INDYCARNATION

New Hampshire 2011 race set for Aug. 14

By Dave Lewandowski

11 Aug 2010

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The IZOD IndyCar Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2011 has been moved to Aug. 14, speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens said.

The race will be the first at the 1-mile oval in 13 years for IndyCars. The facility played host to one of the five Indy Racing League events in its inaugural year (Aug. 8, 1996) with Scott Sharp taking the checkered flag. It also was the site of Robbie Buhl’s first victory (Aug. 17, 1997) and Tony Stewart’s third (June 28, 1998). CART sanctioned races on the variably-banked (2 to 7 degrees) oval from 1992 to ’95.

“Because of the date changes with our NASCAR weekends, we had to move this much-anticipated event from its originally announced July 31 date to Aug. 14,” Gappens said. “With this change, it gives fans from New England, Canada and across the country three consecutive months of major racing events. This will be a tremendous boost to the economic benefit the speedway provides and increase in tourism to our great state.

“In addition, I really appreciate Randy Bernard and all of the officials of the IZOD Indy Cars Series for working with us to make this change. It creates some travel and logistical challenges for their group, but it further demonstrates their commitment to bringing open-wheel racing back to New England.”

Tickets for the IZOD Indy Car Series race are priced from $35 to $75 and can be ordered at www.nhms.com or by calling 603-783-4931. IZOD IndyCar Series officials continue to work on the remainder of the 2011 schedule.

New Hampshire International Speedway, which opened in 1990, was purchased in 2008 by Smith from Bob and Gary Bahre and renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is about an hour north of Boston and, according to the most recent census, more than 18 million people live within two hours of the picturesque venue.

“It's been my mission for three years to get IndyCar to New Hampshire on our schedule,” Gappens said at the June 27 news conference to announce the race weekend. “As an Indiana native and a fan of open-wheeled racing, I strongly believe that the people of New Hampshire will embrace this new breed of speed much like they do NASCAR.

"It's gratifying to see it finally on the schedule and now it's sort of like the dog who chased the truck. I caught it, but now I have to do something with it. I promise I'm going to work hard to sell this new event to fans everywhere."

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