Nineteen races over 16 event weekends highlight the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.
The expanded schedule includes the return of Indy car racing to Pocono Raceway and the streets of Houston.
With a 400-mile race at Pocono Raceway joining the 500-mile events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway on the schedule, the IZOD IndyCar Series will institute a Triple Crown award, which will pay a $1 million bonus to a driver that wins on all three ovals. A driver that wins two of the three races will be awarded a $250,000 bonus.
Also new for 2013 are Saturday-Sunday doubleheaders scheduled for the street courses at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, Toronto and Houston, and the implementation of standing starts at those three venues. One of the races will be a standing start and the other a rolling start. Both will have equal points and payouts.
Fourteen of the 15 venues that hosted IZOD IndyCar Series races in 2012 return. Six races—Indianapolis, the doubleheader at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, the prime-time event at Texas Motor Speedway as well as Iowa and Pocono—will be broadcast on ABC. The balance of the schedule, including the season opener at St. Petersburg and the finale at Auto Club Speedway, will be carried on NBC Sports Network. Race distances and broadcast times will be announced at a later date.
The stars and cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series return for another exciting year of competition Sunday, March 24, on the challenging 1.8-mile St. Petersburg (Florida) street circuit. Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, will host the season finale Saturday, October 19, for the second consecutive year.
Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport claimed the Astor Cup as the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series driver champion in dramatic fashion over 250 laps on the 2-mile oval on September 15.
The 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26. Pole Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 18.
Six oval events on the schedule include four in a row on diverse racetracks—the 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway; the flat Milwaukee Mile; the .875-mile Iowa Speedway bullring; and the 2.5-mile triangular Pocono Raceway—in the middle of the season.
Pocono Raceway, which last hosted an Indy car race in 1989, will spring to life with the turbocharged IZOD IndyCar Series cars on Sunday, July 7. Mark Donohue won the inaugural Indy car race on the triangular track in 1971 under USAC sanction, and multiple winners include A.J. Foyt (four times), Rick Mears (three times) and Al Unser and Danny Sullivan (twice). Sullivan won the ’89 race under CART sanction.
A 1.7-mile, 10-turn circuit at Reliant Park will be the setting for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on October 7-8. Sebastien Bourdais won the last race in 2007 under Champ Car sanction, and Graham Rahal was runner-up.
Full-distance doubleheader races on the three street courses are being introduced to the IZOD IndyCar Series. Details regarding qualifications procedures for the doubleheader races will be announced at a later date.
For more information, visit www.indycar.com.