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IndyCar's '09 schedule won't include race at Las Vegas

7/30/2008

The IndyCar Series announced its entire 2009 schedule on Wednesday, but the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was not be a part of it.

Indy Racing League officials said last month they were interested in ending the 2009 season at LVMS, but an agreement couldn't be worked out.

The IRL wanted to use the 1.3-mile road course outside of Turn 1 in the LVMS parking lot instead of the 1.5-mile oval that seats 150,000 spectators.

Officials for Speedway Motorsports Inc., the parent company for LVMS, had no interest in using the road course for the IndyCar event and IRL officials didn't want to use the oval track.

"We will continue to keep the Las Vegas facility on our radar screen for the future," said IRL vice president John Griffin. "We have open lines of communication with them."

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage was negotiating a five-race package for SMI, which included races at TMS, Infineon Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Las Vegas.

Gossage said the IndyCar Series only selected the three venues that are part of the current schedule -- TMS, Infineon and Kentucky -- but not the one-mile New Hampshire oval or Las Vegas.

"We are pleased the IRL selected three SMI facilities," 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.

The IndyCar Series also will not return to the 1.3-mile oval at the Nashville Superspeedway. The series, as expected, added the street race at Toronto, which was part of the Champ Car schedule.

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.