IndyCar Series to Crown Road Course and Oval Champions
IndyCar will still use the current championship points system, but will now award a championship trophy and an undisclosed cash reward to the driver who scores the most points in each discipline.
The road course champion will be crowned following the Aug. 22 race at Infineon Raceway in California and the oval champion will be crowned Sept. 19 at Motegi, Japan -- two weeks before the overall champion is honored in the Oct. 2 season finale in Homestead, Fla.
"We want to recognize the drivers that master the disciplines that make up this sport as they pursue the ultimate prize - the IZOD IndyCar Series championship,'' IZOD IndyCar Series Chairman Randy Bernard said. " We feel this platform will give added value to events on our schedule and creates more momentum behind the drivers and teams that excel at ovals and road races."
There are nine road or street courses on the schedule and the road course championship will be retroactive to include those races already run at Sao Paulo, Brazil, St. Petersburg, Fla., Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama and, most recently, Long Beach, Cal. Penske Racing driver Will Power -- who won at Sao Paulo and St. Pete -- leads Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay in the standings.
The first of the seven oval races counting toward that title will be held Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
The trophies for each winner will be named after a racing legend. The racing media is currently nominating past drivers considered an "all-time great" in each discipline - - road racing and oval racing -- and then fans will have a chance to vote online in May and June for whom the trophies will be named.