Less than two months after the record-setting MAVTV 500 from Auto Club Speedway, INDYCAR officials have bad news for fans.
The series isn’t coming back next season.
The Verizon IndyCar Series will not return to Fontana, Calif. next season, INDYCAR officials confirmed in a press release.
“There was a tremendous amount of effort put forth to keep Auto Club Speedway on the calendar. In the end, we could not identify a compromise for 2016 that was amicable for both parties,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the release. “We’re thankful to (Auto Club Speedway President) Dave Allen for his efforts in these negotiations. We mutually agreed that our inability to identify a date for next year doesn’t preclude us revisiting these conversations in the future.”
The June 27 IndyCar race at the 2-mile oval, won by Graham Rahal, had an IndyCar record 80 lead changes in 250 laps. However, low attendance and viewership on TV put both IndyCar and ACS in a bad position following the race.
The release declares that “INDYCAR explored several options to retain the event as part of its 2016 calendar, including plans to race later in the season to comply with the track’s request to host the season finale.” However, the two sides were unable to identify a start time and broadcast window that wouldn’t adversely affect television viewership on the East Coast.
Whether the IndyCar Series will fill the current late-June date with another race is unknown at this time.