Final question is, the championship is winding down. Quite a bit of momentum building up. Any updates you can share with us?
RANDY BERNARD: Next week. We have some big ones coming out next week. I'm not prepared to talk about them yet.
I will say that MGM and the City of Las Vegas have been a great partner. One of our goals is to have a major event Thursday on the strip. It's something that has never been done before, but I don't want to talk too much about it right now. I'd rather just tease that.
A lot of momentum. If you stay at MGM properties there, they have 13 properties there, you get two free tickets. That's going very well from early indications from MGM.
The big question that all of you have, I'm sure you're going to ask me, so I'll talk about it right now, Where are we at with the $5 million? I think our deadline is August 30th.
We've had over two dozen drivers inquire about that.
Out of those two dozen, all of them were great drivers. Don't forget, the most important thing we said, it has to move the needle. It's going to have to help us reach either a different form of motorsport or help move that needle on our ratings and attendance.
Out of those there were three names that came up that we felt we really wanted. Those are Travis Pastrana. He had signed his paperwork. We're very close to making an announcement. He breaks his ankle and unfortunately had to withdraw.
The second one was Alex Zanardi. Alex Zanardi you all know. The fact that he could overcome such big obstacles and get into a car that he could feel he could be that competitive with would have been a great story. I talked to Alex this week. He's still interested. He'd love to do it. He'll only do it for Chip Ganassi. I've talked to Chip. With respect to Chip, he's said the IZOD IndyCar World Championships is where he has to focus his attention right now. I'd love for you guys to go talk to him, too (laughter).
Then the third one was Kasey Kahne. Kasey has been very vocal that he wants to do it, would love to do it. He wants to do it for Penske. Again, Penske's eyes are on that IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship. If you want to talk to him, have at it. We have a week to go.
All I can say is I can lead a horse to water, but I can't make him drink. I've done everything I can. I promised the drivers we won't make this a circus. We're not going to bring drivers in that can't prove themselves. Travis was going to be a very stringent process where Dario and the driver leaders had the option to give him a thumbs up or a thumbs down. He had a stringent amount of practice time that he was required to do even to be eligible to do this.
We have a couple other ideas. We're not giving up. By next week, we will have a press conference and finalize everything because we need 45 days to make sure whatever our plan going forward is, we have a very articulate plan.
Q. You said you wanted drivers that will move the needle. If you can't get five, how many drivers would you have? Could it be less than five in the race?
RANDY BERNARD: It could be possibly zero. Those three are the only ones we're interested in. Those are the only ones that move the needle. We have some ideas on what else we can do. We're not giving up. We'd love to see Kasey Kahne. Kasey has not said no yet. I was texting him as late as last week. He was still very interested.
That's all I can say on it. We've tried everything we can to get this to happen. We love the promotion. It's created a lot of buzz and we're not giving up yet.
Q. Michael Andretti owns his race team. It's an independent business. Go Daddy is going to be with them. How important is it to you and will you work towards getting a star in that car as opposed to perhaps a driver that doesn't move the needle?
RANDY BERNARD: I think so. I think it's very important that Go Daddy and Andretti pick a great ambassador to the sport of IndyCar. I think that he needs to be a champ. I think that's very important. We've said it many times. I've said it many times. If you're going to be a star in this country, it's a lot easier if you're a winner. I think that has to be everyone's top priority.
Q. A couple questions about the live race control viewing that you talked about. Is there a way to see that or hear that if you don't have a smart phone? Can you do it from a laptop?
RANDY BERNARD: No, sir. It's going to be with Verizon. One thing we needed to be is we want to work with our partners as much as we can. We feel this is a great way to work with Verizon and helping our IZOD IndyCar app.
Q. Where is race control tomorrow stationed?
RANDY BERNARD: It moves. It's upstairs here. But race control changes. Next week in Baltimore, it's not in the best place, I understand. It's in different locations every track.
Q. What can you tell us about the schedule for next year? Will you be coming back here the same dates next year and will you be going to China?
RANDY BERNARD: Terry (Angstadt) could probably answer this better than I can right now. What we'll say right now is our schedule is changing on a daily basis. We know we want between 17 and 18 events next year. We think that that's very realistic. I would say there's probably 19 places that we could choose from right now.
Right now it's leaning a little more non-oval versus oval. Again, we're trying to keep it as balanced as we can. But I would say, just being transparent with you, that we have a lot more, of course, road and street courses that want to become part of the IZOD IndyCar Series than ovals at this point.
Q. How about China?
RANDY BERNARD: China? Terry, you want to put any odds on that?
TERRY ANGSTADT: We're well down the path. The agreement has been negotiated. Again, we don't announce anything until it's complete, signed, deposit secured. We're very hopeful by next Friday that will happen. That's our schedule. We're hopeful that can happen. I would put it at a 90/10. It's positive. It's a real process. We're dealing with a pretty big institution over there. But we're very hopeful. We think it's the right market. We've had a lot of excitement from our team owners when we asked them where we should go. So we're hopeful.