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DATE News (chronologically)
07/05/11
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It's Official: IndyCar returns to Fontana  UPDATE The IZOD IndyCar Series will return to Auto Club Speedway for a night race in 2012, INDYCAR and speedway officials announced today.

"We feel the time is right to bring IndyCar racing back to Auto Club Speedway," said Randy Bernard, chief executive officer, INDYCAR.  "We want to maintain the diverse line-up of ovals on our schedule and the addition of Auto Club Speedway adds a great venue that was built for the high-speed, wheel-to-wheel excitement of IndyCar racing under the lights." 

The 2-mile oval played host to CART from 1997-2002 and the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2002 to 2005. 

The facility has been the site of two major Indy car records. Gil de Ferran set the track record for the fastest lap at 241.426 mph during qualifying in 2000.  It stands as the world speed record for the fastest lap on a closed course.  In 2003, Sam Hornish Jr. averaged 207.151 mph in winning the race, setting the record for the fastest race on a closed course.

"This facility was built to host open-wheel racing and Auto Club Speedway has arguably hosted some of the most exciting races in Indy car history," said Gillian Zucker, president, Auto Club Speedway. "We look forward to building on the area's history and tradition of open-wheel racing with new records and new races beginning in 2012."

Tickets for the event go on sale to the public on Sept. 12. The IZOD IndyCar Series will announce its full 2012 schedule at a later date. IndyCar PR

07/05/11 Spectacular fireworks that lit up the sky over the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on Monday night were in celebration of more than the country's 235th birthday.

Moments before the start of the aerial display, which capped the third Red, White and Cruise celebration, track president Gillian Zucker gleefully announced the return of open-wheel racing to the two-mile superspeedway in 2012. She did not specify the date of the Izod IndyCar Series race, other than to say it will be in the fall, probably September or October, according to industry sources.

The race is the result of a nearly two-year attempt by Zucker to regain a spot in the IndyCar lineup. She initially spoke with Tony George before he was removed as the series' CEO and continued the dialogue with Randy Bernard when he was named as George's replacement last year. zzzz

Zucker did not mention whether the race of undetermined length will start in the day and finish under the lights, much like the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup race that was run from 2006 to 2010.

"This facility was built to host open-wheel racing and Auto Club Speedway has arguably hosted some of the most exciting races in IndyCar history," Zucker said. "We look forward to building on the area's history and tradition of open-wheel racing with new records and new races beginning in 2012."

The Fontana track was among the finalists for the 2011 series finale that eventually was awarded to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"We feel the time is right to bring IndyCar racing back to Auto Club Speedway," Bernard said in a prepared statement released late Monday night. "We want to maintain the diverse lineup of ovals on our schedule and the addition of Auto Club Speedway adds a great venue that was built for the high-speed, wheel-to-wheel excitement of IndyCar racing under the lights." Pasadena Star News

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