2016 IndyCar season to be longer, Road America may return

IndyCar is expecting a stronger schedule for next season, which will last longer five months,.

Mark Miles touched on the schedule during a Wednesday teleconference and on the subject of date equity, something he realizes many IndyCar fans and participants are very concerned about.

Boston may not serve as the finale

We should expect a 2016 schedule by the end of this season, which occurs the weekend prior to Labor Day. And he did say that it’s not written in stone that Boston will be the final contest of the year in 2016, even though it is scheduled for the Labor Day weekend, which is what they asked for.

One comment that is sure to bring a sigh of relief to all participants was this one: "We do not expect to have a five-month schedule, nor was that ever the goal.  The idea was not shorter and less, it was to see if we couldn't slide the schedule while actually growing it earlier in the year to be in a more ideal or beneficial television period.  

"The model we have been pursuing has been seven months, 16, 18, 20 events and the number of events more is not necessarily better."

The return of PIR?

That brings up the possibility of possibly bringing Phoenix into the fold early in the season and allowing it some breadth of time between an Indy car race and its NASCAR weekend. “Length is a fundamental issue and I’ve been saying that for some time. I do look for a more beneficial TV schedule and I’m thinking we’re going to for about seven months and 18-20 events.” He knows the teams are worn out with the 2015 grind and that’s good to know.

Road America being considered

It appears that Road America is on its way to regaining a slot on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule and could be a double-billing with the Pirelli World Challenge, who raced at the venue last weekend, saying "We would like to be there."

There are other permanent road courses on the horizon but he’s not ready to name those names. And he wants to make sure that there’s some cooperation between the Elkhart Lake, Wisc. racetrack and Milwaukee with, perhaps, some co-promotion. 

Don’t expect IndyCar to co-promote with its tracks; that’s not its business, Miles said. "Keeping the ovals on the schedule is really important to us," he added.

And date equity, while it’s important to everyone in the series is “a principle, not axiomatic. It’s definitely something we want to do.” And with that, Mark Miles went back to preparing for this weekend’s Rolling Stones concert at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and thinking about how he’s going to increase attendance at the legendary track - even beyond the upcoming 100th Indianapolis 500.

It’s apparent he’s got a lot on his plate.

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