Las Vegas Motor Speedway is gearing up to host its first major open-wheel racing event in four years after it was confirmed that the Champ Car World Series had added a date to its schedule on 25 September.

The series will make its first stop at LVMS' 1.5-mile superspeedway as part of a doubleheader with the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, it was confirmed by speedway and Champ Car officials last night [Wednesday].

LVMS hosted Indycar racing from 1996-2000, with all events falling under the IRL banner, and this year's date will be the first staged by Champ Car. Las Vegas had been mooted as a potential stop on the revised 2004 calendar, although initial plans centred around a street circuit taking in the city's famous 'Strip'. When negotiations for this broke down, attention switched to utilising the nearby oval, adding a second such event to the schedule alongside Milwaukee.

"We have always been interested in holding a Champ Car race in Las Vegas, and the opportunity to partner with Speedway Motorsports Inc made it attractive to us," Champ Car president Dick Eidswick commented, "Television ratings in Las Vegas have consistently been strong for Champ Car races in the last few years, and we have a strong fan base in that region."

Eidswick also said that he thought the addition of another oval date to the calendar would not prove a problem.

"Champ Car teams and drivers are known to be the most versatile in open-wheel racing, competing on road, street and oval courses, and adding a superspeedway race at LVMS makes the championship trail even more challenging," he claimed.

The as yet unnamed Champ Car event will be held immediately following the Craftsman Truck race, with practice and qualifying taking place on Friday. The schedule for the Truck event on Saturday is unchanged.

"The addition of a Champ Car World Series event is great news - not only for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but also for Las Vegas as a whole," said LVMS general manager Chris Powell, "The fans attending the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck race now will be treated to an additional adrenaline rush. The Champ Car World Series offers some of the fastest and most technologically advanced race cars in the world. We're excited to offer such a great night of racing to the fans of Las Vegas as well as to those who are drawn from outside the community."

Reigning Champ Car champion Paul Tracy lives in the Las Vegas area, along with rivals Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani.

"I can't tell you how excited I am about racing here," Tracy admitted, "All of the local guys have been out to the track and it's a first-class facility. It's the right type of venue for our cars. The fact that this is right in our backyard will open up a lot of opportunities for us to be able to test and really make this a big event."

Speedway officials have confirmed that current ticket prices for the 25 September will not change. However, there will be a Champ Car package ticket available, including a reserved seat in the Dale Earnhardt Terrace and a paddock pass. The Champ Car package costs $61.50 and is available only through the LVMS ticket office.