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Houston joins 2013 IndyCar season

As well as all the street and road course options there are also a number of possible oval courses in the picture, with the one-mile, low-banked tri-oval Phoenix International Raceway (which last saw Indy cars race in 2005), the 0.75-mile asphalt D-oval at Richmond International Raceway (used by the Indy Racing League from 2001 until 2007) and the unique 2.5-mile tri-oval at Pocono (which last hosted a CART race in 1989) all being mentioned as possible hosts for races in 2013 or beyond.

"I've been doing a lot of traveling and talking to try and see who is serious about racing with us," Bernard said.

The new 3.4-mile F1 circuit at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin has also been much-mentioned as wanting to add IndyCar to the roster of events at the new facility, but with the now-confirmed Grand Prix of Houston together with the existing event at the Texas Motor Speedway, there is a possibility that even the huge Lone Star State might be stretched too thin to provide crowds sufficient to support all three events.

There's speculation that it's Texas that might end up dropping off the calendar after 2012, especially after an ongoing row erupted between TMS president Eddie Gossage and IndyCar drivers about the safety of the speedway resulting in angry exchanges over a mooted driver boycott of the race on safety grounds.

Texas is a high-banked 1.5-mile oval track, making it worryingly similar in many people's minds to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where a 15-car accident last October claimed the life of Dan Wheldon. Although the official inquiry into the accident concluded that the cause was due to the interaction between the old-model IndyCar and the unique nature of LVMS, a number of drivers and experts fear that a similar conjunction of factors and other safety issues could occur at Texas with the new DW12 chassis.

Gossage is also said to be less than happy at having lost the prestigious next race slot following the Indianapolis 500, which usually benefits from a boost after all the media coverage of the Indy 500. In 2012, the 'next after Indy' slot has been filled by the return to the IndyCar calendar of the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle.




Related Pictures

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Mike Conway prepares for a wet qualifying for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Source on Saturday, August 2 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
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Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)

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RJM - Unregistered

March 29, 2012 11:44 PM

Bernard always strikes me as a very competent individual who knows what he is doing. Possibly the most exciting thing about the article though was Elkhart Lake...



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