It?s been almost 40 years since legendary singer Frank Sinatra sang those famous lyrics for the first time, ?Chicago is my kind of town.? But in 2002, it is the Indy Racing League who is singing that tune. IRL officials announced this week that one month after the September 8 Delphi Indy 300 and Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series 100 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, the 2002 Indy Racing League Championship Celebration will take place October 5 at the House of Blues in downtown Chicago.

The Indy Racing League, who crowned Sam Hornish Jr. IRL champion after his second place finish in the inaugural Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, will salute the stars of the IRL, as well as the teams and drivers of the league?s new Infiniti Pro Series at their annual championship dinner. Highlighting the evening will be the presentation of the Indy Racing League Cup and $1-million bonus to the championship-winning team and driver. Festivities will start with a reception at 6:30 p.m. (CDT), followed by a championship celebration and post-event concert. The celebration will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis, with air time and date to be announced later.

?The entire Indy Racing community is looking forward to our championship celebration in the Windy City,? said Tony George, Indy Racing League president and CEO. ?Chicago is an amazing town with a variety of entertainment options, and the House of Blues is a first-class venue. This is the perfect place for our teams and sponsors to relax and look back on the memories of the 2002 season.?

The House of Blues is a 55,000 square-foot multifaceted entertainment venue located on the Chicago River in the heart of downtown Chicago, approximately 35 miles from Chicagoland Speedway. Following the reception in the eclectic Mississippi Delta-inspired restaurant and bar area, the festivities will move into the Music Hall for the main event, featuring a social atmosphere during the awards presentation and entertainment. The Music Hall is modeled after the elaborate Estavovski Opera House in Prague. The host of the program and band will be named at a later date. The event is by invitation only.

The excitement that surrounds the Indy Racing League in the Chicago area is evident with the strong sale of the popular Track Pack ticket plan at Chicagoland Speedway. Compared to this same time last year, Track Packs are selling far above the sell-out pace of the inaugural 2001 season. With 98% of available tickets sold, the announcement of another sold-out season at Chicagoland Speedway is expected well before the timing of the announcement last season.

?With the IRL?s announcement this week and our season once again moving towards another sell-out, it demonstrates the strength of the Indy Racing League in the Chicagoland area and the excitement it generates with race fans,? said Joie Chitwood, vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway. ?Race fans coming to Joliet for another year of the country's best open-wheel racing action can expect a very exciting IRL race as they did last year with two and three-wide racing at over 220 mph.?

For more information about the Indy Racing League at Chicagoland Speedway or to purchase tickets, call 815-727-RACE (7223) or click here.

Click here for more information about the September 6-8 ARCA/IRL Weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

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