The NTT IndyCar Series announced its 2020 schedule during its race weekend at Portland International Raceway; once again, it will visit 15 venues for a total of 17 contests stretching from mid-March through to the third week of September.
As with this year, the season begins on the streets of Florida city St. Petersburg and ends at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Many of the races have traditional dates and there’s a swap-out of oval contests – Pocono is out and Richmond returns.
“It is with great disappointment for Pocono Raceway to confirm we will not be on the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule,” said Nick Igdalsky, track CEO. “Our partnership with the premier open wheel series in the United States has concluded for now.”
Richmond Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier noted, “Richmond’s history in motorsports dates back to 1946, when the track hosted two AAA Championship Car events. After an 11-year absence, we look forward to the return of the NTT IndyCar Series as part of a weekend festival built around speed.”
From Florida, there’s a gap before the series heads to Barber Motorsports Park for its second race and another gap prior to the 46th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Two weeks after that West Coast date, the series takes its second turn at Circuit of the America and then heads to its ancestral home for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and tradition-laden 104th Indianapolis 500 in May.
Detroit’s back-to-back races end the month of May, while the traditional run on Texas Motor Speedway’s banked oval occurs a week later. There’s a slight gap before Road America hosts the Indy cars, while INDYCAR’s return to Richmond Raceway takes place under the lights on a Saturday night, a week after the visit to Elkhart Lake.
The month of July has two races scheduled, on the streets of Toronto and at Iowa Speedway for another Saturday night rumble. August, too, has a brace of contests with Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a week before World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. September marks the close of the season with two West Coast contests, at Portland International Raceway and the season finale on the undulating Laguna Seca racetrack.
Eight of the scheduled races will be on the NBC network with the balance playing on NBCSN. The subscription NBC Sports Gold also returns for integrated and complete coverage of INDYCAR and its supporting Road to Indy series. NBC/NBCSN broadcast times will be announced at a later date.
INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles noted the return to Richmond – for the first time since 2009 – by stating, “We are pleased to return to the Mid-Atlantic region and are also excited to return to historic Richmond Raceway.” The track and its surrounding area have undergone a $30 million redevelopment project that enhanced the series’ return, he said.
The upcoming season marks fewer back-to-back contests that test crews, although there remains a rough haul from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis through to the traditional trip to Texas Motor Speedway, an exhausting tour for all participants as this span includes qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, the two Belle Isle (Detroit) races and the oval contest in Dallas/Ft Worth, forcing the crews to change cars from road course configuration to oval to road course to oval again during the span.
Four of the oval INDYCAR races take place on Saturday nights: Texas, Richmond, Iowa and World Wide Technology at Gateway. 2020 marks the series’ 37th contest in Long Beach while Toronto hosts the Indy cars for a 36th year.
March 15: Streets of St. Petersburg (NBCSN)
April 5: Barber Motorsports Park (NBCSN)
April 19: Streets of Long Beach (NBCSN)
April 26: Circuit of the Americas (NBCSN)
May 9: Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (NBC)
May 24: 104th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (NBC)
May 30: Streets of Detroit – Race 1 (NBC)
May 31: Streets of Detroit – Race 2 (NBC)
June 6: Texas Motor Speedway (NBCSN)
June 21: Road America (NBC)
June 27: Richmond Raceway (NBCSN)
July 123: Streets off Toronto (NBCSN)
July 18: Iowa Speedway (NBCSN)
August 16: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (NBC)
August 22: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (NBCSN)
September 6: Portland International Raceway (NBC)
September 20: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (NBC)