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The Colorado Springs Gazette

Danica Patrick's first appearance at Pikes Peak International Raceway may have been her last. The Indy Racing League announced its 2006 schedule Tuesday, and PPIR isn't one of the stops. Ken Ungar, IRL senior vice president for business affairs, said the change was made mainly because of the Fountain track's uncertain ownership, safety concerns and disagreement over a race date.

PPIR President Rob Johnson said the track rejected the IRL's proposed date of Aug. 20, 2006, which would have fallen on the third-to-last weekend of the season, just like this year.

"It kind of left us puzzled," Ungar said.

Ungar said the IRL couldn't give PPIR a different date - Johnson wanted a June or July race - because of a lack of flexibility in the league's condensed 2006 schedule, which features 14 events in 25 weeks. California Speedway, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles, and Phoenix International Raceway also were dropped from the schedule.

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