COTA to focus on IndyCar before considering NASCAR race

Bobby Epstein - IndyCar is the focus now
Bobby Epstein – IndyCar is the focus now

Circuit of the Americas founder and Chairman Bobby Epstein believes having two IndyCar events in the state of Texas will act as a boost to both races, and the series as a whole.

IndyCar will visit COTA for the first time next April while it will make another trip to the state for the June 8 race at the Texas Motor Speedway.

With one race being a road course and one being a superspeedway, Epstein feels the two events have significant differences to avoid an overlap.

“I have no doubt that we'll look at ways we can do stuff together and grow it," said Epstein.

"It's in both of our interests. They're very different products. The oval race and the road race I think are each unique.

"I hope that together it just builds more interest in the sport.

IndyCar president Mark Miles concurred with Epstein on the topic.

"I'm not suggesting that all the markets are identical, but if you look at the Midwest, and you say Indianapolis, Detroit, Mid-Ohio and a little bit later Gateway in St. Louis, they feed on each other," added Miles.

"They're not precisely the same distances, but we have no doubt, and we have good data, that fans want to take in as many as they can of those events.

"If we go to Gateway, I feel like I'm at the 500. I see more Colts jerseys than Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans there. I see a lot of St. Louis people here. We see people from Detroit at Mid-Ohio. It's a similar sort of geographic area, and I have no doubt that they build on each other.

"We'll see, but it might also be that for IndyCar fans in the area to see both an oval and a road course, the different formats, could be particularly interesting."

Now that he has an IndyCar race, any chance of NASCAR coming to COTA?

"That's a question for NASCAR," Epstein said. "We want to add carefully and slowly. We spent six years of getting the MotoGP and the Formula One race where they really do well and they work. We want to focus on the IndyCar race [as the new addition] for at least a couple of years."

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