IndyCar’s three-year experiment on returning to Phoenix’s ISM Raceway is at an end, it has been confirmed today.
The 1.022-mile oval returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule in 2016 after a 10-year hiatus, but two dull races with manufacturer aerokits [2016-’17] and a sparse crowd for all three events has persuaded both parties the union should end.
An official IndyCar statement says: “IndyCar has enjoyed its time racing at ISM Raceway, but attendance in the past three years has been disappointing despite considerable investment from both sides.
“Track president Bryan Sperber and his team have been terrific partners and are developing a beautiful facility, and IndyCar will reconnect with them when conditions are right for both parties.
“Meanwhile, IndyCar is moving forward with building a terrific schedule for the 2019 season.”
Sperber himself told Michael Knight of the Arizona Republic: “We have enjoyed having IndyCar at our venue for the full three years of our agreement. The series officials and teams have been tremendous partners.
“IndyCar will not be on our schedule in 2019; we’re currently taking a pause to review schedule options for the future.
“IndyCar is currently discussing with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) other potential venues and opportunities. We’d like IndyCar to be on our calendar in the coming years, and we will work with IndyCar to find a date that will help deliver a successful event.”