With the Verizon IndyCar Series off this weekend and the talk of the 2019 schedule brewing, our IndyCar writers John Haverlin and Christian Koelle pondered five tracks apiece that they would like to see either return to the schedule or make its debut. Whether it be a permanent track or a street course, our list of circuits represents a wide variety of types, locations, and other factors.
Also, we wanted them to add how they feel about a street course in their hometowns. Here are 10 tracks Haverlin and Koelle would like to see return.
Haverlin’s Five Tracks
1. Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen and open-wheel racing are synonymous with a rich history of hosting Indy car and Formula One racing. It’s a shame that it was left off the schedule this season after returning to the Western New York road course two years ago. The Glen is one of the greatest race venues in the world, and I believe we’ll see IndyCar back in action there by 2020.
2. Lime Rock Park
Lime Rock has hosted sports car and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events since the 1990s. It’s arguably Connecticut’s most famous race track, and despite its small size of 1.5 miles, it could be the best spot for New English IndyCar fans to see racing after the Grand Prix of Boston was nixed in 2016.
3. Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway: Indy cars have raced here before but that was when the track had a flatter configuration in the turns. The high banked corners have two grooves and have become one of NASCAR’s most exciting 1.5 milers. Yes, the championship races occur there, but the on-track product has been great too. It would be interesting to see IndyCar return to South Beach. The series often has exciting oval races, no matter where the series visits.
4. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
The Monterey, California road course has hosted 22 Indy car races, but none since 2004. The daunting elevation changes and tight corners could produce a challenging yet exciting race for IndyCar. Perhaps a dual weekend with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship could bring race fans to the hilly California circuit.
5. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Mexico’s premier race track has hosted F1, and Formula E races the last few years, and it’s time for IndyCar to return south of the border again. It’s been rumored that the series is considering a reunion, so let’s hope it’s true.
Koelle’s Five Tracks
1. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
CTMP has become one of the most prestigious road courses in the world with the likes of NASCAR and IMSA visiting the track. Road Course racing is one of IndyCar’s bread and butter and with the addition of CTMP, things could grow on the audience up north. The only concern is that over-saturating the market in that area with continuing racing in Toronto, but it could be a great exchange.
2. The Streets of Nashville
This track has been rumored so much over the last few years. Considering the fact that the series hasn’t visited Nashville since the 2007 race at Nashville Superspeedway, it’s long overdue. It’s understandable why that track never worked in both NASCAR and IndyCar being as the venue is literally in the middle of nowhere. Streets of Nashville would work especially next to Nissan Stadium in downtown that would give out the scenery of the city and the Cumberland River.
3. Memphis Motorsports Park
The Memphis Motorsports Park has just been recently begun making strides back into the picture and with IndyCar looking for new places to grow, what better place than the second largest city in the state of Tennessee. The 0.75-mile track would be something new for IndyCar in a new site that could be a complete victory for both the fans and competitors.
4. Road Atlanta
IMSA races at Road Atlanta so why can’t IndyCar? It would be in a market that we haven’t been to in so long and is one that could draw a new type of fan. IndyCar hasn’t been to the Atlanta area since the series raced at the Atlanta Motor Speedway from 1998 to 2001. The road course near Atlanta hosted an Indy Lights race back in 2001; the late Dan Wheldon picked up the victory.
5. NOLA Motorsports Park
This is No. 5 just because it will never happen again. A lawsuit came out of the last race at NOLA which is honestly just a darn shame. Such a great race track in such a great area is just rotting away. Now the track just hosts Go-Karting and a Craft Beer Fest but honestly, how cool would it be to see IndyCar return to New Orleans?
Hometrack Street Course
John – New York City Street Course
F1 toyed with the idea of creating a Grand Prix event that races in New Jersey along the Manhattan skyline, but that will likely never come to fruition. However, Formula E competed on a Brooklyn street course last year and will return for their dual weekend season finale next weekend. An IndyCar race in New York City would be quite a spectacle. But it would take a lot of money and effort for this to ever happen.
Christian – Chattanooga Street Course
Unlike John, I am a small town guy. Though Chattanooga is the fourth largest city in the state of Tennesee, it would just be an absolute nightmare to see this happen. Though trust me this thought has crossed my mind in numerous trips downtown, it would just be a nightmare to do. You could run the path that the Iron Man does every year it comes to Chattanooga which would really give you the best of everything we have. The Market Street and Walnut Street Bridges, the Water Front, and the passage which pays homage to the Cherokee Indians.
Much like New York City, this would take a ton of money and effort to happen, but if it did one day, that would be AMAZING!