Michigan, Nazareth join '02 IRL schedule

The largest racing schedule in Indy Racing League history was officially announced on Saturday as the 2002 IRL schedule expands to 14 events, including new races at Nazareth Speedway and - as widely expected - Michigan Speedway.

Michigan, Nazareth join '02 IRL schedule

Atlanta Motor Speedway is off next year's IRL schedule, so the net gain is one event over this year's 13-race calendar.

Nazareth and Michigan were both longtime venues for the rival CART series, but have switched to the IRL after dwindling attendance for recent CART events no longer met the goals of those two racing facilities.

Homestead-Miami Speedway will play host to the first event of the 2002 season on March 2. The season will end with the Chevy 500 on Sunday, Sept. 15, at Texas Motor Speedway.

All 14 races will be televised live in the USA, with 10 races on ABC and four races on ESPN. All three of the night races in 2002 will be on ESPN.

Nazareth on April 21 will be the last event before the series returns to Indianapolis for the month of May for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26.

The inaugural event at Michigan International Speedway will be on July 28. It will not be a 500-mile race in 2002, but could return to a 500-mile event in the future, IRL president Tony George said.

The schedule includes four back-to-back racing weekends, including the
traditional June events at Texas Motor Speedway (June 8) and Pikes Peak
International Raceway (June 16).


March 2, Homestead-Miami Speedway
March 17, Phoenix International Raceway
April 21, Nazareth Speedway
May 26, Indianapolis 500
June 8, Texas Motor Speedway
June 16, Pikes Peak International Raceway
July 7, Kansas Speedway
July 20, Nashville Superspeedway
July 28, Michigan International Speedway
August 11, Kentucky Speedway
August 25, Gateway International Raceway
September 8, Chicagoland Speedway
September 15, Texas Motor Speedway

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