IndyCar revealed its 2019 schedule on Tuesday (Sept. 4). The schedule features 17 events with a new venue and a new event finale featuring the return of IndyCar to Laguna Seca. The season begins in St. Petersburg Florida on March, 10th, 2019. From March to September, IndyCar will visit 11 different states and one other country.
Tracks remaining on the schedule from the 2018 campaign will be St. Petersburg Street Course, Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach Street Course, Indianapolis Road Course and Oval, The Raceway at Belle Isle, Texas Motor Speedway, Road America, The Toronto Street Course at Exhibition Place, Iowa Speedway, Mid-Ohio, Pocono Raceway, Gateway Motorsports Park, and Portland International Raceway.
Not returning to the schedule will be ISM Raceway in Phoenix and Sonoma Raceway. Both tracks falling off the schedule results in one return and one debut.
The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) becomes the newest track on the IndyCar schedule taking over the date previously held by ISM Raceway. On Sunday, March 24, the series will make its debut at the track in Austin, Texas made famous by Formula One.
“COTA is one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world and Austin is a happening city. This a natural fit for the IndyCar Series,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Indy car racing has a large and passionate fan base in Texas with a hunger to attend more races. This added date will allow us to deliver both oval and road course events to the state in a single season.”
Replacing Sonoma Raceway as the finale of the season will be WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. The world famous track hosted IndyCar up until the 2004 season. Though a returning track, Laguna Seca isn’t new to hosting the season finale as it last hosted the event in 1996 when Jimmy Vasser secured the championship.
The fan-favorite trip to Alabama for IndyCar will move back two weekends. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will take place on April 7th instead of the weekend of April 22nd, where it sat in 2018. The 10th edition of the HIGPA will move back to its original date it took during the first four years on the schedule.
Another big previously announced schedule change has to deal with the race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The lights will be turned back on for the IndyCar Series for the first time since 2015 when Ryan Hunter-Reay took the twin-checkers. Only three other times have the lights been used for IndyCar (2011, 2012, and 2014).
“IndyCar has worked to deliver a consistency and cadence to the schedule and that is reflected again in 2019,” Miles said. “We’ve added races at a pair of tracks that know how to put on fantastic events while returning to tracks where INDYCAR has longstanding relationships on familiar race dates.
“The diversity of next year’s schedule will continue to make what we believe is the most challenging and competitive championship in motorsports.”
Following the 2018 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, ABC said farewell to IndyCar coverage. The NBC Sports Group Networks have stepped up in 2019 where it will air eight races, including the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, on NBC. None of the races this season were shown on NBC while 12 races have been shown on NBCSN. A television schedule for the series will be released at a later date.
The 2019 IndyCar Series Schedule
- Streets of St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg, Florida – March 10th
- Circuit of the Americas: Austin, Texas – March 24th
- Barber Motorsports Park: Birmingham, Alabama – April 7th
- Streets of Long Beach: Long Beach California – April 14th
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course: Indianapolis Indiana – May 11th
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Indianapolis, Indiana – May 26th
- The Raceway at Belle Isle: Detroit, Michigan – June 1st and 2nd (Duo-Races)
- Texas Motor Speedway: Fort Worth, Texas – June 8th (NIGHT RACE)
- Road America: Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – June 23rd
- Streets of Toronto at Exhibition Place: Toronto, Ontario, Canada – July 14th
- Iowa Speedway: Newton, Iowa – July 20th
- Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course: Lexington, Ohio – July 28th
- Pocono Raceway: Long Pond, Pennsylvania – August 18th
- Gateway Motorsports Park: Madison, Illinois – August 24th (NIGHT RACE)
- Portland International Raceway: Portland, Oregon – September 1st
- WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca: Salina, California – September 22nd
(Schedule subject to change)