The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is shaking up its 2024 season. Just about the only true legacy dates remaining are those in May, where the series has its jaunt on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course before preparing for Memorial Day’s 108th Indianapolis 500.
After well more than 20 years on the schedule, a race on the high banks at Texas Motor Speedway is a thing of the past, while a racetrack integral to INDYCAR’s midwestern roots, the Milwaukee Mile, returns to the series’ 17-race lineup. “There is such a great tradition and history of INDYCAR racing at the Milwaukee Mile, and we are excited to build on that legacy with a Labor Day weekend doubleheader, beginning in 2024,” declared Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Corporation, the owner of INDYCAR. “We can’t wait to return to the Mile next season.”
For a sixth consecutive year, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES continues to have all of its races broadcast on NBC Sports and its affiliates in the United States, with Peacock again streaming all events’ practice, qualifying and racing. NBC provides network coverage 12 times throughout the 2024 season; it is the first time in 20 years the schedule has featured three consecutive years of double-digit contests on network television, while Peacock is the exclusive home for both Toronto and the first of two races at Milwaukee.
INDYCAR begins its 17-race campaign on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. for the 14th straight occasion, with Sunday, March 10th the date for this season-starter. The year’s finale takes place September 15th on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, a date announced during this August’s second race in the Music City. The course will change to incorporate more of downtown and the series’ championship celebration takes place in Nashville the night after the 2024 season last race. In between those two street circuits, there’s a whole lotta shaking going on!
After racing on the Florida shoreline, the series encamps at The Thermal Club outside Palm Springs, Calif. for a $1 Million Challenge, March 24th. Revealed earlier in September, this event is a unique, made-for-TV exhibition that will show on NBC. This contest, which will have a charitable component, features testing and qualifying on the two days prior to the Sunday main event. Two heat races on the 17-turn, 3.067-mile circuit will allow the top six from each heat to transition to an All-Star showcase, embedding members of The Thermal Club with each race team and driver. Top five finishing teams will split their earnings with Thermal Club members, including that $1 million prize awarded to the overall winner.
There’s a big, nearly month-long gap of time from this exhibition to the next points-paying event, which will mark INDYCAR’s 40th visit to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the street circuit that will hold its 49th overall race on Sunday, April 21. A week later, it’s off to picturesque Barber Motorsports Park for a 14th time, the final event before the series encamps at Indy. The Indy road course race takes place Saturday, May 11 while the 108th Greatest Spectacle in Racing is set for Sunday, May 26. Ticket sales, the series said, are running ahead of the 2023 race, when more than 300,000 enthusiastic fans gathered at IMS for the second-largest Indy 500 crowd in more than two decades.
From Indy the series goes on a five-week tear of near-consecutive events, similar to last year and difficult for the crews that service these machines and the drivers who take team equipment near and far. One week after the 500, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES once again arrives in downtown Detroit for racing, June 2, on the 1.7-mile street circuit for a second straight year. A week later the 4-mile Road America permanent road course in Elkhart Lake, Wise. hosts the Indy cars on June 9th.
There’s a one-week break to allow transition to a second, beloved road course, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which has hosted the season finale for half a decade. That road course, featuring the iconic Corkscrew turns in North/Central California, hosts its first Indy car race during the month of June in 21 years!
The month of July features heat – both on and off the tracks – with four races in three weeks. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course continues to conduct a Fourth of July celebration, hosting the series on Sunday, July 7th, which could allow teams to celebrate the actual holiday at home with their families. Mid-Ohio, too, is hosting INDYCAR for a 40th year in 2024. Next it’s off to Iowa Speedway, where fans will be pleased to see the return of a doubleheader that features a Saturday night race on July 13 with a Sunday afternoon contest the following day.
Before broadcast partner NBC takes on the Summer Olympics, INDYCAR returns to the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sunday, July 21, the first 2024 exclusive Peacock broadcast. Following the street-circuit brawl in Toronto, there will be a bit of a break to August 17, when World Wide Technology Raceway’s 1.25-mile oval showcases the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in a Saturday night contest. A week later, INDYCAR hikes to Portland, Oregon for the 30th time as Portland International Raceway hosts the open-wheelers on August 25.
On Labor Day weekend, INDYCAR features a pair of races at the Milwaukee Mile, a long-desired return to the historic venue, airing on Peacock Saturday, August 31st and USA Network on September 1. From there the spotlight shifts to the new, seven-turn 2.17-mile Streets of Nashville for the season finale on both NBC and Peacock scheduled for September 15th.
“2023 was a record-breaking season for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES,” said Jay Frye, series president. “For the first time, 27 starters competed at each event, and on-track passing records were broken at six racetracks.” He emphasized the diversity of circuits and competitiveness in the series. “We cannot wait to see how the 2024 season plays out, beginning on the Streets of St. Pete.”
The INDYCAR Radio Network again provides audio coverage of all NTT INDYCAR SERIES sessions via SiriusXM Channel 160 ad the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA. Start times for all 2024 events are set to be announced at a later date.