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IRL to take over Champ Car event in Houston
On the verge of a new racing season, the Bayou City is close to anchoring its motor sports schedule for 2011 as well.

The IZOD IndyCar Series and Mi-Jack Promotions are nearing a deal that would return Houston to the open-wheel racing circuit in October 2011.

“We have a handshake deal with the IndyCar Series, and both sides are working toward a deal that would have Houston on the schedule in 2011,” said Chuck Kosich, general manager of Mi-Jack Promotions. “The IRL (Indy Racing League) wants to be here in the worst way.”

After holding CART races downtown from 1998 to 2001, Mi-Jack moved the Grand Prix of Houston to Reliant Park for Champ Car events in 2006 and 2007. 

But just months before the 2008 edition, Champ Car was absorbed into the IndyCar Series via a merger, and Houston was bumped from the revised 2008 IndyCar schedule.

“We continue to keep Houston on the radar as a potential race market for the future,” said Terry Angstadt, Indy Racing League's commercial division president. “It's a top-10 media market with a strong affinity for sports and motor sports legacy as the home to Foyt Racing.”

Mi-Jack Promotions has until the end of June to come up with a presenting or title sponsor to make sure the event is included on the 2011 schedule.

“The popularity of open-wheel racing in Houston is high,” Kosich said. “All parties involved want to have Houston on the schedule going forward, and we are closing in on making that happen.”

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