INDIANAPOLIS — Its been a great few summer for the NTT IndyCar Series. Last month, the series announced that they have reached a new deal to return to the Iowa Speedway on a multi-year contract. Reports circulated too that World Wide Technology Raceway has reached a new multiyear deal to keep themselves in the series for at the very minimum the next two seasons. This track has been a hit since its return in 2017 and arguably one of the better events on the schedule each year.
Also part of the deals this week are that both races will have title sponsors in Hy-Vee at Iowa and Bommarito Automotive Group in Gateway which has been rebranded in recent years from World Wide Technology.
With this all being said, what’s left for the future schedule? We know NASCAR is going to release their schedule on Wednesday and INDYCAR’s not expected to be before the weekend. So, lets instead look at what we know of.
St. Pete just signed a new deal earlier this summer that runs through 2026. Next year’s race date is March 13. Same for Road America who recently announced a multi-year deal too.
INDYCAR’s deal with the Texas Motor Speedway runs through 2022 with signs pointing that this race will move up to the spring next season. Last year, it was unveiled that Portland will be on the schedule through 2023.
The current deal with Belle Isle lasts through 2023.
Long Beach extended their deal in 2017 to last through 2023 too.
INDYCAR’s deal with Barber was supposed to end in 2021 but due to missing last year due to COVID, the deal was extended through 2022 instead. Nashville is here through 2023. The GMR Grand Prix/Indy 500/Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix obviously aren’t going anywhere either.
That means Texas and Laguna Seca will need to be revisited next year with Belle Isle, Long Beach, Portland and Nashville for 2023.
The only two tracks left to renew now is Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca with Toronto’s future being uncertain.
Could we see expansion still in the future too? Iowa joined Nashville who joined Gateway, Portland, Laguna Seca, COTA, Rod America and Richmond as the most recent tracks joining the schedule. Road America rejoined in 2016, Gateway came in 2017, Portland in 2018, COTA/Laguna Seca in 2019, Richmond in 2020, Nashville in 2021 and Iowa back for 2022. That’s seven straight years.
What we also know from the TV announcement is that 17 races should be on the schedule with 13 on NBC, 2 on Peacock and 2 on USA. Texas will go from a doubleheader to one race in a weekend while Iowa being added plus being a doubleheader gives us 18 if everyone is status quo. That would mean the TV deal would get a race extended but to what channel does it go on?
Iowa will have both races on NBC. The Indy 500 obviously will. Who joins them there and what two races get streamed on Peacock exclusively?
Nevertheless, the series’ future is in great hands without many question marks. The entitlement sponsor in NTT Data was reupped this past May for a multi-year deal.
Then, the new multi-year TV deal was announced during the summer break to keep the series on NBC Sports for the next several years.
Finally, the car counts are rising too with at least 27 full time cars going to be on the grid for 2022 with more teams likely coming in the future.
The series is well on their way to being as secure as its ever been.
Here’s an estimate guess on next year’s schedule.
March 13 – St. Pete
March 26 – Texas
April 4 – Barber Motorsports Park
April 10 – Long Beach
April 17 – Easter
May 14 – GMR Grand Prix
May 29 – 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500
June 4 – Belle Isle 1
June 5 – Belle Isle 2
June 19 – Road America
July 3 – Mid-Ohio
July 10 – Toronto
July 23 – Iowa 1
July 24 – Iowa 2
July 30 – Indianapolis (road course)
Aug. 7 – Nashville
Aug. 20 – World Wide Technology Raceway
Sept. 11 – Portland
Sept. 18 – Laguna Seca