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No extra race to replace China, says IndyCar

As it turned out, it seems that Bernard's strongest option has been to persuade the series' partners that they should not scramble to replace China with a new event just for the sake of it after all, despite the financial hit that IndyCar will likely take as a result of not meeting its 16-race season commitment on top of the loss of revenue from the lucrative China race contract.

"We want to make sure that when we add events to our roster they have long-term potential and are given every opportunity to be successfully promoted," he explained. "The more we explored, the more we felt like we were rushing what could be good, long-lasting opportunities for the sport.

"I thank all of the promoters who entertained the possibility of hosting the IZOD IndyCar Series this season," he added. "It certainly validated what we already knew - there's a lot of interest from venues across North America in hosting our sport."

Clothing retailers IZOD said that they concurred with the decision.

"As the entitlement partner of the series, we agree that it is in the best interest of the series to focus on a long-term strategy for the future schedule instead of a quick fix for this year," said Mike Kelly, the Executive Vice President of The PVH Marketing Group, which operates the IZOD brand.

As for Road America, Bruggenthies is still hopeful that the track will make it onto the 2013 IndyCar calendar: "That's where we were going initially, look at doing a combined event with the American Le Mans series in the middle of August for 2013," he said this weekend.

Monday's announcement means that the event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California scheduled for September 15 is now confirmed as the season finale after all. Bernard also revealed that the race would be extended to a 500-mile endurance event - the same distance as the flagship Indy 500 race - in order to boost the event's appeal and status.

"We wanted to do something special to enhance the excitement to the season finale and renew the tradition of 500-mile open-wheel races in Southern California," said Bernard.

"We think it's something our fans will enjoy and adds another element to what is already shaping up to be an exciting championship battle," he added.




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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Helio Castroneves and Tim Cindric come together after a valiant effort in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

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