Many sports leagues were forced to pause their seasons when the coronavirus pandemic shut down live events globally in mid-March, yet the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series never had a chance to begin. But the 2020 IndyCar schedule, which was supposed to begin March 15, is back on track for (almost) a full season of racing.
The updated IndyCar schedule for 2020 features 14 races, and it will end where it was originally set to begin, on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
“Our teams and athletes are ready to get back on track and will deliver world-class action at Texas Motor Speedway and the Racing Capital of the World,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president & CEO Mark Miles said upon the release of IndyCar’s modified schedule for 2020, referencing what had become the new season-opener set for June 6. “We appreciate the opportunity to begin our season during these unprecedented times, and I’m confident we’ll put on a great show.”
When IndyCar announced its updated 2020 schedule a few weeks ago, it noted to more cancellations for a total of six canceled races this season. However, IndyCar has added doubleheaders at Iowa, Laguna Seca and Indianapolis to is 2020 schedule to make up for some of the lost races.
Below is the complete updated IndyCar schedule for 2020, plus a list of the races that have been canceled and those that have been rescheduled.
Updated IndyCar schedule for 2020: Dates, start times, TV channels
The updated IndyCar schedule for 2020 was released May 21 with the previously announced season-opener set for June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Below is the complete schedule (TV info via NBC sports):
IndyCar schedule 2020: Canceled races
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
The race at Barber Motorsports Park was wiped off the slate when IndyCar canceled all races originally scheduled for the month of April. From the track: “This decision was reached after carefully consulting with the NTT IndyCar Series, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham City officials and State of Alabama public health professionals.”
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
This race was canceled on March 18 after the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach had attempted to work out a new date on the IndyCar schedule.
“Over the past few days, we have actively pursued the possibility of rescheduling the Acura Grand Prix to a later date this year with the City of Long Beach, the Convention Center, the NTT IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and our other race sanctioning bodies,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association. “We are very disappointed that we were unable to put something together for all our loyal fans and valued clients, but trying to reassemble all the elements that have made the Long Beach event such a success does not appear feasible for 2020. As a result, our attention will now be focused on planning the 46th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16-18, 2021.”
AutoNation IndyCar Challenge at Circuit of the Americas
This was the third and final race originally scheduled for the month of April that was canceled by IndyCar in mid-March.
Detroit Grand Prix
The race at Belle Isle Park was canceled April 6 after continuous logistical and scheduling challenges.
“The Grand Prix is a very important event for Belle Isle Park, the City of Detroit, the City of Windsor and all of southeast Michigan. It is certainly disappointing that it won’t take place this year, but the health and safety of everyone at the Grand Prix is always our top priority,” said Bud Denker, chairman of the Detroit Grand Prix. “We looked at every possible scenario to reschedule the race, but all of them would have been too disruptive to the hundreds of fall events that will take place on Belle Isle. Some events, like weddings, family reunions and festivals, have been scheduled a year in advance and it would not be right to alter anyone’s plans. We look forward to the Grand Prix returning in 2021 as we continue our mission of revitalizing Belle Isle Park and providing significant support to the Belle Isle Conservancy, while helping to inject millions of dollars in economic benefit to our cities and our region.”
Indy Richmond 300
This would have been Richmond Raceway’s first IndyCar event since 2009. From the track: “IndyCar and Richmond have worked closely with public health officials, medical experts and state and federal officials throughout the development of a revised NTT IndyCar Series schedule to ensure the safety of competitors, staff and the local community. The IndyCar race weekend originally scheduled for June 26-27 has been canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Honda Indy Toronto
The race at Exhibition Place was canceled May 21. From the event’s site: “We are extremely disappointed, and will miss the incredible fans who have supported us, but the safety of fans, participants, volunteers, staff, partners and media will always remain our top priority. Toronto remains open to exploring all possibilities moving forward as the global situation continues to evolve.”
IndyCar schedule 2020: Rescheduled races
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
This season’s season finale will now be the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, Oct. 25, a new date announced after the March 15 race in St. Pete was postponed due to COVID-19.
“The streets of St. Petersburg will make for a fitting and action-packed finale in a venue and city that our entire IndyCar community holds dear,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said. “We extend our thanks and gratitude to Mayor Kriseman, Green Savoree and Firestone for working with us to find a new date for the event. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend of IndyCar action, and I know our drivers will have race day in St. Pete circled on their calendars.”
GMR Grand Prix (Indy road course)
The GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, July 4 at the IMS road course is now part of a historic doubleheader with a NASCAR Xfinity race later in the day. The NASCAR Cup Series also will race on the IMS oval the following day.
IndyCar also added a second Indianapolis road course race this season, as the IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix is scheduled for Oct. 3.
The “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was rescheduled back in March from its traditional, Memorial Day weekend place on the calendar.
“Memorial Day weekend has always provided Indianapolis 500 fans an opportunity to honor the men and women who have fought and sacrificed for our nation’s freedom,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said. “This August, we’ll also have a unique and powerful opportunity to honor the contributions and heroism of the doctors, nurses, first responders and National Guard members serving on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. We’re grateful for the patience of our fans as we’ve navigated this situation, and we extend our thanks to NBC for its terrific partnership and diligent work to maximize broadcast coverage with this new schedule.”
REV Group Grand Prix (Road America)
The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America was rescheduled from June 21 to July 11-12 so it could become a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader.
Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
This race was moved up a week because of the schedule changes for the Indy 500 events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway later in the month.
Bommarito Automotive Group 500 (Gateway)
Like the race at Mid-Ohio, the event at World Wide Technology Raceway also was moved to accommodate the new Indy 500 schedule.
Grand Prix of Portland
According to the race’s official site, “this shift is in support of the NTT IndyCar Series’ efforts to run as many of its points championship races as possible in 2020. … This rescheduled date is subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings. The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain the priority of the Grand Prix of Portland and PIR.”
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