INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, announced that the 2011 season will culminate with the crowning of its champions on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The event weekend, known as the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships, will take place at the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval known for producing side-by-side racing and exciting finishes that are the hallmark of the series. Fans can purchase tickets online HERE, or by calling 1-800-644-4444.

INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard also announced that fans purchasing a ticket to any IZOD IndyCar Series race during the 2011 season are eligible to receive a complimentary ticket to the championship race.

“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,” Bernard said. “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, and the ticket promotion is true value. This is a time when INDYCAR can tell our fans that we thank them for their support.”

"In 2010, our first year as the title sponsor, the IZOD brand, together with the league worked aggressively to build awareness and excitement around the series, especially within the major markets, looking for ways to connect with new fans through a host of events and promotions that connected with pop culture." said Mike Kelly, executive vice president of marketing for the Phillips-Van Heusen corporation, owners of the IZOD brand. "We can't think of a better place than Las Vegas- one of the greatest entertainment cities in the world - to take these initiatives to new levels and celebrate the 2011 World Championship."

At a news conference at Crystals at CityCenter, Bernard also announced a $5 million challenge to any professional race car driver not competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the season finale race, reinforcing the series’ positioning of its drivers as the best of the best.

“We showcase our drivers as being the very best, fastest and most versatile in the world,” he said, “and we are putting our money where our mouth is. If any race car driver in the world outside of the IZOD IndyCar Series can win the Vegas race, we will give you $5 million. We will accept five entries for this challenge, with entrants being determined by mid-summer.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval from 1996 to 2000, and Champ Car competed at the facility in 2004 and ‘05. Drivers who have visited Victory Lane at the facility include Al Unser Jr., Sam Schmidt, Arie Luyendyk and Sebastien Bourdais. The racetrack was reconfigured in 2006.

“We had the opportunity to conduct a test with Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske at Vegas last November and our cars performed very well at this facility,” said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for INDYCAR. “Its banking and width is similar to Chicagoland Speedway, which has produced some of the most exciting, side-by-side racing and closest finishes in the history of the series.” 

Tickets to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships go on sale today through Ticketmaster.com. Full details for the complimentary ticket promotion will be announced March 1 on indycar.com and 866-INDYCAR.

"Las Vegas is a world-class sports destination, and we are excited to welcome all of the open-wheel racing fans back to Las Vegas," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.  "Hosting the season finale for the IZOD IndyCar Series is a great partnership for us and we know the fans will enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer."

"Las Vegas Motor Speedway has produced thrilling open-wheel races in the past, and the return of the IZOD IndyCar Series for its season-ending event is sure to provide more thrills in October," added Chris Powell, president of LVMS. "We know there's a huge fan base of INDYCAR fans in the western United States. Hosting the season finale, and the media attention it generates, gives our speedway and our city another opportunity to showcase so much that Las Vegas has to offer."

With the completion of its 17-race schedule, the IZOD IndyCar Series also confirmed its broadcast designations for the season as well as broadcast start times.  Five events will be broadcast on ABC – St. Petersburg, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New Hampshire and Las Vegas. The balance of the schedule will be aired on VERSUS, the IZOD IndyCar Series’ exclusive cable network home.

 

Date

Track

Venue

Broadcast

Time (ET)

March 27

Streets of St. Petersburg

1.8-mile street course

ABC

12:30 p.m.

April 10

Barber Motorsports Park

2.3-mile road course

VERSUS

3 p.m.

April 17

Streets of Long Beach

1.968-mile street course

VERSUS

3:30 p.m.

May 1

Streets of Sao Paulo

2.536-mile street course

VERSUS

Noon

May 29

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

2.5-mile oval

ABC

Noon

June 11*

Texas Motor Speedway

1.5-mile oval

VERSUS

8 p.m.

June 19

The Milwaukee Mile

1-mile oval

ABC

3:30 p.m.

June 25*

Iowa Speedway

.875-mile oval

VERSUS

8 p.m.

July 10

Streets of Toronto

1.755-mile street course

VERSUS

2 p.m.

July 24

Edmonton City Centre Airport

2.256-mile airport course

VERSUS

2 p.m.

Aug. 7

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

2.258-mile road course

VERSUS

2 p.m.

Aug. 14

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

1-mile oval

ABC

3:30 p.m.

Aug. 28

Infineon Raceway

2.303-mile road course

VERSUS

4 p.m.

Sept. 4

Streets of Baltimore

2-mile street course

VERSUS

2 p.m.

Sept. 18

Twin Ring Motegi

1.5-mile oval

VERSUS

11 p.m.

Oct. 2

Kentucky Speedway

1.5-mile oval

VERSUS

2 p.m.

Oct. 16

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

1.5-mile oval

ABC

3:30 p.m.

*Denotes night race                                                                            Schedule Subject to Change