Peter DempseyPeter Dempsey is set to take on the challenge of a new course at this weekend’s final event of the season on the two-mile oval of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dempsey missed the opportunity to test on the oval when the majority of the Firestone Indy Lights teams did after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April, so this will be his first experience on the superspeedway. This will also be only the second oval track he has ventured onto in 2012 (with the other being, of course, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and the only all left-turns course he will face this year as a pilot of the No. 9 TruFuel / Belardi Auto Racing / Motorsport Ireland car.

“I am really looking forward to racing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana,” said Dempsey. “It is unbelievable how fast this season has gone by, especially for me as I was a late starter. I missed the test in Fontana back in April, but fortunately, the No. 9 TruFuel / Belardi Auto Racing team didn’t, so we will have a good base car.

“My oval experience is pretty limited, but I am ready for the challenge of this weekend. I have done some research and watched some past Firestone Indy Lights races from Fontana, so I have a good idea of what I need to do for the race. I am looking forward to working with my teammates Jorge (Goncalvez) and Mike (Larrison) this weekend, too. I think it is very important to have a good relationship with your teammates, especially on ovals because you need to partner up sometimes.

“I am going to be racing for my team and sponsors this weekend, TruFuel, Belardi Auto Racing, Liberty Engineering, Motorsport Ireland and MoeryLAI, as without them, this year would never have come together for me.”

Pending a solid result in Fontana, Dempsey has the chance to finish 11th in the driver’s championship out of 28 competitors that have participated in the series throughout the year, despite only engaging in a partial season.

The Irishman’s best finish of the 2012 season thus far was fourth at the Honda Indy Toronto with his standout moment being his charge from fifth to first on the opening lap of the Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres.

The weekend action begins with a 45-minute practice session on Friday, September 14 at 9:45 a.m. PST followed by qualifying at 1:00 p.m. PST and a final practice session at 4:45 p.m. PST. The race will take place at 3:00 p.m. PST on Saturday, September 15. Live Timing and Scoring will be available on racecontrol.indycar.com and the race will be broadcast on NBC Sports on Thursday, September 20 at 4:00 p.m. EST. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.