The Racetrack Of Champions: 2008 IMS Winners Sweep Season Titles

Monday, November 17, 2008

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When Jimmie Johnson crossed the finish line Sunday, Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, history was made 1,045 miles away, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

IMS further cemented its reputation as a racetrack of champions when Johnson clinched his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title, as all three winners of major events in 2008 at the Speedway - Scott Dixon, Johnson and Valentino Rossi - also captured their respective series crowns this year.

It's the first time this feat has occurred since IMS began to play host to three annual races in 2000.

Dixon won the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on May 25 in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone for his first victory in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." He went on to clinch his second IndyCar Series title, as his first came in 2003.

"Obviously winning the Indianapolis 500 and a second IndyCar Series championship means a great deal to me and the whole Target team," Dixon said. "It has truly been an amazing year for the whole organization.

"I want to also congratulate Jimmie Johnson and Valentino Rossi on their championships. Although I wasn't at the NASCAR race this season to watch Jimmie win, I did have the pleasure of attending Rossi's incredible win at the first-ever Indianapolis GP. It's truly a great class to be a part of, and I'm sure Jimmie and Valentino are looking forward to duplicating those achievements as much as I am in 2009."

{{display_poll::169}}Johnson held off championship rival Carl Edwards to win the 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 27 in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet. It was his second victory in the marquee NASCAR race. Johnson earned his third consecutive NASCAR season title this season, tying a record held by the legendary Cale Yarborough. Johnson's first Brickyard victory came in 2006, his first title season.

Rossi pulled away from American favorite Nicky Hayden to win the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sept. 14 on the No. 46 Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha/Bridgestone in torrential rain and high winds. The victory helped propel Rossi to his sixth career MotoGP World Championship.

The 2009 IMS Centennial Era season starts on track with the 93rd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24, continues with the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26 and concludes with the second annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday, Aug. 30.

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2009 IMS tickets: Tickets for the three events in 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - the 93rd Indianapolis 500, 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and second Red Bull Indianapolis GP - can be ordered online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time.