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IndyCar series to return to Fontana track next year

July 4, 2011 | 10:38 pm

After a seven-year absence, Indy car-style racing will return to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for a night race on an unspecified date in the fall of next year, the track announced late Sunday night.

"We feel the time is right to bring IndyCar back to Auto Club Speedway," Randy Bernard, chief executive of the Izod IndyCar Series, said in a statement. The series' drivers include Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti.

Indy-style cars initially raced on the wide, two-mile Fontana oval after the track was built in the mid-1990s, but haven't raced there since 2005.

The return of IndyCar will help the track -- formerly named California Speedway -- make up for the loss of a second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock-car race, which was removed from the Cup schedule this year. The remaining Cup race was held in March.

"This facility was built to host open-wheel racing and Auto Club Speedway has arguably hosted some of the most exciting races in Indy-car history," track President Gillian Zucker said in a statement. "We look forward to building on the area's history and tradition . . . beginning in 2012."

The speedway said tickets for the race would go on sale this Sept. 12.


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Photo: A restart of the Izod IndyCar Series race June 19 at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis. Credit: Robert Laberge / Getty Images