The opening odds on the first-ever IZOD INDYCAR World Championships race were posted at all 12 of MGM Resorts International’s Race & Sports Books for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ season-ending race scheduled to take place Sunday, Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Dario Franchitti is the early favorite at 9:5 while Will Power and Scott Dixon are a close second and third at 3:1 and 8:1, respectively.

For the seventh consecutive year, the IZOD IndyCar Series driver championship will be decided in the season finale on a 1.5-mile oval track. Reigning champion Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, teammate Scott Dixon and Verizon Team Penske’s Will Power have displayed consistency on a diverse set of tracks to challenge for the $1 million champion’s bonus.

The early afternoon race also will have multiple subplots including the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award recipient, jockeying for 2011 final standings and the duel for 2012 positions under INDYCAR – the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series – entrant funding.

With more than 30 of the most talented and competitive race car drivers in the world entered, it really could be anyone’s race to win. Seven different drivers have been victorious heading into the Indy Japan 300 on Sunday, Sept. 18.

“Las Vegas Motor Speedway is very excited to host the first ever IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented By Honda in Las Vegas,” said LVMS president Chris Powell. “The Speedway has produced thrilling open-wheel races in the past, and this is sure to be one of, if not the, biggest thrills yet.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series features an international lineup of competitors challenging each other and the most complex set of racetracks of any motorsports series in the world – from street circuits and natural-terrain road courses to high-banked oval tracks. The Indianapolis 500 is the premier event.

Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR, said, “I said at the INDYCAR State of the Sport in mid-January that we must give our fans a great experience with three primary elements -- great entertainment, competition and value.  There is not a city in the world that can provide entertainment like Las Vegas. Las Vegas Motor Speedway will provide some of the fastest and most exciting racing fans will see anywhere.”

INDYCAR christened the $72 million Speedway Motorsports Inc.-owned superspeedway a few miles north of the Las Vegas Strip in September 1996, with Richie Hearn taking the checkered flag. Eliseo Salazar, Arie Luyendyk, Sam Schmidt and Al Unser Jr. also won INDYCAR-sanctioned races through 2000.

Friday, Oct 14 – Ticket gates open at 8:30 a.m.
8:30-9:30 a.m. – NASCAR Truck Series practice.
9:45-10:30 a.m. – Indy Lights practice.
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – NASCAR Truck Series final practice.
12:30-1:30 p.m. – IndyCar Series practice.
2-2:45 p.m. – Indy Lights qualifying (2 laps, all positions).
3-4:15 p.m. – IndyCar Series qualifying (2 laps, all positions).
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR Truck Series qualifying (2 laps, all positions).
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR Truck Series registration closes.
6:30 p.m. – NASCAR Truck Series garage closes.
7 p.m. – IndyCar Series garage and Neon Garage closes.

Saturday, Oct. 15 – Ticket Gates open at 11 a.m.
Noon – NASCAR Truck Series driver introductions.
12:30 p.m. – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Smith’s 350 (146 laps, 219 miles).
1 p.m. – NASCAR Truck Series registration closes.
TBD – IndyCar Series: 2012 car demonstration laps; Neon Garage closes.

Sunday, Oct 16. – Ticket Gates open at 8 a.m.
8:30-8:45 p.m. – Indy Lights warm-up.
9-9:30 a.m. – IndyCar Series warm-up.
9:30 a.m. – Indy Lights drivers’ meeting.
9:35-10:00 a.m. – IndyCar Series IndyCar Experience.
10 a.m. – Indy Lights driver introductions; IndyCar Series drivers’ meeting.
10-11:15 a.m. – Firestone Indy Lights Series race (67 laps, 100 miles).
Noon – IndyCar Series driver introductions.
12:45 p.m. – IZOD IndyCar World Championships Presented By Honda (200 laps, 300 miles).
4 p.m. – Neon Garage closes.

Schedule is subject to change.

For more information, please call LVMS at (702) 644-4444 or visit Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.