The Indy Racing League has scheduled a press conference or teleconference or some such exposition for tomorrow where they are expected to reveal the 2009 schedule, although not in same the way Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson did ther own "reveal" a few years ago.
But why wait for Christmas when you can open some presents on Christmas Eve, right? First up with some goodies is the intrepid Curt Cavin, reports that we will see an "18-track lineup".
The season will begin April 5 with the street course race in St. Petersburg, Fla., and end Oct. 11 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Indianapolis 500 will be May 24.
Not to be outdone, Chris Estrada at Indy Racing Revolution has done his own reporting (probably using a serach engine, a tool many "journalists" still eschew) and discovered that Richmond has been confirmed for June 27th.
So as of right now we have:
April 5th, St Petersburg
May 24th, Indianapolis
June 27th Richmond
October 11th, Homestead
This list will be updated as Breaking News occurs, although my first impression is that it's difficul to be ecstatic about ending the season at Homestead, where the fans often disguise themselves as empty seats. Whither Chicagoland?
UPDATE: Estrada also kindly forwarded this from ESPN.com to the Inbox.
"We are pleased the IRL selected three SMI facilities," (SMI's Eddie) Gossage said. "But we're very disappointed they didn't want the benefits they could have received from New Hampshire and Las Vegas.
"This had nothing to do with sanctioning fees. They were not interested in New Hampshire and only wanted to run the club-racing road course at Las Vegas instead of one of the most outstanding oval tracks in the country. We're weren't prepared to accept that," Gossage said.
Ack! Could someone please get Mr George a tall glass of Ovaltine? Please?
UPDATE 2: TrackSide Online (sign up today!) says:
2009 IRL INDYCAR SCHEDULE
April 5 Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
April 19 Streets of Long Beach
April 26 Kansas Speedway
May 24 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 31 The Milwaukee Mile
June 6 Texas Motor Speedway*
June 21 Iowa Speedway
June 27 Richmond International Raceway*
July 5 Watkins Glen International
July 12 Streets of Toronto
July 26 Edmonton City Centre Airport
Aug. 1 Kentucky Speedway*
Aug. 9 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 23 Infineon Raceway
Aug. 29 Chicagoland Speedway*
Sept. 6 The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
Sept. 19 Twin Ring Motegi, Japan
Oct. 11 Homestead-Miami Speedway
Well, what do ya think?
UPDATE 3: Meanwhile, here in 2008...Crikey!
The IndyCar Series will travel to Australia for the Gold Coast Indy 300 on Oct. 23-26 -- the first IndyCar Series event in the country. Following the event at Surfers Paradise, the IndyCar Series will continue its postseason celebration with a championship banquet in Las Vegas.
"We are pleased to announce that the IndyCar Series will hold its first event in Australia this October to celebrate the completion of a successful first season of unified open-wheel racing," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.
(MORE from IndyCar.com)