When the Indy Racing League announces its schedules for the 2010 season later today, there will be a new twist for Kansas Speedway’s 10th anniversary.
The IndyCar Series, for the first time, will run on a Saturday instead of a Sunday at Kansas Speedway. The IndyCar race will be Saturday, May 1; the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series, traditionally a Saturday event, will move to Sunday, May 2.
Also, this will be the first time the IRL and NASCAR trucks will run in May at Kansas Speedway; the last three years, the events were held on the last weekend of April. That conflicted not only with the NFL Draft, but also with those wanting to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Talladega.
Because of television conflicts with Talladega, Kansas Speedway started the IndyCar and trucks races after 4 p.m. In 2010, they can start at noon or 1, Central time because the Sprint Cup series will be at Richmond on Saturday night, so there will not be conflicts on either day.
The IRL will announce the complete schedule, race times and television networks later on Friday.
“From the feedback we received from the fans, we were trying to move the start times earlier in the day, and this works out well,” said Jeff Boerger, president of Kansas Speedway. “Fans were telling us we were starting the races too late. Saturday was not so much of a concern, but Sunday is a concern because people have to get back to work on Monday.
“If we’re starting the races at 4, by time they get out of the race track, it’s 6 o’clock and they have some driving to do because so many of our fans come from outside of Kansas City. It’s a switch that accommodates schedules and times, and something we all agreed to do to help the fans and accomplish what we want.”
More than the earlier start times, the biggest twist is staging the IndyCar race on a Saturday.
“IndyCar is still considered the premier race for the weekend,” Boerger said. “We sell everything as a season ticket, so we’ll have big crowds for both races.”
Because the race is a week into May and the last IndyCar Series event before the Indianapolis 500, the Saturday date will give teams an extra day to return to their shops and Month of May preparations.
“This works out well all around,” Boerger said. “It gives us an extra week to sell as well, and we’re excited to have everyone back for our 10th anniversary season.”