this year's Brickyard 400.

Ticket orders for the 2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard will be accepted starting Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Orders can be made at www.imstix.com and through the IMS Ticket Office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Details on ticket pricing, race distances for the Nationwide Series and two GRAND-AM events and the complete event schedule will be released at a later date.

The best way for fans to secure their reserved seat tickets for the historic inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard is to purchase reserved seats for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 and reorder those tickets during the two-week renewal period starting Aug. 1.

"Today's announcement is exciting for NASCAR and its fans," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "By bringing the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the GRAND-AM Series to the Brickyard as companion events for the Sprint Cup race in 2012, fans will now have the opportunity to see NASCAR's top two series combined with GRAND-AM's outstanding sports car racing compete at one of the world's most iconic racetracks all in one exciting weekend."

"This is a great day for GRAND-AM and for sports car racing in North America," said GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe. "GRAND-AM has the finest sports car racing in North America, and we're proud that we'll be able to showcase our racing - with the Rolex Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge - at Indy. GRAND-AM is an organization on the move, and this announcement personifies that fact."

The NASCAR Nationwide Series represents the middle rung in NASCAR's national series, situated between the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR Nationwide Series has proven to be an outstanding series for up-and-coming competitors who aspire to become NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, with a number of today's premier series stars having developed their skills in the series over the years.

Many still race in the series, pulling "double-duty." However, many drivers also have chosen to spend their entire careers on the circuit due to its competitive nature and popularity.

In 2011, the Nationwide Series features Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang and Toyota Camry models with V8 engines generating about 650 horsepower. The cars reach an estimated top speed of 195 mph.

The Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 is the top series sanctioned by GRAND-AM. Its two classes - the exotic Daytona Prototypes and production-based GT cars - run simultaneously at road racing venues across the U.S. and Canada.

One of the Daytona Prototype's top features is the ability to run any combination of engine and chassis - an extremely raceable and relatively affordable format that has revolutionized sports car racing with plentiful battles at the front of the field and close finishes in virtually every race. DPs are exotic, mid-engine machines that are purpose-built for competition, capable of speeds in excess of 185 mph.

The Grand Touring (GT) class is home to production-based race cars that are similar in appearance to the latest high-performance sports cars. GT is a mixture of U.S.-produced muscle cars going against the international flavor, mainly German, Japanese and Italian models.

The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is GRAND-AM's showcase for the latest in international and American-made high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans straight from the dealer showroom floor. The CTSCC has two classes - Grand Sport and Street Tuner.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THE SUPER WEEKEND AT THE BRICKYARD

Selected quotes from motorsports officials and drivers about the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 26-29, 2012 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will feature the Brickyard 400 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing in four races (quotes listed in alphabetical order):

GREG BALLARD (Mayor, City of Indianapolis): "Racing is a real source of pride in this city for everyone who calls this city home. It's in our blood; it's who we are. Indianapolis has long played host to a lot of national events right here at this track. But today's announcement is something special, not just for race fans around the country and around the world, but for all of Indianapolis businesses alike. It provides all of this new on-track activity in 2012, coupled with what we consider to be a great downtown experience, including the hotels and restaurants and cultural activities that few racing cities can claim. It's the combination of the track and our downtown, I think, that makes it a very special destination for people. Because this is such a destination event that's going to start to happen in 2012, it's so special because racing is an important economic engine in our city. It provides so many hundreds of millions of dollars to our local economy each year because of this track. We are very proud of that and the fact we have such a long relationship with the Speedway. This extended racing weekend will have a great positive impact on local tourism, as we know, in addition to providing the city great national exposure, even more so."

JEFF BELSKUS (President and CEO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation): "This is a very important announcement for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We're excited to have Nationwide and GRAND-AM added to our Brickyard 400 weekend. Really adds a lot of good content and good racing for our fans. It's going to make for just a really exciting weekend. We're going to triple our hours of track activity here. That will be good for the fans. It will be good for the sponsors. We're billing it as a Super Weekend in motorsports. To come here and see all the different types of competition, whether it be on the road course or on the oval, it will be great for our fans, it will be good for the sponsors. It's going to be a fun weekend."

TOM BLEDSOE (President, GRAND-AM Road Racing): "This is probably the most significant announcement for GRAND-AM that we've ever had. I think it's very significant to sports car racing in America. To have sports car come to Indy is huge. We have big plans for it in regards to maybe doing some different things, getting some more cars involved. Although with Continental and Rolex here, we expect to have over 110 cars, possibly more. It's huge for us."

DAVID DONOHUE (Driver, Action Express Racing, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, son of 1972 Indianapolis 500 winner Mark Donohue): "It's really something else. It's very special for all of us as drivers. You hear it a thousand times, but it's the same thing when you watch a race at Indy on TV or you walk in the gates, there's just an electricity here. It's a place that makes legends and hopefully we can be a part of a new chapter of that. Just racing here is going to be checked off the bucket list. Winning here, I couldn't even imagine. You know, it might even - it would equal or be better than winning the Rolex 24. Who knows? I mean, it's right there. For us to race here, it's very literally a dream come true. I mean, the hair is standing up on the back of my neck. It's just amazing."

CARL EDWARDS (Driver, Roush Fenway Racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion): "Just to come here to Indianapolis to race anything is huge. The first time I came to this track was for a test session. They let me ride in Kenny Schrader's hauler. I came out here and they were doing a test, and I sat right back there in the garages and polished wheels on the hauler and watched Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte and Kenny Schrader and these guys drive by. To me it means a lot to just be here, and to be able to drive on the racetrack is just a huge honor. So a win here for me would be as big as any win on the schedule. It will be a lot of fun. It will be different because we'll be able to sit back and watch some of these spectacular races, you know, during the Super Weekend next year. It will be cool for all the drivers."

A.J. FOYT (Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, two-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner): "It's great. I think it will help everyone. I believe they'll pick up a lot of different people - sports car fans who have never been to the Speedway. For all of the drivers who have never had the chance to compete at the Speedway, whether they're in the sports cars or stock cars, I think they will be thrilled to death. I wish I was younger because I would have enjoyed running the road course there myself. I might even show up to watch it. I've been fortunate enough to see all of the inaugural events run at the Speedway since the Brickyard 400 in 1994. If there's a way to make it, I will."

MIKE HELTON (President, NASCAR): "Seventeen years ago when we ran our first race here, we've benefited from that impact ever since. So now to be able to add our second stock car series, the Nationwide Series, and North America's greatest sports car series, the GRAND-AM Rolex and Continental cars, I think it speaks to the commitment that NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have with each other to better the future of motorsports to create a truly a world-class event here in July in the middle of our season, which gives us a great moment to look to. Today's announcement is one of those milestones, I think, where you pulled a nationally iconic facility like Indianapolis Motor Speedway together with NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's Nationwide and the GRAND-AM series to put together a weekend that's going to be special for all motorsports fans."

JOHN PEW (Driver, Michael Shank Racing, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series): "I'm very excited about the addition of Indy to our 2012 schedule, and I couldn't be more excited to come back to the Speedway and race next year. I think we are going to put on a heck of a show for the fans. Every driver grows up and dreams of racing at places like Daytona and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and for us to have a schedule that opens the year with the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona and then goes on to the Speedway later in the championship is very exciting. Next year can't come fast enough!"

SCOTT PRUETT (Driver, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, three-time Daytona Prototype champion, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 veteran): "Every time I come to this place I have goose bumps. This is truly historic on so many levels. With GRAND-AM, you have the prototypes and GT cars, everybody is going to want to come and be part of that. It's going to be a massive entry. The fans are going to see just an unbelievable race of fighting it out wheel to wheel for probably three hours. When you think about having that big a weekend, then seeing sports cars come here for the first time, I think you talk about a destination weekend. It's going to be absolutely incredible."

MIKE SHANK (Owner, Michael Shank Racing, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series): "This is great news for GRAND-AM, our sponsors, drivers, and everyone involved with this effort. I've been saying that GRAND-AM needs to put us where the people are. Racing at the Speedway as part of the big NASCAR event weekend is a  perfect way to do exactly that, and I know the fans are going to love it. For us to have the opportunity to race on such a historic track, is really special. I'm already very excited about 2012, and this is an incredible addition to our schedule and some great news for the series and our fans."

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (Driver, Roush Fenway Racing, NASCAR Nationwide Series): "I think it's going to be a huge weekend. I think the fans, they're going to get to the racetrack and be surprised how much on-track activity, how many things both of these series are going to have to offer them, especially the on-track activity. We're going to be on the racetrack every minute just about of the whole weekend. I think they're really going to enjoy that. As for myself, it's going to be huge just to make laps around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's something every race car driver wants to do. It doesn't matter what series you race in. To finally be able to do that is going to be a huge, huge deal in my accomplishments of racing."

WAYNE TAYLOR (Owner, Wayne Taylor Racing, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, 2005 Daytona Prototype champion): "I think it's very exciting for everybody that GRAND-AM is going to get the opportunity to have our cars race here. If I think of three of the biggest world events, I think of Le Mans, Daytona and Indianapolis. I've been fortunate to have won on both of those. So when we come here next year, obviously I won't be driving, but we will try to win that. And I think for the fans it's going to be a great weekend because literally you can come in and you watch sports car racing, you can watch Nationwide, you can watch Cup."

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