Jeff Wolf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported yesterday that the Speedway Motorsports Inc.-owned Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League are in talks to bring the IZOD IndyCar Series back to the 1.5-mile oval next season. The series has not raced in Vegas since 2000.
LVMS president Chris Powell told Wolf that he's aiming for an IndyCar event to compliment the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series date at his facility on Oct. 15, 2011. Meanwhile, League CEO Randy Bernard said in the article that the negotiations were in the preliminary stages.
Powell also mentioned that the potential IndyCar race would serve as the season finale and would enable the October 2011 weekend with the Trucks to become a three-day event.
We've heard rumblings about a potential finale in Las Vegas for next season, but if Bernard's being honest about the talks being "preliminary," then there's still some work to be done in order to make this a reality.
It's certainly natural for Bernard to pursue LVMS. In his former life as CEO of the Professional Bull Riders, he'd go to Vegas every year for the PBR World Finals. It wouldn't be surprising if, while talking to Powell, he's been talking to every hospitality contact he has in the city to gauge their interest for an IndyCar finale/awards ceremony. Getting the casinos on board would certainly help the cause as well.
This would also strengthen the growing bond between IndyCar and SMI, which is important if they're going to wind up locked in motorized warfare with NASCAR/ISC. I don't see the bright side in throwing all ISC tracks off the 2011 docket however. That conglomerate has too many tracks; it can't be ignored, at least in my opinion.