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ON THE CART PATH: INDYCAR WON'T GO HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH INDY
Published October 8, 1996
CART, the IndyCar sanctioning body, released their schedule Monday and will not run a race "head-to-head" against the IRL's Indy 500, according to Shav Glick of the L.A. TIMES. The CART schedule shows a race at the yet-to-be-built Gateway International Raceway in Madison, IL on Saturday, May 24, the day before the Indy 500. Last year, CART ran the U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway on the same day as the Indy race. This year, the U.S. 500 will remain in Michigan but will be run on July 27. Roger Penske's new California Speedway will be the site of CART's season finale on September 28. CART President Andrew Craig: "Our last race gives us the strongest schedule possible on the West Coast. We have now have five races -- Vancouver, Portland, Laugna Seca, Long Beach and Fontana -- in the West" (L.A. TIMES, 10/8). In Indianapolis, Bill Koenig notes that May '97 will be much "less controversial" than this year, but "big corporate dollars ... may still bypass the city" as major sponsors of CART say "they'll spend their money where CART competes." Major sponsors reportedly told CART they preferred the group not race on the same day as the Indy 500, and "at the same time, representatives of companies that sponsor CART race teams and events said they likely won't come to Indianapolis in May -- like they did prior to the split" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/4).