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IndyCar officials unveil 2013 schedule featuring 19 races

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana -- IndyCar will stage a 19-race season in 2013 that includes new events at Pocono Raceway and Houston and races on back-to-back days at three venues, officials announced Sunday night.

The expanded lineup from the 2012 campaign sees Edmonton dropped but a new race at Pennsylvania's .875-of-a-mile Pocono oval on July 7 and two races on a new 1.7-mile street course at Houston on Oct. 5-6.

Detroit and Toronto will also host two races each, the Belle Isle 2.07-mile street course hosting events outside Detroit on June 1-2 and Toronto's street course of 1.75 miles being the site for races July 13-14.

Standing starts, another IndyCar first, will be used at Detroit, Houston and Toronto.

The signature event of the schedule, the 97th Indianapolis 500, will be staged on May 26 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

“Our 2013 schedule will certainly challenge the fastest, most versatile drivers in the world with a strong mix of ovals and road and street courses,” IndyCar chief executive Randy Bernard said.

The season opens March 24 at St. Petersburg, Florida, and stays on street courses for events April 7 at Birmingham, Alabama, April 21 at Long Beach, California, and May 5 at Sao Paulo, Brazil.

After the Indy 500 come the Detroit races and oval races at Fort Worth, Texas, on June 8, Milwaukee on June 15, Iowa Speedway on June 23 and Pocono.

The two Toronto races are followed by Mid-Ohio on Aug. 4, California's Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 25, Baltimore, Maryland on Sept. 1 and the two Houston races.

As with this season, the season-ending event will be staged at the oval in Fontana, California, this time a month later on Oct. 19.

American Ryan Hunter-Reay edged Australian Will Power for the season points title at Fontana.

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