Ahead of today's IZOD IndyCar Series race at his Kentucky Speedway, Speedway Motorsports boss Bruton Smith hinted broadly that his Las Vegas Motor Speedway would rejoin the IZOD IndyCar Series calendar in 2011, and that it would be the series finale.
“I'm certainly looking forward to the final race for IndyCar being in Vegas,” Smith said. “I'm anxiously anticipating and certainly think that will happen. It's good for Speedway Motorsports and good for IndyCar to have the final race of the year in Las Vegas, baby.”
Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard confirmed that discussions with Las Vegas Motor Speedway are ongoing. The IZOD IndyCar Series will announce its full 2011 schedule next Friday, Sept. 10. It hasn't raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since 2000.
Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger confirmed that the track's 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series date will move to Oct. 2. Also already announced are the Indianapolis 500 (May 29), Texas Motor Speedway's doubleheader June 11, Iowa Speedway (June 25), the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix (Sept. 4), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Aug. 14).
Smith, who also owns the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which is hosting IndyCar racing again next year after an absence of 13 years, also reiterated his call for changes to the cars to improve their visibility for night racing, and indicated he thought the series was more open to his ideas under Bernard's leadership.
“I have a lot of admiration for Randy; he brings a lot of new ideas to it,” Smith said. “Some of the things I've been trying to get done I'm hoping will get done. No. 1, we have to think about the race fans. We have to have larger numbers to be able to identify the cars, and I hope they will listen and get rid of the black cars. We don't need black cars running at night on black asphalt.
“We have to be fan-friendly with the series and I don't think we've done enough yet, but I think it's headed in the right direction.”