IndyCar makes its debut in Baltimore
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Series: IZOD IndyCar. Date: Sunday, September 4. Race: Baltimore Grand Prix. Site: Streets of Baltimore. Track: 2.4-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit. Start Time: 2:45 p.m. (et). Laps: 75. Miles: 180. Television: VERSUS. Radio: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS XM Satellite.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will run on the streets of downtown Baltimore for the first time this Labor Day weekend. The inaugural 75-lap Baltimore Grand Prix will be contested on a 2.4-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit that incorporates the Inner Harbor area and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
In June 2010, officials from IndyCar and the Baltimore Racing Development announced that the Baltimore Grand Prix will be part of the series' schedule for at least five years, beginning in 2011.
Race organizers expect to attract more than 100,000 people to the area during the weekend.
Baltimore is the only inaugural race on the 2011 IndyCar schedule. Sao Paulo, Brazil and Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham joined the racing circuit last year.
After winning at Sonoma, CA for the second straight year, Will Power trimmed Dario Franchitti's lead from 47 points to 26. Power's Team Penske teammates, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, finished second and third, respectively, while Franchitti took the fourth spot.
"There's going to be days like this and hopefully days where we have the upper hand," Franchitti said after the Sonoma race. "The only way to deal with it is to go out and try to win the weekend after that."
In the last four seasons, two drivers went on to win the series championship after winning an inaugural event that year. Franchitti won the first race at Iowa in 2007, while his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, took the checkered flag for the inaugural race at Edmonton, Canada.
Four of Power's five wins this season have come on road/street courses. His first career oval victory came in June at Texas (the second of the twin 275- kilometer races there).
Power won last year's inaugural race at Sao Paulo.
"I always enjoy going to a new circuit," he said. "I usually do well on new circuits. I think that potentially could play into our strength. These races, especially the street courses, it's hard to predict what can happen with double-file restarts and how much mayhem happens. If you just keep it clean and have a good day, you can end up winning the thing."
Baltimore is the ninth and final road/street course race of the season. After Baltimore, the series will compete at Motegi, Japan (September 17), Kentucky (October 2) and Las Vegas (October 16).
Twenty-eight teams are on the entry list for the Baltimore Grand Prix.
08/31 11:36:56 ET