The IZOD IndyCar Series has experienced many firsts in 2013, including three first-time winners among the six who have visited Victory Lane in seven races.
One of the most competitive seasons in series history will add another first at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8 as ABC will broadcast its first IZOD IndyCar Series race in prime time. The Firestone 550 – the 25th IndyCar race on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval – will air at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Underscoring the competitiveness of the series at Texas Motor Speedway, there hasn't been a repeat winner in the past seven years. Through the years, 18 different drivers have won the 24 races. ABC also will broadcast the races at Iowa Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on June 23) and Pocono Raceway (noon ET on July 7).
“Outside of Indianapolis, there’s no better place to showcase the competition of the IZOD IndyCar Series than under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway,” INDYCAR CEO Jeff Belskus said. “With the momentum coming off the month of May and the great debut of doubleheader format at Detroit, an ABC prime-time broadcast at Texas is another illustration of the growth of the sport.”
During the pre-race show, ABC, INDYCAR and Texas Motor Speedway will honor three individuals for their recent heroism in the face of tragedy.
Elementary school teachers Jennifer Simonds and Anna Canaday from Moore, Okla., who saved several children during the devastating tornado in May, will be co-grand marshals of the race and give the command to start engines.
CJ Gillaspie, captain of the volunteer fire department from West, Texas, who was among the first responders to the April fertilizer plant explosion that killed five volunteer firefighters, will be the honorary starter.