The IZOD IndyCar Series will return to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the weekend of July 30-31, 2011, according to an announcement made at the track yesterday.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith, NHMS promoter Jerry Gappens, 2010 Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, and New Hampshire governor John Lynch were on hand to make the announcement.
Franchitti later performed a handful of demonstration laps on the track for fans on hand to watch the day's stock car race. Franchitti's team owner, Chip Ganassi, had a car driven by 2000 Indy winner Juan Pablo Montoya on the pole for that event.
Next year's event will mark the first NHMS IndyCar event under Smith's ownership and the first open-wheel event at the track since 1998, when Tony Stewart took the victory. It is also the fifth event on the schedule to receive a confirmed race date, taking place after Long Beach (April 17), Sao Paulo (May 1), and Indianapolis (May 29), and before Baltimore (August 7) in the season. During the press conference, Smith also referred to an event in Kentucky on Labor Day weekend, suggesting that it will retain its place on the schedule next year.
Other events with existing race contracts include St. Petersburg, Iowa, Infineon, and Barber. Events rumored to return to the schedule include Phoenix, Las Vegas (an SMI track), Milwaukee, Cleveland, Houston, and Detroit. New events in Quebec City and Qingdao, China, have also been discussed.
Watch the entire press conference here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeuhH0xCTgE