Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage announced Friday that he has declined the opportunity from IndyCar officials to host the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series finale in place of the canceled event in China.
IndyCar announced Wednesday that its race scheduled for Aug. 19 in Qingdao, China has been canceled, and that it was seeking another event to fulfill its 16-race schedule. In a statement, the Texas track said that IndyCar reached out to Gossage to see if his facility had an interest in hosting the season finale in late September or early October, but that he had decided against taking up the offer.
"We appreciate IndyCar reaching out to us for that opportunity, but there were numerous issues and obstacles to overcome to successfully promote the event like the past 23 IZOD IndyCar Series events we have hosted here," Gossage said. "Our focus during that fall period – ranging from operations to marketing – is squarely on the Nov. 1-4 AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend, especially with it being a key Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. We couldn't justify dividing resources between the two events to make it happen and it would be an injustice to both due to the scheduling."
Texas Motor Speedway played host to last Saturday night's Firestone 550 won by Justin Wilson. The IZOD IndyCar Series has run annually at Texas Motor Speedway since it opened in 1997 and two races were held at the facility from 1998 to 2004, including the season finale on six occasions (1999-2004).
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard subsequently released a statement saying: "We appreciate Texas Motor Speedway exploring the opportunity with us. We continue to speak with various tracks to find the right venue for our potential 16th race."