(Photo: Joe Skibinski)

INDYCAR News: Series Will Not Return to ISM Raceway in 2019

The Verizon IndyCar Series will not return to ISM Raceway in 2019. Track president Bryan R. Sperber announced on Friday that the track and Series will not continue their relationship past the 2018 season. Michael Knight of The Arizona Republic first reported the story that was then followed by an official statement from Sperber.

“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,” Sperber said.

“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.”

Following the announcement by Mr. Sperber, INDYCAR released a statement: “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.”

With the announcement that ISM Raceway’s owner International Speedway Corporation (ISC) is looking at other venues, speculation begins on which track could be the replacement. Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Auto Club Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Watkins Glen International are all tracks that were on the IndyCar schedule at one time.

ISC also owns the Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Martinsville Speedway, and Darlington Raceway.

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Christian Koelle returns to Frontstretch in 2020 as the photo editor at Frontstretch. He will continue to contribute content in the ARCA Menards Series, Sioux Chief Challenge, and ARCA East & West Series. He is also engaged and will be getting married during the 2020 NASCAR off-season.

His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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One comment

  1. Avatar

    I remember the Indy Car races at PIR had great crowds. Now the place is even better. Every one wants a big cut of the money, but are they doing anything to sell tickets.

    To me Indy Cars needs may have out engineered themselves. If you’re on an oval, which they should be, they make them run wide open all the way around. And the big tracks, which they should be, are way to dangerous (speed). Any crash could be fatal at those speeds. They probably could do 250 mph at Michigan. The smaller tracks are too narrow for high speeds.