In terms of good racing, storylines, attendance and pulling off a doubleheader, Road America was a roaring success and the best weekend of this crazy year for the NTT IndyCar Series. But Saturday and Sunday were extra long days for the teams — going through COVID-19 screening at 4:30 a.m. and racing until early evening before repeating the process for a noon start the next day — so the series is working to ease that burden for the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway this Friday and Saturday nights.
“It’s hard on the teams and we understand that,” said IndyCar President Jay Frye. “The long days are even longer with all the requirements to stay safe and every track is different, so our teams have done a great job.”
This weekend’s doubleheader at Iowa Speedway will be the fourth and fifth races in a 14-day span and another two-day grind but IndyCar has made one major tweak to try and buy the mechanics a little breathing room.
“When we qualify on Friday afternoon, the first lap will determine where you start the first race and your second lap will be your starting spot for Saturday,” said Frye. “That helps a little, not having two qualifying sessions, and it’s a little different but it’s still about competing and it also gives the teams a chance for a little more rest for Saturday.”
Frye also denied a rumor circulating among the teams that Mid-Ohio (Aug. 9) would be changed to a doubleheader because of the uncertainty of events at Portland and Laguna Seca.
“No, Mid-Ohio will be just one race and we’ve even knocked off a day, so practice and qualifying are on Saturday and the race will be Sunday,” said Frye.