Sports Central


Fast and Furious

IndyCar returns to Las Vegas, features $5 million bounty.

Photo Courtesy of LAT USA; ©2011. All Rights Reserved.

After a six-year absence, IndyCar is coming back to Las Vegas for its 2011 race season finale. And the Izod IndyCar World Championships at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway will feature a thrilling twist that has the motorsports world buzzing: It’s open to non-IndyCar drivers, who—should they win—would take home a $5 million bonus.

A selection committee will invite five non-IndyCar drivers to participate in the event, and if they qualify in time trials, they’re in. “We showcase our drivers as being the very best in the world,” said IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard. “And we are putting our money where our mouth is [to prove it].” The race will be held October 16 on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile, high-banked oval, which is known for producing side-by-side racing and extremely close finishes. Racing on oval tracks allows Indy cars to reach the fastest speeds in motorsports, sometimes averaging in excess of
220 mph.

One IndyCar driver who is particularly looking forward to the event is Alex Tagliani, who races for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. A Las Vegas resident, Tagliani is excited to race in front of his family and friends in what promises to be a fast and furious showdown.

“With the current IndyCar machines, I think we can expect a very close field,” Tagliani predicted. “Fans are going to see ‘pack’ racing with a lot of close, wheel-to-wheel action. I think they’re going to be on their feet the whole race.”