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INDYCAR’s 2016 Schedule Adds, Subtracts Historic Venues

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, October 27 2015
IndyCar will return to Road America and Phoenix in 2016.

IndyCar will return to Road America and Phoenix in 2016.

INDYCAR announced the IndyCar Series 2016 schedule on Tuesday and it includes the addition of two historic venues and the subtraction of a third.

The schedule includes  a 16-race season – anchored by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

It will begin on March 13 with the street race in St. Petersburg, Fla. and will end on Sept. 18 with a street race in Boston.

This year, the series wrapped up five weeks earlier.

The Boston race will be making its debut.

But it is the addition of races at the Phoenix International Raceway and the Road America road racing venue that should please long-time IndyCar fans. PIR has a long history with open wheel racing and Road America is considered by many to be the best road course in North America and one of the best in the world.

Dropped from the schedule is the iconic Milwaukee Mile, a track opened before Indianapolis Motor Speedway – which will be celebrating its 100th  running of the Indianapolis 500 next year.

The schedule features five races on oval tracks, five on permanent road courses and six on temporary street circuits.

“Road America and Phoenix are great venues and two of the best choices that we could have to add to the schedule,” said driver Scott Dixon, the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion who has raced on both tracks in his 15-year career. “I’m looking forward to both race events. Road America is an old-school American track that I always look forward to. Phoenix was a fun track for me in the past. I tested there (earlier this year) and the changes that they’ve made has maybe opened up quite a few different grooves. The racing will be very exciting; we’ll put on a great show.”

ABC will broadcast five races in 2016, including the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that kicks off the season two weeks earlier than last year. ABC will blanket Month of May coverage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, broadcasting the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14, Indianapolis 500 qualifications May 21-22 and the eagerly anticipated 100th Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

“The 2016 season is defined by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“The historic significance of our season is marked by this legendary event and the return of several storied venues such as Road America and Phoenix.  Half the venues on our schedule have hosted 25 or more INDYCAR races and further our rich heritage as the premier form of open wheel racing in the United States.”

ABC’s Verizon IndyCar Series coverage also includes the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix doubleheader, with full races on June 4 and 5.

“We’ve been associated with the Verizon IndyCar Series since its beginning and we’re proud to be part of a sport with not only historic traditions but also a very exciting future,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, league sports programming. “We have been pointing to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 for a long time and especially look forward to that event and our 52nd consecutive year at the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'”

NBCSN returns as INDYCAR’s television partner for the eighth straight season in 2016 and will telecast 11 races, starting with the return to Phoenix International Raceway on the night of April 2. The one-mile oval hosted 61 Indy car races from 1964-2005.

The complete schedule, with television networks and times (all ET):
March 13  Streets of St. Petersburg    ABC    12:30 p.m.
April 2       Phoenix International Raceway    NBCSN    8 p.m.
April 17     Streets of Long Beach    NBCSN    4 p.m.
April 24     Barber Motorsports Park    NBCSN    3 p.m.
May 14     Grand Prix of Indianapolis    ABC    3:30 p.m.
May 29      Indianapolis 500    ABC    11 a.m.
June 4       Raceway at Belle Isle Park    ABC    3:30 p.m.
June 5       Raceway at Belle Isle Park    ABC    3:30 p.m.
June 11     Texas Motor Speedway    NBCSN    8 p.m.
June 26     Road America    NBCSN    12:30 p.m.
July 10      Iowa Speedway    NBCSN    5 p.m.
July 17      Streets of Toronto    NBCSN    3 p.m.
July 31      Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course    NBCSN    2 p.m.
Aug. 21     Pocono Raceway    NBCSN    3 p.m.
Sept. 4      Streets of Boston    NBCSN    2 p.m.
Sept. 18    Sonoma Raceway    NBCSN    7 p.m.

*Schedule subject to change. Listing indicates broadcast partner.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, October 27 2015
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