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The man behind the $10 million X Prize for private spaceflight is joining forces with a venture capitalist who's also an Indy car backer to establish a NASCAR-like racing league for rocket-powered aircraft.

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and race car capitalist Granger Whitelaw took the wraps off the Rocket Racing League during a Monday news conference, just days before a rocket plane demonstration that could serve as a model for the races.

Next weekend's flights by XCOR Aerospace's EZ-Rocket are to take place as part of the Countdown to the X Prize Cup exposition in Las Cruces, N.M. — the kickoff to an annual rocket festival designed to follow up on the momentum generated by the original prize.
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