The Indianapolis 500 is now a week behind us, and most fans that don't follow the sport are now moving on to the next big thing. For the IndyCar Series, things are just getting warmed up.
This weekend was an "off weekend" for the teams, but many of them were up at the Milwaukee Mile doing some much needed testing. Most of the drivers were excited to get back in the cars, even less than a week removed from the grueling 500 mile race in Indy.
Over the course of the next three weeks, the series will visit three different oval venues that will provide some high speed action and some hair raising moments. Things will begin at Texas on Saturday night, where things will take a bit of a twist. Instead of one race, there will be two twin races under the lights. The new format will consist of two full-field races of 114 laps each. Two race winners being recognized by the sanctioning body, and half points will be awarded in both races.
Last year, pole sitter Ryan Briscoe held off Danica Patrick under the lights as the race featured 10 lead changes among seven drivers. Marco Andretti finished third and Scott Dixon came home fourth.
The weekend after that will be the race in Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon. The series didn't race at the famed mile oval last year, but they will be back for Father's Day weekend. Scott Dixon won the last race there in 2009, Briscoe won it in 2008 and Tony Kanaan has two wins at the track in 2006 and 2007.
The weekend following the race at Milwaukee will be the Iowa Corn 250 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be run under the lights on Saturday. Both Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti will surely be looking forward to returning here. The 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 250 marked Tony Kanaan's return to Victory Lane for the first time since June 2008. In both 2007 and 2009, Dario Franchitti won both the race in Iowa and the championship.
While there are plenty of fans that enjoy the tight corners and extreme road/street course driving, there are even more that love the sport for the high speeds and close racing that is featured on the ovals. Over these next few weeks, there will be some great racing for the fans to watch.