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Volume 24 No. 157
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IndyCar Announces '12 Schedule With 15 Confirmed Races, Including First Ever In China

The '12 Izod IndyCar Series schedule was released Thursday with 15 races confirmed for next season. The year will begin with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25, with a debut race in China and returns to Detroit Belle Isle and Fontana highlighting the schedule. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard in a statement said, "We are exploring adding additional events to the 2012 schedule. We're in the process of confirming a 16th event, while also considering adding a 17th race to the calendar." The television lineup and start times will be announced later (IndyCar).

March 25 Streets of St. Petersburg
April 1 Barber Motorsports Park
April 15 Streets of Long Beach
April 29 Streets of Sao Paulo
May 27 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 3 Raceway at Belle Isle Park
June 9 Texas Motor Speedway
June 23 Iowa Motor Speedway
July 8 Streets of Toronto
July 22 Edmonton City Centre Airport
August 5 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 19 Streets of Qingdao
August 26 Infineon Raceway
September 2 Streets of Baltimore
September 15 Auto Club Speedway

FEWER OVALS NEXT YEAR:'s Robin Miller reported the IndyCar Series is down to four oval tracks next year becuase “those were the only four tracks willing to make deals that were sensible for both parties.” However, Bernard is “working to get that number back up.” Bernard “wanted to promote Milwaukee but not without a title sponsor so the legendary one-mile oval is likely off the books.” IndyCar also has “made contact with Phoenix International Raceway about the possibility of returning in 2013, as well as Richmond's short oval.” Bernard had Project Manager Tony Cotman “research a street race in Las Vegas near the end of the Strip with a possible partnership” with the American Le Mans Series, but it is "only exploratory at the moment.” Bernard reportedly is “also trying to put together a street race in Fort Lauderdale for late September but it hasn’t been finalized.” The '12 schedule as presently constructed “will be the smallest schedule since 14 races were held in ’06” (, 12/21).