Indy to host four races in three days

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced plans to add NASCAR Nationwide and Grand-Am series races to the Sprint Cup race weekend in 2012.

The track plans to host four races in three days during the July 26-29 race weekend.

It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Grand-Am series will make their debuts at the track.

The Cup race will be Sunday, July 29, with the Nationwide race set for Saturday, July 28. The Grand-Am Series will host a pair of races for its Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on the 13-turn IMS road course on Friday, July 27.

"The Super Weekend at the Brickyard will offer nonstop excitement for every auto racing fan with the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Grand-Am Road Racing," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. president and chief executive officer. "There will be competitive, fender-rubbing action from many different types of machinery for four days, featuring established stars and rising talents, on both the IMS oval and road course.

"This will be an unforgettable event and the start of a great new racing tradition at the speedway."

Details on ticket pricing, race distances for the Nationwide Series and two Grand-Am events and the complete event schedule will be released at a later date.

"Today’s announcement is exciting for NASCAR and its fans," NASCAR president Mike Helton said Wednesday. "By bringing the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Grand-Am Series to the Brickyard as companion events for the Sprint Cup race in 2012, fans will now have the opportunity to see NASCAR’s top two series combined with Grand-Am’s outstanding sports-car racing compete at one of the world’s most iconic racetracks all in one exciting weekend."

The Nationwide and Camping World Truck series have traditionally run in conjunction with the Cup race weekend, but at the nearby Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. That track issued a release earlier Wednesday stating that it would not host the events on its traditional date in 2012.

Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Cup race at the track in 1994.