IndyCar to announce 19-race 2013 schedule

UPDATE #3 IndyCar’s 2013 schedule is shaping up, with Texas Motor Speedway confirming today that it will host a race June 8.

That makes at least eight events with confirmed dates:

March 22-24 – Street race in St. Petersburg, Fla.

April 5-7 – Road course race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

April 19-21 – Street race in Long Beach, Calif.

May 26 – Indianapolis 500

May 31-June 2 – Street race at Belle Isle circuit in Detroit

June 7-8 – Oval race at Texas Motor Speedway

June 14-15 – Oval race at the Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile

Oct. 4-6 – Street race in Houston

Consideration is being given to a season-opening race at NOLA Motorsports Park, a new road course outside New Orleans [Editor's Note: won't happen, track not suitable yet]. The annual Sao Paulo, Brazil, race will be slotted between the Long Beach race and the start of May festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Iowa Speedway also will have another spot on the calendar – the race was June 23 this year – and IndyCar will return to Toronto, Mid-Ohio and likely will return to Sonoma Raceway, site of this weekend’s race, and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has said he wants 19 events next season. Also being discussed are oval races at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Michigan International Speedway along with a possible return to Edmonton’s City Centre Airport [Editor's Note: And a street race in China as well as in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida].

A complete schedule isn’t expected for at least a month. Indy Star

08/12/12 Based on this rumor, added New Orleans to the list of possible new IndyCar venue for 2013. Now IndyCar is talking about doing doubleheaders at some street and road courses so obviously they are struggling to get to the stated goal of 19 races in 2013.

08/06/12 With only 15 races in 2012, how will IndyCar get to 19 in 2013, i.e. four more, maybe five if one of this year's does not return. Possible new races include:

  1. Houston – Already announced, could be season finale
  2. Fort Lauderdale – 75% chance of being penultimate round
  3. Austin – rumored
  4. Phoenix – rumored
  5. Pocono – rumored
  6. Las Vegas (streets) – very slim chance
  7. China – slim chance but people are trying
  8. Germany – rumored (Eurospeedway, but not in 2013?)
  9. Road America – Already said no
  10. Chicago – very slim chance
  11. Montreal – near zero chance
  12. Quebec City – very slim chance
  13. Michigan – very slim chance
  14. New Orleans – Early Spring race possible in Avondale, LA

08/05/12 Look for an expansion of IndyCar's schedule by at least four events. At least that's the plan of the series' CEO, Randy Bernard.

"We have to have a minimum of 19 races. That's very important," Bernard said on Sunday just before the start of the IndyCar race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"We have to be able to bring more attention to these drivers and these sponsors," Bernard said. "We need to create more compelling story lines. The more races we have the more exposure the drivers get and the better opportunity we have to create those story lines."

"In my past sport, we started out with, I think, eight events. Then it was 12, then (we) went to 14, then 16, then 24," he said. "Until we hit 24, we couldn't build any momentum and couldn't build our guys into stars. I don't think we need 24 here because we have a great base right now, but we all need to see some additional events."

Bernard said IndyCar was looking to add one or two more ovals to the series next year.

Next year, the final race will likely be at Houston the first weekend in October.

Bernard said IndyCar is "intrigued" by a race in Germany but felt it was most important to establish the series in North America first and then go from there.

The series won't announce the 2013 schedule until all contracts are finalized. In part from USA Today/AP

[Editor's Note: We wonder if any of this year's races will not be back next year. Today's Mid-Ohio race had a sparse crowd which means it may have been a money loser. However, it does have Honda as a sponsor.]

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