The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series schedule was released today, with seventeen races across fourteen tracks from March to September to determine the series champion.
The series will return to it’s tradition of starting the season on the St. Petersburg Street Circuit. After becoming the final race of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kicking off the season for the tenth time on 7 March.
After both races being off the schedule due to COVID-19, both Barber Motorsports Park and the Long Beach Street Circuit return on 11 April and 18 April respectively.
Texas Motor Speedway will be retaining the doubleheaders of the 2020 season, with a two race event on 1-2 May. Following that, the teams will head to the home of IndyCar for a race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on 15 May, before the 105th running of legendary Indianapolis 500.
Next up will be the Belle Isle Street Circuit in Detroit, who did doubleheaders before it was cool, on 12-13 June. After that, Road America rounds out the month of June on the 20th.
On 04 July, the teams head to what is considered one of the most physically demanding tracks on the calendar, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Drivers will then head north to the Toronto Street Circuit on 11 July.
The Nashville Street Circuit, which was announced in September, will make its debut on 08 August. The 3.49 km street circuit runs right through the heart of the Music City and over the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, which should make for an exciting event.
The teams will make another run at the IMS road course on 14 August, to create a multi-series mega event with the NASCAR Cup Series, who will also be running the road course on 15 August. After its success this year, Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp., is looking forward to the spectacle of the event moving forward.
“After the proof of concept this year, we look forward to having an INDYCAR Grand Prix during the Brickyard weekend – and inviting fans be a part of it,” Miles said.
“We know the strong Midwest affinity for INDYCAR racing and the love for INDYCAR drivers will help that weekend reach new levels.”
The month of August will be seen out by World Wide Technology Raceway on 21 August.
WWTR marks the fourth and final oval on the schedule, much to the dismay of fans who enjoyed the unique balance of ovals and street circuits/road courses. Richmond International Raceway, which was supposed to make their return to the schedule this year to replace Pocono Raceway, has been scratched without even getting a race due to COVID-19. Iowa Speedway, who hosted a doubleheader this season, have also been cut from the calendar.
Circuit of the Americas was also axed from the 2021 calendar. The home of Formula 1‘s United States Grand Prix was scheduled to have a race in 2020, but was cancelled due to COVID-19. The sole race in 2019 gave Colton Herta his first career IndyCar Series victory.
The season finishes in the month of September with a quick tour of the United States’ pacific coast, visiting the Portland International Raceway on 12 September before the NTT IndyCar Series crowns its champion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on 19 September.