IndyCar: The 6 tracks that are back on the 2021 schedule

Six tracks that were axed from the 2020 IndyCar schedule due to coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions are scheduled to host races throughout the 2021 season.

A second consecutive extended offseason is scheduled to come to an end this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, as the 2021 IndyCar season is set to get underway on Sunday, April 18 with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst.

The 17-race season was scheduled to get underway in early March on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, but after three separate schedule changes, the start of the 2021 campaign was pushed back by six weeks.

At long last, nearly six months after the 2020 season concluded in St. Petersburg, action is scheduled to resume starting with Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions at the 17-turn, 2.38-mile (3.83-kilometer) natural terrain road course in Birmingham, Alabama.

Barber Motorsports Park is one of six tracks on this year’s schedule that was wiped off the calendar last year as a result of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions. Take a look at all six.

Barber Motorsports Park

Barber Motorsports Park had hosted IndyCar races annually since 2010 prior to last year’s cancellation. For the first time ever, the track is scheduled to host the season opener this weekend (Sunday, April 18).

Belle Isle Street Circuit

Belle Isle Street Circuit had been on the calendar since 2012 until last season. In fact, from 2013 to 2019, it hosted a doubleheader the weekend after the Indy 500. This year, it has returned to the schedule, again with two races, but two weeks after the Indy 500 in mid-June (Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13).

Exhibition Place

There are still doubts that Exhibition Place will actually get to host a race this year due to continued restrictions. Before last year, it had hosted a race in 33 of the last 34 years, doing so every year except 2008. In 2013 and 2014, it hosted a doubleheader. This year’s race is scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 11.

Portland International Raceway

Portland International Raceway returned to the schedule in 2018 after an 11-year hiatus and hosted a race again in 2019, but it did not get to do so in 2020. This year’s race is scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 12.

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

After returning to the schedule for the first time since 2004 in 2019 and hosting the season finale, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca was scheduled to host the season finale again in 2020 before it was wiped off the calendar. It was scheduled to do so again in 2021 on Sunday, September 19. It is still scheduled to host a race on that date, but that race is now the penultimate race on the calendar following a schedule change.

Streets of Long Beach

A string of 44 consecutive years of the historic Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach, California came to an end last year. The sport’s most historic street race is scheduled to return in 2021, and as the new season finale after it was booted from its April date due to continued restrictions.

Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending.

Circuit of the Americas and Richmond Raceway were both wiped off the 2020 calendar, and neither one is back this year, and Iowa Speedway, which hosted two races last season instead of one to make up for other cancellations, is the lone track which hosted a race last year that did not make it back onto this year’s calendar.

On a positive note, there are two races scheduled at Texas Motor Speedway and two races scheduled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and the series is set to make its first ever trip to Nashville, Tennessee for a street race in August.

Tune in to NBC at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, April 18 for the live broadcast of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst from Barber Motorsports Park.