The IZOD IndyCar Series and Auto Club Speedway in Southern California announced today that the open-wheel series will be returning to the 2-mile paved oval in 2012, confirming Robin Miller's report on Speed.com over the weekend. Planned as a night race, the addition of Auto Club Speeday also pulls it's owner International Speedway Corp. (ISC) back into the Series. INDYCAR dropped all ISC tracks from their 2011 schedule, but a return to ISC owned Chicagoland and Watkins Glen are possible as well.
"We feel the time is right to bring IndyCar racing back to Auto Club Speedway," said INDYCAR CEO, Randy Bernard. "We want to maintain the diverse line-up of ovals on our schedule and the addition of Auto Club Speedway adds a great venue that was built for the high-speed, wheel-to-wheel excitement of IndyCar racing under the lights."
The IZOD IndyCar Series previously raced at the track from 2002 to 2005, before dropping the poorly attended track from the 2006 schedule.
"This facility was built to host open-wheel racing and Auto Club Speedway has arguably hosted some of the most exciting races in Indy car history," said Gillian Zucker, president, Auto Club Speedway. "We look forward to building on the area's history and tradition of open-wheel racing with new records and new races beginning in 2012."
It's unclear if the the Firstone Indy Lights Series will make the trip west for their own event.
Tickets for the night race go on sale September 12th.