An adjustment to the event length at Pikes Peak International Raceway and confirmations of distances for two other events highlight the final 2002 Indy Racing Northern Light Series schedule released yesterday by Indy Racing League officials.

"I am very pleased how the 2002 schedule came together," said Brian Barnhart, vice president of operations for the Indy Racing League. "The tentative schedule was released in June, and we've only made a few minor modifications. This stability really helps the teams and sponsors plan for the future, and it really allows the track operators to promote their events in a consistent fashion."

The most significant change to 2002 schedule is an adjustment to the race length of the Radisson 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Since the first race at PPIR in 1997, the race distance for the 1-mile oval has been 200 laps. The past three Radisson 200s have finished in less than 1 1/2 hours, so PPIR and League officials have agreed to raise the distance to 225 miles.

"Though we have had great races at Pikes Peak, they're getting too short," Barnhart said. "Buddy (Lazier) won this year in one hour, 23 minutes. We want to increase the value for fans by increasing the race distance."

Barnhart also confirmed the race distance for the events at California Speedway and Michigan International Speedway. Both races will be 400-mile events on the similar 2-mile ovals.

"This 2002 schedule is a great schedule of 15 events packaged in a six-month period," said Barnhart. "2002 really excites me. With track sizes ranging from Richmond's 3/4 -mile to the 2 1/2 miles at Indianapolis, we have ovals of all shapes and sizes. It's going to be exciting."

Final 2002 schedule:

(Date / Track / Size / Laps)

March 2: Homestead-Miami Speedway 1.5 miles 200 lapsMarch 17: Phoenix International Raceway 1 mile 200 lapsMarch 24: California Speedway 2 miles 200 ESPN lapsApril 21: Nazareth Speedway 1 mile 200 lapsMay 26: Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5 miles 200 lapsJune 8: Texas Motor Speedway 1.5 miles 200 lapsJune 16: Pikes Peak International Raceway 1 mile 225 lapsJune 29: Richmond International Raceway .75-mile 250 lapsJuly 7: Kansas Speedway 1.5 miles 200 lapsJuly 20: Nashville Superspeedway 1.33 miles 200 lapsJuly 28: Michigan International Speedway 2 miles 200 laps Aug. 11: Kentucky Speedway 1.5 miles 200 lapsAug. 25 Gateway International Raceway 1.25 miles lapsSept. 8: Chicagoland Speedway 1.5 miles 200 lapsSept. 15: Texas Motor Speedway 1.5 miles 200 laps

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