500 Mile Finale at Auto Club Speedway to Crown IZOD IndyCar Series Champion

A.J. Foyt Oval Champion to be crowned; event culminates 15-race season

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif.  (June 25, 2012) – A myriad of storylines, highlighted by the announcement of a 500-mile IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Finale Sept. 15 at Auto Club Speedway under the lights was announced by Auto Club Speedway and INDYCAR officials today.

In addition to the mileage announcement, INDYCAR announced that as a result of the cancelled event in China, the 2012 season will consist of 15 races, rather than the originally announced 16 races and NBC Sports Network will culminate its coverage of the 2012 Series with the World Championships Weekend airing of the INDYCAR finale on Sept. 15.

In addition to the crowning of the IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, the A.J. Foyt Trophy will be presented to the driver who scores the most points in the IZOD IndyCar Series’ oval events.  Dario Franchitti earned the inaugural trophy in 2010 and Scott Dixon took the honors in 2011.

For the first time in seven years, the thrill, excitement and speed of the IZOD IndyCar Series will return to Auto Club Speedway – the Speedway where the world speed record for the fastest lap of 241.426 mph was set in 2000 – and still stands today.

The September spectacle includes Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti along with high-profile owners Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi, A.J. Foyt and Bobby Rahal who will all visit Southern California’s premier motorsports facility for the first time in seven years with the intense competition, high-energy show scheduled to be run at night under the lights. 

Sam Hornish Jr. won the Inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in 2002 in an exciting finish that saw him beat Jaques Lazier across the finish line by a mere 0.0281 seconds.  The series continued to run at Auto Club Speedway through 2005 and provided race fans with speed and excitement each time it visited the speedway.  Some of those highlights include: 

  • October 28, 2000:  During qualifying, Gil de Ferran set the track record for fastest lap at 241.426 mph (388.537 km/h).  This was also a world speed record for the fastest lap of a closed course.
  • March 24, 2002: Sam Hornish Jr. wins the first IZOD IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway by 0.0281 seconds over Jaques Lazier.
  • November 3, 2002:  Jimmy Vasser won the final 500 mile race in CART/Champ Car (now defunct) history. The race also set the track record (at the time) for average race speed at 197.995 mph (318.642 km/h).
  • September 21, 2003: During the IZOD IndyCar Series race (Toyota Indy 400), Sam Hornish, Jr. set the track record for fastest average speed during a race at 207.151 mph (333.377 km/h). This is still the current track record.
  • September 20, 2003:  IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying record set – (one lap): Helio Castroneves, 226.757 mph (364.930 km/h).

For more information on Auto Club Speedway’s INDYCAR World Championships Weekend visit www.autoclubspeedway.com, call 800-944-RACE (7223).

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About Auto Club Speedway:  Auto Club Speedway, is a two-mile oval located in Fontana, California and is home to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race each March and the INDYCAR World Championships Weekend in September.   The Speedway is also home to numerous movies, television and commercial productions, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. The track is active for more than 320 days every year.  For more information on events at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.  For more information on event lodging, visit the Hilton Garden Inn, Fontana, the official hotel partner of Auto Club Speedway and Auto Club Dragway.

About IZOD IndyCar Series:  The IZOD IndyCar Series is the premier open-wheel series in the United States, competing on a challenging combination of superspeedways, short ovals, scenic road courses and temporary street circuits. In 2011 the IndyCar Series will conduct 13 events in the U.S., two in Canada and one both in Japan and Brazil, all available worldwide through comprehensive, long-term agreements with ABC and VERSUS in high-definition. The IZOD IndyCar Series continues to the be the fastest, most versatile racing series, attracting a diverse lineup of drivers including Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Will Power and Graham Rahal. A leader in motorsports technology, the IZOD IndyCar Series is the first racing series to power its Honda engines on 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol, a renewable and environmentally friendly fuel. For more information on the IZOD IndyCar Series, visit www.indycar.com.

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