IndyCar has confirmed plans to open its season Saturday, June 6 with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race, which will mark the NTT IndyCar Series first race of the year following the rash of postponements and cancellations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, will take the green flag at 8:45 p.m. ET, with broadcast coverage on NBCSN.
As anticipated, the event will go ahead without fans in attendance, and feature a condensed schedule with practice, qualifying and the race taking place on the same day. To accommodate the one-day schedule, the length for the race has been adjusted to 200 laps (300 miles) rather than the previously announced 248.
“We’re excited and ready to kick off the NTT IndyCar Series season at Texas Motor Speedway,” IndyCar President Jay Frye said. “We’ve worked closely with (TMS president and general manager ) Eddie Gossage, the entire TMS team and public health officials on a plan of action that will ensure the safety of our event participants alongside an exciting return to competition for our drivers, teams and viewers tuning in from around the world.”
“America needs live sports and they are not going to believe what they see when the Genesys 300 storms into their living rooms on TV from Texas,” said Gossage. “One of the world’s greatest sporting events, the Indy 500, has been postponed until August by coronavirus, so all of that pent-up energy, anticipation, frustrations and anxiety will be pounding through the drivers’ nervous systems. Typically, the Genesys 300 results in a 220mph photo finish.”
Steps being taken to protect the well-being of participants have been identified through close consultation with TMS and public health officials. These include:
• Strict access guidelines limiting the number of personnel on site
• A health screening system administered to all participants
• PPE equipment provided to everyone entering the facility, along with guidelines on usage
• Social distancing protocols in place and carefully maintained
• Revised competition layout to increase distancing
“I’m really glad to hear that we are going back IndyCar racing in Texas,” team owner Mike Shank said. “This has been a really tough time for everyone, but IndyCar has been doing a great job keeping us updated and I know there has been a ton of prep to go into making sure the right measures are put in place to keep us all safe. My guys and our IndyCars are pretty set to go. We obviously have a little fine tuning to do before we get back on track but we’ve really been working hard to have everything ready to go when the day came. It’s good news all around”
The full on-track schedule for the Genesys 300:
• Practice: 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET
• Qualifications: 5 p.m. ET
• Genesys 300: 8:45 p.m. ET
IndyCar also noted that the remainder of its updated, 15-race calendar for 2020, which was announced April 6, remains on schedule for competition.