KANSAS CITY, Kan.,
Saturday, July 6, 2002 - Continuing its philosophy of steady,
controlled growth, the Indy Racing League announced a 16-race
2003 schedule of events that is highlighted by its first
international race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.
The 2003 Indy Racing League season will mark the eighth season
of competition for the Indianapolis-based sanctioning body and
will represent its largest schedule of events.
Homestead-Miami Speedway will play host to the first event of
the 2003 season with an ABC-televised event on Sunday, March
2. The season will end with an ESPN-televised race, the Chevy
500 on Sunday, Oct. 12 at Texas Motor Speedway.
"Though we're just over halfway through the 2002 schedule,
it's exciting to look ahead to 2003," said Tony George,
president and CEO of the Indy Racing League. "The lineup of
tracks represents the finest motorsports facilities in the
country, and we are also now in position to take the best form
of American open-wheel racing to the League's partners and
fans in Japan."
All but one of the events - Japan - will be broadcast live on
TV. ABC will televise 10 live races, while ESPN will cover
five events live. All three of the night races in 2003 will be
The 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be Sunday, May
25 and televised live on ABC.
Though most of the events remain on their traditional dates,
there have been a few schedule date changes.
"Some of the League's events have developed traditional dates,
and we are keeping most events on or near those weekends,"
said Ken Ungar, vice president of business affairs for the
IRL. "Our goal was to build on a schedule, which was the
product of years of steady growth. With a few minor tweaks,
the 2003 schedule offers even more excitement and value for
fans, promoters, sponsors and participants."
The Nazareth event moves from an April date to Aug. 24, while
the race at California Speedway moves from its spring date to
Texas Motor Speedway maintains its traditional spots on the
schedule, which include playing host to the first race after
the Indianapolis 500 and the last race of the season.
"We've worked really hard on developing a schedule that
maintains fan interest throughout the season while not
creating unrealistic workloads on teams and officials," said
Brian Barnhart, Indy Racing League vice president of
operations. "By achieving those goals with this schedule, the
end result is better racing, and that's what we're here to
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