THE FIA MOVES
TO CLARIFY WHAT
WILL THE 2012
A LOSS FOR BUSCH
IS A GAIN FOR
FOR THE ALMS
Iowa joins Texas and Fontana as the only oval races on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule beyond the Indianapolis 500 – at least for the time being.
Dan R. Boyd/LAT
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THE MATRIX IS RELOADED
IndyCar’s long-anticipated schedule follows its equally awaited report on
the Las Vegas tragedy, which clears the way for continued track diversity
After a two-month investigation that put its 2012
schedule announcement on hold, IndyCar released its
findings Dec. 15 about the multicar accident that killed
Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It subsequently
released a 15-race schedule that, while falling short of some
fans’ expectations, did not include a wholesale turn away from
oval racing, as some had feared.
While IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard and president of
operations Brian Barnhart said a “perfect storm” of factors were
responsible, there were several key findings revealed. Barnhart
explained that Wheldon suffered two major forces to his head.
“The second force produced the non-survivable blunt force
trauma,” Barnhart said. “The SAFER barrier and fence appeared
to have functioned. The impact with the fence was location,
direction and chance result.” Barnhart maintained that the
position of the post on the inside of the fence was not a factor.
“From a fencing standpoint, there’s no indication that the
outcome would have been different,” he said.
events in an interview with Indianapolis
radio station 1070 AM The Fan.
The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series calendar
includes four ovals, three permanent road
“I love the ovals. I know how
courses and eight street races (see RACER
important having ovals is,” Bernard said.
Diary on page 73 for the full list).A return
“The ideal scenario was last year. But it’s
to the Milwaukee Mile is also possible, as
not there. They [fans] don’t show up or
is a new street race in Fort Lauderdale,
watch on TV. We’re up [overall] on our
Fla. Bernard let off a little steam over the
attendance, but down on ovals.
criticism he has taken in some quarters
“We just had an extensive
for the apparent downplaying of oval
demographics and research study. We
asked a question, as to what our fans
would want to see more of, and only 15. 7
percent responded, ‘More ovals.’ That
correlated very well with the live
We need to focus on
more ovals but...position
ourselves to do it.
attendance and TV levels. We need to
focus on more ovals, but at the same
time, position ourselves to do it. We’ll
take a small step back, and in 2013, you’ll
see more thought out and planned.”