IndyCar reveals 2021 schedule, two ovals gone

IndyCar reveals 2021 schedule, two ovals gone

IndyCar officials have announced a 17-race schedule for the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series that does not include Iowa Speedway nor Richmond Raceway but an improved TV package.

The 2021 season-opener on Sunday, March 7 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida is the first of nine races on NBC network television – a schedule that also includes the historic Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.

“We’re really pleased that the current plans provide for one additional race on NBC’s network than we had this year,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. “In particular, the season will start with NBC coverage of the St. Petersburg event, a spectacular start for those in attendance and for those watching from home.”

“The IndyCar and NBC Sports partnership continues to be mutually beneficial, growing in viewership and providing adrenaline-packed entertainment to a national sports audience,” said Michael Perman, VP of programming, NBC Sports. “We’re looking forward to providing increased exposure to the series in 2021, including network coverage of the season opener in St. Pete and the finale in Laguna Seca. Additionally, as a marquee event of our Championship Season, we’ll also provide wall-to-wall coverage of the Indy 500 on NBC, an international sporting spectacle filled with speed and exceptional drama.”

Following yesterday’s announcement that Texas Motor Speedway will hold a double-header in May, today’s schedule announcement confirms that the event helps ameliorate the fact that two other ovals, Iowa and Richmond, are not on the schedule, and that the other 2019 IndyCar race in Texas, at Circuit of The Americas, has also been deleted.

COTA was thus a 2019 one-and-done, while Richmond never got a chance due to the Covid-19 pandemic canceling its planned 2020 return.

Other notable shifts include the Detroit doubleheader moving to the second weekend in June, and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course moving up to July The Fourth weekend.

As per yesterday’s announcement, the NTT IndyCar Series will hold a second race on the IMS road course, joining NASCAR for the Brickyard weekend on Saturday, Aug. 14.

“After the proof of concept this year,” said Miles, “we look forward to having an IndyCar Grand Prix during the Brickyard weekend – and inviting fans be a part of it. We know the strong Midwest affinity for IndyCar racing and the love for IndyCar drivers will help that weekend reach new levels.”

The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season champion will be crowned Sunday, Sept. 19 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, wrapping up the season on NBC.

2021 event start times will be announced at a later date.

2021 NTT IndyCar Series schedule

March 7, St. Petersburg streets, NBC
April 11, Barber Motorsports Park, NBCSN
April 18, Long Beach streets, NBC
May 1, Texas Motor Speedway, NBCSN
May 2, Texas Motor Speedway, NBCSN
May 15, Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, NBC
May 22-23, Indy 500 qualifying
May 30, 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, NBC
June 12, Belle Isle streets, Detroit, NBC
June 13, Belle Isle streets, Detroit, NBC
June 20, Road America, NBCSN
July 4, Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course, NBC
July 11, Toronto streets, NBCSN
August 8, Nashville streets, NBCSN
August 14, Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, NBCSN
August 21, World Wide Technology Raceway, NBCSN
September 12, Portland International Raceway, NBC
September 19, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, NBC


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Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher-Lopez