IRNLS Announces 2002 Schedule

The Indy Racing Northern Light Series announced its 2002 schedule today, and there were few surprises. Two new events, one at the Michigan International Speedway and one at Nazareth Speedway, will join 12 others for a 14-race schedule.

"The diversity of the racetracks represented on the 2002 schedule will provide challenges to the teams and drivers, and the end result will be something racing fans will enjoy," Tony George, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League said. "From the 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway to the facility here at Richmond (International Raceway) to Indianapolis, the teams will be tested on all types of ovals at first-class venues."

2002 will mark the largest schedule of the IRNLS’s seven-year history. All 14 races will be televised live, with 10 races on ABC and four races on ESPN. All three of the night races in 2002 will be on ESPN.

For the fist time, Michigan International Speedway and Nazareth Speedway will both play host to IRNLS events. Both tracks were on the rival Championship Auto Racing Teams schedule through this season but were dropped for various reasons.

"A great deal of effort goes into producing a schedule of this magnitude," Bob Reif, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League said. "We receive great support from our partners at ABC and ESPN, but I especially want to thank the series' track operators for the commitment they've made in producing this 2002 schedule."

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).

"The 2002 schedule of events will be great for our fans and represents the controlled growth the League desires," Brian Barnhart, Indy Racing League vice president of operations explained. "There will be 14 events in a period of just a little over six months. That will allow the teams and drivers to find a rhythm and also maintain the fans' interest. I'm ready to go."

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