Inaugural Indy Racing League 1996 Schedule
March
Date
Location
Track Size
Winner
May
Date
Location
Track Size
Winner
30
Indianapolis IN
2.5 Mile Oval
Buddy Lazier
January
Date
Location
Track Size
Winner
27
Walt Disney World
1 Mile Tri Oval
Buzz Calkins
24
Phoenix
1 Mile Oval
Arie Luyendyk
1996 IRL SCHEDULE & WINNERS
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1996 IRL CHAMPION
Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp were co-champions with 246 points each.
Team
Team
Hemelgarn Racing
Team
Bradley Motorsports
Byrd-Treadway Racing
The 80th Indianapolis 500 was the first Indy 500 of the Indy Racing League era.

Scott Brayton, 37, won the Indy 500 pole, but was fatally injured in a practice crash.

Buddy Lazier came back from a broken back to win the 1996 Indy 500.
Buzz Calkins
Scott Sharp
Scott Brayton
Buddy Lazier
1996 was the first year of the the Indy Racing League (IRL)
An idea was going to be tried that would result in the Indy 500 being the
last race of the Indycar season.   This resulted in a short first season.

The 1997 Season would begin after the 1996 500 and continue around
the calendar to the 1997 Indy 500, thus ending that season.  However,
this idea was given up and the 1997 season included all races in 1997
plus the two 1996 races that occurred after the 500.

The oval track at Disney World was new.