Chicagoland Speedway will install lights in time for the 2008 racing season, becoming the 10th current NASCAR Nextel Cup oval to hold night racing, beginning with the race on Saturday, July 12.
``We are very excited to announce the addition of lights to Chicagoland Speedway for the upcoming 2008 season,'' said Matthew Alexander, president of the Joliet, Ill., track. ``Other NASCAR tracks with lights have experienced tremendous success when hosting night races and we anticipate similar results at Chicagoland Speedway. This is an exciting step for the growth of racing in the Chicago market.''
Alexander also noted that the lights could be a big factor in making the spectators who attend the races at Chicagoland a lot more comfortable.
``Traditionally, our NASCAR races have taken place during the time of year when excessive heat can become an issue for our fans,'' he said. ``By adding lights to our facility, we hope to make the guest experience a more comfortable one.
``In addition, we will now have the flexibility to run events later in the day in the event of inclement weather.''
Chicagoland Speedway and the adjoining Route 66 Raceway are owned by International Speedway Corporation, which owns and/or operates 13 tracks.
RACING BUDDY: Former Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice will make his A1GP debut Sunday at Zandvoort, The Netherlands, driving for A1 Team USA.
Rice, who tested his new Lola for 2 1/2 days at Silverstone, England, is confident heading into the Dutch race.
``We've developed some good, reliable information on what the car likes in our tests, and the challenge we face at Zandvoort is finding the optimum performance during a race weekend,'' said the 31-year-old Rice, who drives for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the IndyCar Series. ``I haven't raced there before, but we have a strong engineering staff with experience in A1GP and at Zandvoort, and that will be a short cut to my learning curve.
``There is very tough competition in A1GP. I've been impressed by the drivers in our tests and some of them have raced at Zandvoort before. We'll have to bring our A game and I'm confident we will.''
A1 Team USA, owned by Rick Weidinger of Washington, D.C., is entering its third season in A1GP. The team finished ninth in the 22-nation championship last season. Phil Giebler, the 2007 Rookie of the Year at Indy, finishing second for the U.S. team last year at Zandvoort.<
SEE SARAH: American Honda Motors is featuring IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher in its first national broadcast corporate image campaign in two years.
The 30-second commercial shows Honda jets, solar racers, test-track racing with Fisher and safety researchers, all in a home-video style with music from The Who's ``I Can See for Miles.'' All the video images are ``shot'' by Asimo, Honda's walking robot.
The tag line for the commercial is: ``See what we see.''
It is slated to run during the ``Dancing With the Stars'' season premiere and will also be seen during other season premieres, as well as the Major League Baseball playoffs and the World Series.