IndyCar Series boss Randy Bernard says the schedule for the Las Vegas season finale can be adjusted to ease the logistical problems facing drivers interested in the $5 million bonus for a "outsider" winner.
Last week it was announced that a $5 million bonus was on offer to any non-IndyCar driver who could come in and win the Oct. 16 Las Vegas event, with five guest entries to be accepted from contenders in other championships.
The move has been seen as an invitation to NASCAR drivers in particular to take on the IndyCar regulars, but the Sprint Cup has a clashing event at Charlotte that weekend, although its race takes place on the Saturday night, whereas the IndyCar round is on Sunday. Former Champ Car champion, Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula 1 frontrunner turned NASCAR racer Juan Pablo Montoya has already all but ruled out an attempt at Vegas due to the difficult logistics involved. F1's Korean Grand Prix is also scheduled for that weekend. Bernard, however, says the IndyCar Series will do its utmost to make it possible for the "outsiders" to fit Las Vegas into their schedules.
"We're reaching out to a variety of people to make sure we can build a schedule that does its best to accommodate drivers from all different forms of racing over the three days we are on track at Las Vegas," he said. "We are taking everything into consideration to make sure that if these drivers want to participate, we can make it happen."
He also emphasized that the five designated outsiders would be well prepared for the race.
"We are going to provide ample testing time at Las Vegas for the five selected drivers to make sure by the time they get to Las Vegas they are up to speed," Bernard promised.
Eligibility guidelines for the guest drivers will be published later in the year. Bernard has indicated that as well as drivers from other championship, retired IndyCar legends could be considered, but IndyCar veterans who do not have full-season drives – potentially including the likes of Tony Kanaan and Paul Tracy – will not be eligible.