Las Vegas: IndyCar will roll the dice with a USD 5 million dare to rival racing drivers at its season-ending race in Las Vegas, series chief executive Randy Bernard said.
IndyCar will conclude its 17-race 2011 season with an October 16 race at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval, officials announced before Bernard issued his challenge to any non-IndyCar professional racer to win in Vegas.
"We showcase our drivers as being the very best, fastest and most versatile in the world and we are putting our money where our mouth is," Bernard said.
"If any race car driver in the world outside of the IndyCar Series can win the Vegas race, we will give you USD 5 million. We will accept five entries for this challenge, with entrants being determined by mid-summer."
IndyCar staged races at the venue from 1996 through 2000 and Champ Car staged events at the oval in 2004 and 2005.
But the track was reconfigured in 2006 and even past winners such as Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais might have troubles sorting out the oval, to say nothing of adjusting to an IndyCar in time for a one-race gamble.
IndyCar`s fastest teams tested at the facility last November.
"We had the opportunity to conduct a test with Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske at Vegas last November and our cars performed very well," said IndyCar competition president Brian Barnhart.
"Its banking and width is similar to Chicagoland Speedway, which has produced some of the most exciting, side-by-side racing and closest finishes in the history of the series."
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.