The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard.
It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will make their IMS debuts.
The 19th annual Brickyard 400 for the Sprint Cup Series will race on the oval Sunday, July 29, with the Nationwide Series also racing on the oval Saturday, July 28. GRAND-AM will conduct separate races for its Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on the 13-turn IMS road course Friday, July 27.
"The Super Weekend at the Brickyard will offer non-stop excitement for every auto racing fan with the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "There will be competitive, fender-rubbing action from many different types of machinery for four days, featuring established stars and rising talents, on both the IMS oval and road course.
"This will be an unforgettable event and the start of a great new racing tradition at the Speedway."
All four days of Super Weekend at the Brickyard will be packed with on-track action, providing great value for fans:
•Thursday, July 26: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice
•Friday, July 27: GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge practice, qualifying and races
•Saturday, July 28: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice, qualifying and race; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying
•Sunday, July 29: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 race
Brickfest, a music festival featuring a headlining national act, also will return during the Super Weekend at the Brickyard after its debut during this year's Brickyard 400.
Ticket orders for the 2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard will be accepted starting Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Orders can be made at www.imstix.com and through the IMS Ticket Office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Details on ticket pricing, race distances for the Nationwide Series and two GRAND-AM events and the complete event schedule will be released at a later date.
The best way for fans to secure their reserved seat tickets for the historic inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard is to purchase reserved seats for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 and reorder those tickets during the two-week renewal period starting Aug. 1.
"Today's announcement is exciting for NASCAR and its fans," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "By bringing the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the GRAND-AM Series to the Brickyard as companion events for the Sprint Cup race in 2012, fans will now have the opportunity to see NASCAR's top two series combined with GRAND-AM's outstanding sports car racing compete at one of the world's most iconic racetracks all in one exciting weekend."
"This is a great day for GRAND-AM and for sports car racing in North America," said GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe. "GRAND-AM has the finest sports car racing in North America, and we're proud that we'll be able to showcase our racing - with the Rolex Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge - at Indy. GRAND-AM is an organization on the move, and this announcement personifies that fact."
The NASCAR Nationwide Series represents the middle rung in NASCAR's national series, situated between the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR Nationwide Series has proven to be an outstanding series for up-and-coming competitors who aspire to become NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, with a number of today's premier series stars having developed their skills in the series over the years.
Many still race in the series, pulling "double-duty." However, many drivers also have chosen to spend their entire careers on the circuit due to its competitive nature and popularity.
In 2011, the Nationwide Series features Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang and Toyota Camry models with V8 engines generating about 650 horsepower. The cars reach an estimated top speed of 195 mph.
The Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 is the top series sanctioned by GRAND-AM. Its two classes - the exotic Daytona Prototypes and production-based GT cars - run simultaneously at road racing venues across the U.S. and Canada.
One of the Daytona Prototype's top features is the ability to run any combination of engine and chassis - an extremely raceable and relatively affordable format that has revolutionized sports car racing with plentiful battles at the front of the field and close finishes in virtually every race. DPs are exotic, mid-engine machines that are purpose-built for competition, capable of speeds in excess of 185 mph.
The Grand Touring (GT) class is home to production-based race cars that are similar in appearance to the latest high-performance sports cars. GT is a mixture of U.S.-produced muscle cars going against the international flavor, mainly German, Japanese and Italian models.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is GRAND-AM's showcase for the latest in international and American-made high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans straight from the dealer showroom floor. The CTSCC has two classes - Grand Sport and Street Tuner.