IndyCar: 5 ovals that could fill the schedule gaps

Iowa Speedway, IndyCar
Iowa Speedway, IndyCar /

IndyCar has a scheduling problem, and it’s all too obvious. Four weeks between race one and race two is a tough pill for fans to swallow after a long offseason.

IndyCar also ends earlier than other major racing series. The season is wrapped up by mid-September, while both NASCAR and Formula 1 extend into November. A few more races tacked onto the end of the schedule to get into at least mid-October is a must.

On top of the timing of the schedule, several drivers have said that IndyCar needs to expand its current footprint at oval courses. Of the 17 races on the schedule today, only five are at ovals, and two of those are run at the Iowa Speedway on the same weekend. The drivers aren’t wrong. Ovals and superspeedways are what make IndyCar unique.

So there are two problems that can be solved with one solution: more oval races on top of the existing schedule.

What would more oval courses look like? Obviously, there would be more races fill this gap between the season’s first two races at St. Petersburg and Texas Motor Speedway, but the series can also extend the season out and have more races.

Here are five ovals that can be revisited by IndyCar.

Phoenix Raceway

Phoenix Raceway is an easy choice. It’s a fan-favorite, and IndyCar ran here for 13 years between 1996 and 2018. CART and USAC also had several stints at the Phoenix Raceway from the 1960s to through the 1980s. The unique layout and banking make for fast, exciting IndyCar racing.

Nashville Superspeedway

IndyCar had a solid run here from 2001 through 2008, and with this being the last year of the existing Music City Grand Prix contract, things will likely shake up. The on-track product on the streets of Nashville just doesn’t match how fun of an event it is. But leaving Nashville altogether doesn’t make sense; the crowds are too good.

Homestead-Miami Speedway

This helps fill our early-season gap. Start the season in St. Petersburg, then make the quick jump down to Miami for race number two at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It makes for an easy drive up to Sebring  International Raceway for some testing between the two races as well.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

This taps into the northeastern market IndyCar currently doesn’t get to. New Hampshire Motor Speedway is just over one mile long, and cars fly around the track. With the exception of the Milwaukee Mile, IndyCar has either avoided or had brief stays at mile-long ovals. An exciting race in New Hampshire could help IndyCar’s much needed growth in the region.

Chicagoland Speedway

From mid-May through July, IndyCar is almost exclusively in the midwest, so logistically this makes sense. The banking at Chicagoland Speedway is heavy, but the series had a successful run here for 10 years. There’s no reason this can’t work again.

Next. All-time Indy wins list. dark

Which other ovals should join Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on future schedules?