With the new season finally under way, NTT IndyCar Series officials have started to explore the possibility of adding more ovals to its next calendar.
Due to a variety of COVID-related causes, IndyCar cancelled its plans to race at Virginia’s Richmond International Raceway in 2020, and with financial issues being experienced at Iowa Speedway, the popular short oval was cleaved from the 2021 schedule, leaving Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway (formerly known as Gateway) as the only three ovals on the calendar.
RACER understands leaders from the Homestead-Miami oval have expressed interest in hosting IndyCar’s Spring Training event in 2022 and possibly a race at the venue that once welcomed CART, the Indy Racing League (pictured above in 2005) and the current series to its 1.5-mile facility. With its combination of an oval and road course to offer, the Floridian property was once a popular site for Indy car testing and remains so today for the Road to Indy.
IndyCar president Jay Frye says there’s no news to report on how many ovals might be added in the future, but the series is working through its options.
“There’s venues we’ve either raced at recently or a while ago that are on our radar, and there are various things being explored for down the road,” Frye told RACER. “Richmond? Iowa? How could they fit into things? Homestead? How might that fit? I would love for Phoenix to work; we haven’t raced there since they did the track reconfiguration.”
With the doubleheader at Texas factored in, ovals represent four of the 17 races on the 2021 schedule.
“We’re short on ovals, which wasn’t intentional, so now we’re looking at what we didn’t do in 2020 and see what we might do in 2022,” Frye continued. “We were excited about the test we did at Richmond and thought that was going to be a great event for us until COVID hit.
“We love racing at Iowa; what’s going on there, and is there a possibility of getting back to both of those? We’re trying to see what’s out there that looks feasible, and we’re excited about what the future might hold.”