Touring Series News
IZOD IndyCar Series Returning To New Hampshire In 2011
Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti turns exhibition laps in his #10 Target Indy Racing League IZOD IndyCar Series machine prior to the NASCAR Lenox 301 at New Hampshire on Sunday. (Photo by Justin St. Louis/VMM)
LOUDON, N.H. -- The Indy Racing League IZOD IndyCar Series will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2011, track and league officials announced Sunday.
New Hampshire was one of the IRL’s original venues during its inaugural five-race season in 1996, and also hosted the series in 1997 and 1998. Four events for the former CART series were also staged in 1992-95.
The 1.058-mile oval adds another much-welcomed short oval to the IRL series’ schedule.
“We’re pleased to restore an IndyCar short oval to the schedule to further increase our diversity of venues,” said Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard. “As evident last weekend in Iowa, our cars produce tremendous racing on short ovals. Additionally, New Hampshire Motor Speedway is strategically located in the Northeast, which fills a geographical gap in our schedule.”
Scott Sharp was the inaugural IRL winner in 1996, followed by Robbie Buhl and former IRL and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in subsequent years. CART winners were Bobby Rahal, Nigel Mansell, Al Unser, Jr., and Andre Ribeiro.
The formal announcement came at a press conference on Sunday morning. Present at the conference were Bernard, Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti; Bruton Smith, founder, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which owns New Hampshire Motor Speedway; NHMS executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens; and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch.
The Indy Racing League IZOD IndyCar Series event is scheduled for July 30-31, 2011. The Firestone Indy Lights Series will also be in action.