IZOD IndyCar World Championships

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This article is about IndyCar race at Las Vegas. For the series, see IndyCar Series. For other races in Las Vegas, see Las Vegas Grand Prix.
IZOD IndyCar World Championship
Izod IndyCar World Championshp logo.png
Las Vegas Motor Speedway.PNG
IndyCar Series
Venue Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Corporate sponsor Izod, Honda
First race 1996
Last race 2011
Distance 300 miles
Laps 200
Previous names Silver State Century (1954)
Las Vegas 500K (1996-1998)
Vegas.com 500 (1999)
Vegas Indy 300 (2000)
Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona "Double Down in the Desert" (2004)
Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400 "Double Down in the Desert" (2005)
Vegas Grand Prix (2007)
IZOD IndyCar World Championship Presented by Honda (2011)

The IZOD IndyCar World Championship Presented by Honda was an IndyCar Series race on the 1.5-mile (2.4 km) Las Vegas Motor Speedway, held from 1996–2000, and again in 2011. Previous Champ Car events were held at the track during the 2004 and 2005 seasons as doubleheaders with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and a street race was held in Las Vegas at the Fremont Street Experience in 2007.

Race history[edit]

AAA Championship Car[edit]

The Silver State Century was a 100-lap/100-mile race at Las Vegas Park, a dirt track in Las Vegas. Jimmy Bryan was the winner of the race's lone running.

Stardust Raceway[edit]

The USAC Championship Car series held a race on the short-lived Stardust International Raceway in 1968. Bobby Unser won the Stardust 150 ahead of Mario Andretti and Joe Leonard.

Caesars Palace[edit]

Starting in 1981, Formula One scheduled a race on laid out in the parking lot of the Caesars Palace hotel. Following mediocre crowds, Formula One left after only two years. In 1983, CART picked up where Formula One left off, and started holding a race on the same course. After two editions, the race ended.

Indy Racing League[edit]

In 1996, Las Vegas Motor Speedway was announced as a venue for the newly formed Indy Racing League. The facility was still under construction when it was added to the 1996-97 season.

For the first four runnings, the race was advertised as a 500 km race. Starting in 1997, the race was moved to a night race. In 2000, it was moved from the fall to the spring, and returned to a day race. After 2000, the race was removed from the IndyCar Series for a decade.

Champ Car[edit]

In 2004-2005, the Champ Car series held a 400-kilometre (250 mi) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Both editions were held under the lights on a Saturday night as part of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series weekend in the fall. After only two years, however, the race was considered unpopular and was removed from the schedule.

For 2005, the name of the race was changed to the Hurricane Relief 400, and it served as a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina recovery.

Fremont Street[edit]

In July 2006, the Las Vegas City Council approved a 2.44-mile (3.93 km), 14-turn, counterclockwise street circuit in Downtown Las Vegas area near the Fremont Street Experience. Champ Car held their first event on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007. The race was titled the Vegas Grand Prix. The course was generally liked by competitors and fans. With the dissolution of the Champ Car World Series in 2008, the event was cancelled after only one running.

IZOD IndyCar World Championships[edit]

The fiery crash in the 2011 race that killed Dan Wheldon

On February 22, 2011, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced the IZOD IndyCar World Championships to be held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, reviving the 200-lap, 300-mile race format on the new variable banking. The race was adopted as a tripleheader, with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Smith's 350 on Saturday and for the first time, a 100.5-mile Firestone Indy Lights race on Sunday morning.[1]

The first INDYCAR race since 2000 started with a hard-charging Indy Lights race where Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammates Josef Newgarden, Esteban Guerrieri, and Victor Carbone battled each other on the final lap, but Carbone cut the new Indy Lights champion Newgarden's tire on the Nellis Straightaway, leading Guerrieri and Carbone to fight for the win in a side-by-side finish, with Carbone willing by .0229 seconds.

The 200-lap IndyCar feature ended on Lap 12 after a 15-car crash that claimed the life of fellow Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Dan Wheldon. IndyCar decided the race would not continue, and spectators were offered refunds of all Sunday tickets that were used, and partial refunds of multiple-day tickets (Qualifying and NASCAR tickets could not be refunded, as Friday qualifying and Saturday NASCAR events finished without incident, so only the portion relating with the Sunday race could be processed).[2]

As a result of the incident, on December 8, 2011, Bernard announced that the IndyCar World Championships would not return to Las Vegas in 2012. The Smith's 350, which had been set for the IndyCar weekend, was moved up two weeks.

Past winners[edit]

Las Vegas Park (dirt oval)[edit]

Season Date Driver Team Car Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (km)
1954 November 14 United States Jimmy Bryan Dean Van Lines Kuzma-Offy 100 100 (160.934) 1:10:44 84.818

Fremont Street circuit[edit]

Season Date Driver Team Car Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
2007 April 8 Australia Will Power Walker Racing Panoz-Cosworth 68 165.92 (267.022) 1:45:13 93.056 Report

Las Vegas Motor Speedway[edit]

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
Indy Racing League history
1996-97 Sept 15, 1996 United States Richie Hearn Della Penna Motorsports Reynard Ford-Cosworth 200 300 (482.803) 2:36:17 115.171 Report
Oct 11, 1997 Chile Eliseo Salazar Team Scandia Dallara Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:11:07 142.757 Report
1998 October 11 Netherlands Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing G-Force Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:18:19 135.338 Report
1999 September 25 United States Sam Schmidt Treadway Racing G-Force Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:29:50 124.196 Report
2000 March 22 United States Al Unser, Jr. Galles Racing G-Force Oldsmobile 208 312 (502.115) 2:16:57 136.691 Report
2001

2003
Not held
Champ Car World Series history
2004 September 25 France Sébastien Bourdais Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 166 249 (400.726) 1:29:01 167.832 Report
2005 September 24 France Sébastien Bourdais Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 166 249 (400.726) 1:26:22 172.962 Report
2006

2010
Not held
IndyCar Series history
2011 October 16 Race abandoned after 12 laps -- 15-car crash on lap 11 and death of Dan Wheldon Report

Firestone Indy Lights[edit]

In 2011, the Firestone Indy Lights support race was added to the World Championships.

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Ref
Laps Miles (km)
2011 October 16 Brazil Victor Carbone Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara Infiniti 67 100.5 (161.739) 0:35:26 175.153 [3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewandowski, Dave. "Place your bets on championship round". IndyCar.com. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Dan Wheldon dies in crash at Las Vegas Indy 300
  3. ^ Report

External links[edit]