As for the Sonoma race, I feel this is just a launching point for teams, sponsors, and drivers to have a week vacation prior to the race in wine country. And be able to hop a plane, and head to somewhere tropical like Hawaii afterwords. Sonoma is a sponsors paradise, and I get it. But remove the sponsors, and this event would be filled with more free employee’s behind the k-rails, than real fans, that show up and pay for the race. I am not a huge fan of Laguna Seca, only for the fact, that watching from a seat around that track, is like watching paint dry, on a Formula e car. But having said that. LS is a better venue for the fans at home to watch. And who knows? Maybe see another “Pass”?
2017 IndyCar schedule:
March 12: St. Petersburg, Fla. (street race).
April 9: Long Beach, Calif. (street race).
April 23: Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala. (road course).
April 29: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz. (oval).
May 13: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course).
May 28: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500 (oval).
June 3: Detroit (street race).
June 4: Detroit (street race).
June 10: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas (oval).
June 25: Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. (road course).
July 9: Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa (oval).
July 16: Toronto (street circuit).
July 30: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio (road course).
Aug. 20: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa. (oval)
Aug. 26: Gateway Motorsports Park, Madison, Ill. (oval).
Sept. 3: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y. (road course)
Sept. 17: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, Calif. (road course).
Ok IndyCar fans, we now know what we have, and don’t have as a schedule for the IndyCar Series in 2017. But the question is? Is it all that it is cracked up to be?
Seventeen races, are not so bad. Although I would like to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 races a season. But this is how I see it. The separation of weeks between our races at the start of our season, and the end. For me, does not fool me into thinking IndyCar has just given us fans what we have been screaming for. Just because IndyCar gives us a race in the middle of March, doth not a start of a new race season make.
Three races in the month of April-
Race-#1–April 9-Street Circuit-Long Beach-Race #2-April 23 Oval-Phoenix
We race once in March, and then have 3 weeks off between this race,and another street course in Long Beach. Why start on the Southern East Coast, then travel across country 3 weeks later to race at the LBGP? How about IndyCar just spare us the one race token olive branch in March, and start our season at our 2nd best venue on the schedule at Long Beach in April, or March if so inclined to trick us into thinking our season really does starts in March?
After the LBGP, it just make logistical, and financial sense to go straight to the oval race in Phoenix. As well,coming off the LBGP, should help to stir up our fan’s passions enough, to get asses in those seats. Oh, and did I forget, how nice it would be to start the season up with a mixed bag of driving principles, instead of coming out with 3 out of four races, on the twistties every year?
So straight from the race in Phoenix we head out to-Race #3-April 29-Road Course Barber Street Circuit- And from Barber, we then pull into-
Three races in the month of May-
Race #4 May 7, St. Petersburg Street Course, while having a week to head North to Indianapolis Race #5-May 13-Road Course-Indianapolis GP.
We now have 3 races in April, and will have another 3 in May including of course the Grand Daddy of them all-Race #6 May 28-Oval-Indianapolis 500. If you have been on this page for a while, you have seen me write many times, that I feel right after the 500, and the momentum it brings. We should go straight to a track like Fontana (One of my all-time faves) Chicago-land Speedway, or Michigan. But we don’t, and unfortunately, I don’t make those decisions.
Four races in the month of June, and three races in July-
Now this is more like it. But personally, because of logistics, and saving teams money. I would not have us going to Detroit, to Texas, and then back to Road America. How about: Road America, Detroit, and Toronto? Then race Mid-Ohio, Iowa, and Texas? But as I wrote. At least we have 4 races in a month, and that’s a great thing. So for now, I won’t look a gift Tong George in the mouth.If I was king, I would also have done almost anything to fit in Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio.
June 3 Street Circuit Detroit
June 4 Street Circuit Detroit
June 10 Oval Texas
June 25 Road Course Road America
July 9 Oval Iowa
July 16 Street Circuit Toronto
July 30 Road Course Mid-Ohio
Races #14-#17 As for these last four races of the season. Come on IndyCar you’re not fooling anyone. This is what I refer to as fluff, or filler! Between Mid-Ohio, and Pocono we have a very long 3 weeks off. This just horrible for us fans, and sponsors. And to put in bluntly, just isn’t good business, and bad for our sport. On the bright side though, after this long Hiatus, we have 4 straight races, to end our season.
#14-August 20 Oval Pocono
#15-August 26 Oval Gateway
#16-September 3 Road Course Watkins Glen
#17-September 17 Road Course Sonoma
Let’s just say for the sake of argument, if I was running the show though. Or season ending, double points race, would be ending at Fontana Speedway.
So the reality is this. What we really have is 6 months off of IndyCar racing, which I think more in terms of having 7 months off. When you take into consideration, we only have that one “Hey were here” race in March. So that is how I really look at the new schedule. And now I want to hear your thoughts, wishes, and dreams for the IndyCar Series.
In a few weeks I ship myself off to rehab, to get over my IndyCar withdraws. Luckily, we have great places here in California.