2008 IndyCar Series Schedule Once Again Features Mix of Roads, Streets and Ovals

5/1/2008 4:00:00 PM

Honda's successful promotion of an old favorite this past summer put the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course back on the map and back on the 2008 IndyCar schedule.

The Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio, along with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, are two of the staples in the IndyCar Series' 16-race schedule for 2008.

Once a prominent member of the open-wheel family, Mid-Ohio had been abandoned in 2002 before Tony George and Honda resurrected the legendary road course outside Lexington, Ohio.

With Honda's aggressive promotion that included customer and employee participation, the three-day crowd swelled to the size of Mid-Ohio's heyday in the 1990s to watch Scott Dixon score his third straight IndyCar Series victory.

"The best thing about going back to Mid-Ohio was to see all the people on the spectator hills and mounds," said Dixon. "It was a great atmosphere and Honda did a great job of promoting it."

This July winner followed the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a wellattended street show in April that Honda has supported since 2005.

Headlined by the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on May 25, the 2008 IndyCar series will again sport the most challenging schedule in major motorsports with 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits.

"We look ahead to the 2008 season knowing that the IndyCar Series offers the most diverse schedule in all of motorsports," said Brian Barnhart, President of the Competition and Operations Division for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series.

"Our schedule demands the abilities of both drivers and teams to master a variety of venues and the challenges each one brings, with the end result being a true champion."

For the seventh consecutive season, Homestead-Miami Speedway will serve as host for the season opener, and it will once again be under the lights on March 29 in prime time.

The season-opening race is one of five prime-time dates, joining night events at Texas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Nashville Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway. Chicagoland Speedway again will host the season finale on Sept. 7. Each IndyCar Series event will be televised nationally by either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. The television schedule will be finalized and announced at a later date.