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IndyCar race in Japan moves to road course after earthquake damage

Just two weeks after the IndyCar series races through the streets of Baltimore on Labor Day, it will race on a road course near the Twin Ring Motegi motorsports facility after the track suffered damage from the March earthquakes.

IndyCar made the announcement this morning.

The race will be run on 2.98-mile, natural-terrain road course during its final visit to Twin Ring Motegi on Sept. 18. The facility was the site of Danica Patrick's only IndyCar win, the Japan 300 in 2008.

The race was scheduled for the 1.5-mile, egg-shaped oval, but raised ridges on the track surface prevent the IZOD IndyCar Series cars from competing on the oval.

 "In conjunction with Mobilityland [which owns Twin Ring Moregi], we have made the decision to move forward with our race in Motegi after closely monitoring the on-going situation in Japan for several months," Randy Bernard, CEO of IndyCar, said in a statement this morning.  "After weighing a variety of options, we felt it was best to move the race to the road course. We understand that Japan is steadily moving forward with reconstruction and we look forward to entertaining our strong fan base at Motegi with our inaugural run on the road course."

Earlier this year the IZOD IndyCar Series announced that the Sept. 18 race will be its final race at the facility.

The Baltimore Grand Prix in on Sept. 4 and will be run on a 2-mile street course around the Inner Harbor. The series then moves to Japan Sept. 18, Kentucky on Oct. 2 and it will finish in Las Vegas on Oct. 16.

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