The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series has been given an official start date of Saturday, June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. Following months of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 series will finally get underway with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, with a practice session and qualifying set to take place on the same day as the race.
Due to the continuing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NTT IndyCar Series has decided to run the race at Texas Motor Speedway without fans in attendance. Furthermore, a number of other guidelines and restrictions have been put in place to ensure the event can be run with as little risk as possible of any person in attendance contracting or spreading COVID-19.
The number of personnel that will attend the race has been limited by the series organisers. Additionally, all in attendance will undergo medical checks and be given personal protective equipment whilst also maintaining social distancing protocols. As mentioned above, the usual multiple-day race weekend format has been condensed into a single day, with practice, qualifying and a shortened 200-lap race all taking place on Saturday, June 6.
“We’re excited and ready to kick off the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season at Texas Motor Speedway,” Jay Frye, INDYCAR President, said. “We’ve worked closely with Eddie Gossage, the entire TMS team and public health officials on a plan of action that will ensure the safety of our event participants alongside an exciting return to competition for our drivers, teams and viewers tuning in from around the world.”
The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series had been due to start with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March. However, the race was scheduled to take place right around the time that the sheer scale of the COVID-19 pandemic was being realised. Teams, drivers, media and fans were already at St. Petersburg when the event was called off. Shortly thereafter, all races due to take place between the months of March and May were either postponed or cancelled; including the Indianapolis 500 which is now set to take place on Sunday, August 23.
Now, after many weeks and months of waiting. Motorsport looks to gradually be moving back from the simulators to the real racing tracks. IndyCar’s confirmation of its start date comes shortly after the NASCAR Cup Series confirmed its return at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, May 17. Formula 1 has also confirmed its intentions to return, but not until the later date of Sunday, July 5 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
“America needs live sports and they are not going to believe what they see when the Genesys 300 storms into their living rooms on TV from Texas,” said Eddie Gossage, president and general manager of Texas Motor Speedway. “One of the world’s greatest sporting events, the Indy 500, has been postponed until August by coronavirus, so all of that pent-up energy, anticipation, frustrations and anxiety will be pounding through the drivers’ nervous systems. Typically, the Genesys 300 results in a 220-mph photo finish.”
IndyCar also reaffirmed its intentions to run a revised calendar published last month. This means that the NTT IndyCar Series will follow its Texas return with trips to Road America and Richmond Raceway in June before heading to venues such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway‘s Grand Prix circuit, the streets of Toronto and the short oval at Iowa Speedway in July. As of now, fourteen races are scheduled for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, with an additional race date at St. Petersburg yet to be confirmed.
The 2020 Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway will take place under floodlights on Saturday, June 6. Reigning champion, Josef Newgarden, will be the defending race winner at the speedway.