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IndyCar Series replaces proposed Boston race with return to Watkins Glen

The Verizon IndyCar Series will return to the Watkins Glen International road course for the first time since 2010, it was made official Friday.

The Sept. 2-4 event is a late addition to the IndyCar schedule, replacing a proposed street race through Boston's Seaport District that never got off the ground.

INDYCAR president of competition Jay Frye was instrumental in securing the date at Watkins Glen at short notice. Frye, a former NASCAR team co-owner, has worked hard over the past six months to improve the series' relationship with track operator International Speedway Corp., the parent company of WGI.

"A tremendous amount of thanks goes to track President Michael Printup and his entire staff for their efforts in helping make this a reality in such a short time frame," Frye said. "Obviously, Watkins Glen has great racing history and it's a track that will showcase the on-track competition and overall excitement level of our series."

Frye negotiated the IndyCar Series' return to ISC-owned Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year after an 11-year absence. The series also returns to Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, this season.

Although Indy cars have raced at Watkins Glen only a handful of times, the scenic road course in the Finger Lakes region of New York has significant open-wheel pedigree. Watkins Glen hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix from 1961 to 1980, in addition to Indy car races from 1979 to 1981 and 2005 to 2010.

"It's fun to race there, it's a beautiful area," Graham Rahal said. "IndyCar fans are very loyal and they love tracks like this, so it will be fun. Hopefully we'll get a better crowd than we had the last time we were there. I'm looking forward to it."

The track's flagship event since 1984 is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled this year for August 4-7.

It's not the first time IndyCar has had an abrupt schedule change.

A race in China was canceled in June 2012, just two months before it was scheduled to be run. And last year's season opener in Brazil was canceled in late January, six weeks before the original March 8 run date.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.