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Template loop detected: Template:Infobox motor race The MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships is an IZOD IndyCar Series race held at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The event represents a continuous lineage of open wheel oval racing in the Southern California -area that dates back to 1970. The 2012 event was sponsored by MAVTV, a motorsports cable channel owned by Lucas Oil. NBC Sports Network carried the race on television, as they had done since the then-Versus network picked up rights to the IndyCar Series for every year except one, when ABC televised the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship. With the addition of this race to the schedule for 2012, Fontana returned to the IndyCar series for the first time in seven years. After Las Vegas Motor Speedway was not certified for the 2012 season, IndyCar elected to make the Fontana race its season finale.[1] The race was the first IndyCar World Championship race that ran to its official distance, the 2011 race being abandoned due to a major accident which resulted in major damage to the track and the death of driver Dan Wheldon.

HistoryEdit

USACEdit

Open wheel oval racing in southern California dates back to the USAC California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, held from 1970–1980. The race was part of Indy car racing's "triple crown", and at its inception, was held in high prestige. The inaugural running was considered a huge success, with 187,000 in attendance. However, the track fell into financial troubles, and closed in 1980. Subsequent runnings were never able to match the success of the 1970 event.

Indy car races were also held at nearby Riverside, but only from 1967–1969 (prior to the opening of Ontario) and again from 1981–1983 (after Ontario closed).

CARTEdit

CART renewed the 500-mile oval race in 1997 at the newly built California Speedway in Fontana, California. The new track was built just Template:Convert/mi from the previous Ontario circuit. The event was held under the moniker Marlboro 500, and served as the CART season finale. This event was held through 2002.

The 1999 race is considered a tragic day in the history of CART, after the fatal crash of Greg Moore. The 2003 event was cancelled due to the Old Fire.

Along with the popular Long Beach Grand Prix, the Southern California area featured two major open wheel CART races annually for a time.

Indy Racing League, LLCEdit

In 2002, the IRL IndyCar Series added a 400-mile race to the facility. Fontana became the first facility to host races from both rival open wheel series (CART and IRL), although the race distance was different (500 vs 400 miles). The Toyota Indy 400 was held through 2005. However, crowds dwindled, and the event was removed from the calendar.

The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to Fontana for the 2012 season with a fall race under the lights at night.[1] The race serves at the season finale. On June 25, 2012, it was announced the race will return to the traditional 500 mile distance and carry the "IndyCar World Championships" title.

Closed-course speed recordsEdit

Two world closed course speed records were established in qualifying for the CART event. Mauricio Gugelmin, driving a Mercedes-Benz-powered Reynard established a one-lap time of 30.917 seconds (average speed of Template:Convert/mi/h under the commonly measured distance) before the inaugural race in 1997. On October 28, 2000, Gil de Ferran topped Gugelmin's time; driving a Penske Racing prepared Reynard with a Honda engine, de Ferran lapped the two-mile circuit in 30.255 seconds at Template:Convert/mi/h. There is a discrepancy in average speed recognised because CART did not use the commonly recognised Template:Convert/mi distance used by NASCAR and INDYCAR, but measured the track as Template:Convert/mi, which converts the de Ferran speed under CART measurement to Template:Convert/mi/h.[2]

Also, the 2003 IndyCar race was the fastest circuit race ever in motorsport history, with an average speed of 207.151 mph (333.306 km/h) over 400 miles (643.737 km).

Race resultsEdit

Ontario Motor SpeedwayEdit

Race winners of the original California 500 held at Ontario Motor Speedway.

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (km)
USAC Championship Car
1970 September 6 USAflagsmall Jim McElreath A.J. Foyt Enterprises Coyote Ford 200 500 (805) 3:07:22 160.106
1971 September 5 USAflagsmall Joe Leonard Vel's Parnelli Jones Colt Ford 200 500 (805) 3:16:55 152.354
1972 September 3 USAflagsmall Roger McCluskey Lindsay Hopkins McLaren Offy 200 500 (805) 151.54
1973 September 2 USAflagsmall Wally Dallenbach, Sr. Patrick Racing Eagle Offy 200 500 (805) 3:10:17 157.66
1974 March 10 USAflagsmall Bobby Unser All American Racers Eagle Offy 200 500 (805) 3:11:04 157.017
1975 March 9 USAflagsmall A.J. Foyt A.J. Foyt Enterprises Coyote Foyt 200 500 (805) 3:14:22 154.344
1976 September 5 USAflagsmall Bobby Unser All American Racers Eagle Offy 200 500 (805) 3:29:26 143.246
1977 September 4 USAflagsmall Al Unser Vel's Parnelli Jones Parnelli Cosworth 200 500 (805) 3:17:16 154.687
1978 September 3 USAflagsmall Al Unser Chaparral Racing Chaparral Cosworth 200 500 (805) 3:26:40 145.158
CART IndyCar
1979 September 2 USAflagsmall Bobby Unser Penske Racing Penske Cosworth 200 500 (805) 3:24:22 146.794
1980 August 31 USAflagsmall Bobby Unser Penske Racing Penske Cosworth 200 500 (805) 3:11:51 156.372

Auto Club SpeedwayEdit

Races held at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
CART Champ Car
1997 September 28 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Mark Blundell PacWest Racing Reynard Mercedes-Benz 250 500 (805) 3:02:42 166.575 Report
1998 November 1 USAflagsmall Jimmy Vasser Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda 250 500 (805) 3:17:54 153.785 Report
1999 October 31 25px-Mexicoflag Adrián Fernández Patrick Racing Reynard Ford-Cosworth 250 500 (805) 2:57:17 171.666 Report
2000 October 30 25px-Brazilflag Christian Fittipaldi Newman-Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 250 500 (805) 3:38:04 139.563 Report
2001 November 4 25px-Brazilflag Cristiano da Matta Newman-Haas Racing Lola Toyota 220* 440 (708) 2:59:39 149.073 Report
2002 November 3 USAflagsmall Jimmy Vasser Team Rahal Lola Ford-Cosworth 250 500 (805) 2:33:42 197.995 Report
2003 November 9 Cancelled due to wildfires in the San Bernardino Mountains.[3] Report
IRL/IZOD IndyCar Series
2002 March 24 USAflagsmall Sam Hornish, Jr. Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet 200 400 (644) 2:13:49 179.345 Report
2003 September 21 USAflagsmall Sam Hornish, Jr. Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet 200 400 (644) 1:55:51 207.151 Report
2004 October 3 25px-Mexicoflag Adrian Fernández Aguri-Fernández Racing G-Force Honda 200 400 (644) 2:14:13 178.826 Report
2005 October 16 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 200 400 (644) 2:22:23 168.567 Report
2006

2011
Not held
2012 September 15 USAflagsmall Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara Chevrolet 250 500 (805) 2:57:34 168.939 Report
2013 October 19 25px-AustraliaFLAG Will Power Penske Racing Dallara Chevrolet 250 500 (805) 3:13:43 154.867 Report
  • 2001: Race started late because of rain and was shortened because of darkness.


Firestone Indy LightsEdit

Season Date Driver Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (km)
Auto Club Speedway
1997 September 27 USAflagsmall Clint Mears Lola Buick 50 100 (161) 0:52:16 116.467
1998 October 31 USAflagsmall Mark Hotchkis Lola Buick 50 100 (161) 0:39:41 153.395
1999 October 30 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jonny Kane Lola Buick 50 100 (161) 0:46:52 129.902
2000 October 29 25px-Newzealandflag Scott Dixon Lola Buick 50 100 (161) 0:33:08 183.672
2001 November 4 USAflagsmall Townsend Bell Lola Buick 44 88 (142) 0:29:23 182.334
2002
Not held
2003 September 20 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Mark Taylor Dallara Infiniti 50 100 (161) 0:41:14 145.536
2004 October 2 USAflagsmall James Chesson Dallara Infiniti 50 100 (161) 0:40:51 146.894
2005 October 16 25px-Newzealandflag Wade Cunningham Dallara Infiniti 50 100 (161) 0:43:07 139.17
2006

2011
Not held
2012 September 15 22px-Flag of Colombia Carlos Muñoz Dallara Honda 50 100 (161) 0:37:38 159.41
2013 October 19 22px-Flag of Colombia Carlos Muñoz Dallara Honda 50 100 (161) 0:32:10 186.552

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:IndyCar Series races

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