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Update: IndyCar Targets TMS For Season-Opener

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, April 7 2020

INDYCAR officials hope to get their season rolling at Texas Motor Speedway in early June. (Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Texas Motor Speedway has been penciled into the leadoff spot in INDYCAR’s latest revision of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, and that’s not necessarily a sure thing.

The Genesys 600 on TMS’ 1.5-mile oval will now serve as INDYCAR’s season-opener on Saturday night, June 6. “America’s Original Night Time IndyCar Race” will be paired with NASCAR’s Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, which will run the SpeedyCash.com 400 on Friday night, June 5. 

The TMS race has replaced the cancelled Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader weekend at the top of INDYCAR’s updated 15-race schedule _ an increase of one event over the 14 races announced on March 26.

INDYCAR officials confirmed Monday the Detroit Grand Prix weekend _ originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31, on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park _ had been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, INDYCAR announced previously scheduled events at Iowa Speedway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will become doubleheaders _ and a third event has been added to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We’re committed to bringing fans as much on-track action as possible,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President/CEO Mark Miles said in a statement. “Our updated schedule features additional racing at fan-favorite venues and adds to the total number of events on our calendar.

“The COVID-19 situation continues to be dynamic and challenging for everyone, so we have developed contingency plans which will allow us to respond to changing conditions. Our goal is to preserve as much racing competition as possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our participants and spectators.”

INDYCAR’s established events on Iowa Speedway’s 0.875-mile oval in Newton, Iowa, and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s 2.238-mile road-course in Monterey, Calif., will become doubleheaders. The Iowa 300 event weekend will add a race on Friday, July 17, along with the previously scheduled race on Saturday, July 18. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey weekend now will feature a race on Saturday, Sept. 19, in addition to the previously scheduled race on Sunday, Sept. 20.

“Like our fans, we’re disappointed we won’t be racing in Detroit this year,” Miles said. “However, we’re excited to return to Belle Isle in 2021 and know we’ll put on a great show for everyone when we do. We also appreciate the flexibility and support of our event promoters at Iowa Speedway and Laguna Seca, who have enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to host doubleheaders.”

The third event at the “Racing Capital of the World” is billed as the INDYCAR Harvest GP, scheduled for IMS’ 2.439-mile road-course on Saturday, Oct. 3. The Harvest GP will join a busy weekend of racing at IMS, with the previously announced Indianapolis 8-Hour beginning at 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday, Oct. 4. The event will feature the first combination of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli with its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS.

The Harvest GP is in addition to the GMR Grand Prix, already scheduled for Saturday, July 4, as part of an historic doubleheader featuring the NTT IndyCar Series and NASCAR. This first-of-its-kind racing event will be televised by NBC on Independence Day.

As announced last month, the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 has been rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 23. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will air live on NBC, with the official green flag time to be announced. The Indy 500 originally was scheduled for Sunday, May 24, in its traditional spot on the calendar during Memorial Day weekend.

An updated listing of green flag times and an NBC Sports broadcast schedule will be announced in the near future.

UPDATED 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 6

Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth 

Sunday, June 21

Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. 

Saturday, June 27

Richmond Raceway 

Saturday, July 4

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road-Course 1

Sunday, July 12

Streets of Toronto 

Friday, July 17

Iowa Speedway Race 1, Newton

Saturday, July 18

Iowa Speedway Race 2, Newton 

Sunday, Aug. 9

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio 

Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 15-16

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

Sunday, Aug. 23

Indianapolis 500 Mile Race 

Sunday, Aug. 30 

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Madison, Ill.

Sunday, Sept. 13

Portland (Ore.) International Raceway

Saturday, Sept. 19

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 1, Monterey, Calif. 

Sunday, Sept. 20

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 2, Monterey, Calif.

Saturday, Oct. 3

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road-Course Race 2 

TBD Season Finale

Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, April 7 2020
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