Last updated: February 17. 2013 6:24AM - 206 Views

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LONG POND -- Indy cars will return to Pocono Raceway next summer for the first time since 1989 as the racetrack and the IndyCar Series announced the Pocono IndyCar 400 will be held July 7.
The announcement was made this morning during a press conference that included Pocono Raceway Chief Executive Officer Brandon Igdalsky; Mario Andretti, the 1986 winner of the Pocono race and a Bethlehem resident; Ed Carpenter, a current Izod IndyCar Series racer; and IndyCar Chief Executive Officer Randy Bernard.
‚??The fans wanted to see open-wheel racing return to Pocono Raceway and we‚??re excited to welcome the IZOD IndyCar Series back next summer,‚?Ě said Igdalsky, whsoe grandfather Joseph "Doc" Matiolli was at the helm when the Indy Series first came to Pocono and when it last ran at the triangular 2.5-mile track. ‚??We are now pleased to offer the greatest fans in all of motorsports, the very best in both stock car and open-wheel racing.‚?Ě
The Pocono race will come two weeks after the Iowa Corn Indy 250 and a week prior to the Honda Indy Toronto.
According to the IndyCar website, the race will air on ABC. It's one of 19 races on the 2013 schedule that includes traditional Memorial Day weekend stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26.
The series stop in Edmonton that was held this year on July 22 and won by Helio Castroneves is not on next year's schedule. Like this year's schedule, the 2013 season will open with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 24 and will end at the racetrack in Fontana, Calif.
Pocono Raceway‚??s 400-mile event will join the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Triple Crown, with a $1 Million bonus awarded to a driver who wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and the 2013 IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway. A driver that wins two of the three races will be awarded a $250,000 bonus.
Pocono Raceway will also offer two NASCAR sanctioned race weekends next year including the Pocono 400 June 9 and the Pennsylvania 400 Aug. 4. The weekends include ARCA series racing, too, and the August race weekend includes a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
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