The much-anticipated return of NTT IndyCar Series racing to Richmond Raceway will not take place this year after it was confirmed today that the event, originally scheduled for Saturday, June 27, has been cancelled. The cancellation comes as a result of the state of Virginia’s reopening strategy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the state set to not allow public gatherings until July or August. IndyCar also confirmed today that the previously postponed Honda Indy Toronto will not take place this year; taking the number of races down to fourteen.
The news is yet another blow for Richmond Raceway, as the track recently lost its NASCAR Cup Series event due to the pandemic. It also means that this year’s IndyCar season will now feature just four ovals instead of the previously planned five.
The cancellation of the Indy Richmond 300 and the Honda Indy Toronto means that six events have now been cancelled. Previously slated races at the Circuit of the Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Detroit have also been cancelled along with Richmond and Toronto.
Toronto’s postponement has led to its slot on the calendar being given to Road America; with the Wisconsin road course’s event being brought forward a week to take place on July 11 and 12. Following the season-opener at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 6 – where no fans will be in attendance – rounds two to six will take place within fourteen days.
The first of two planned races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit will take place on Saturday, July 4, with the race weekend also playing host to the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Cup Series. A week later, IndyCar will head to Road America for its doubleheader weekend on July 11 and 12, followed by another doubleheader event at Iowa Speedway on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18.
Whilst July will now feature five races, June will only feature one due to the new calendar alterations. Just under a month will separate the first planned race of the season at Texas and the second race at Indianapolis.
In today’s schedule change announcement, Mark Miles – President and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. – said that he is looking forward to IndyCar putting on “a great show.” He did not, however, comment on the loss of Richmond and Toronto from the calendar.
“Our teams and athletes are ready to get back on track and will deliver world-class action at Texas Motor Speedway and the Racing Capital of the World,” Miles said. “We appreciate the opportunity to begin our season during these unprecedented times, and I’m confident we’ll put on a great show.”
Fourteen races are now currently scheduled for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series. However, as we have seen with Richmond and Toronto today, race dates could still be chopped and changed as various parts of the United States and Canada continue to reopen at staggered intervals.
The biggest race of the season, the 2020 Indianapolis 500, is still set to take place on Sunday, August 23. The season is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, October 25 with the rescheduled Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
2020 NTT IndyCar Series Schedule (as of May 21):
|1||Saturday, June 6||Genesys 300||Texas Motor Speedway|
|2||Saturday, July 4||GMR Grand Prix||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course|
|3||Saturday, July 11||REV Group Grand Prix at Road America Race 1||Road America|
|4||Sunday, July 12||REV Group Grand Prix at Road America Race 2||Road America|
|5||Friday, July 17||Iowa 300 Race 1||Iowa Speedway|
|6||Saturday, July 18||Iowa 300 Race 2||Iowa Speedway|
|7||Sunday, August 9||Honda Indy 200||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course|
|8||Sunday, August 23||104th running of the Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|9||Sunday, August 30||Bommarito Automotive Group 500||World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway|
|10||Sunday, September 13||Grand Prix of Portland||Portland International Raceway|
|11||Saturday, September 19||Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey Race 1||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca|
|12||Sunday, September 20||Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey Race 2||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca|
|13||Saturday, October 3||INDYCAR Harvest GP||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course|
|14||Sunday, October 25||Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg||Streets of St. Petersburg|