First of all let me write that no one love’s IndyCar racing more than I do! Now that this is clear. Here I go. Ok I get it IndyCar. Was today April 1st? The real schedule is coming out tomorrow right? Why is it that I feel when IndyCar talked of us losing races such tracks as, Pocono, Iowa, Toronto, Texas in the upcoming 2015 season. This was done with IndyCar knowing full-well we weren’t losing anything, just shuffling dates. Did IndyCar really think that the IndyCar fan was going to see these tracks still on the schedule today and breath a collective sigh of relief? By the looks of the post I have read by the fan’s, this could be further from the truth. Personally I am thankful for us getting back a great race, as well as a great spectator turnout we can look forward to in Brasil. But after this race. IndyCar just looks like the 2014 season sans Houston, and Toronto double-header. Below is what the new season all boils down to.
INDYCAR 2015 SCHEDULE:
24 weeks of racing with 16 weekends of what we love, out of a 52 weekend year!
MARCH: We start off the season with two races total.
RACE ONE: Starting March 8, At the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet Brasília, Brazil. It is then another three weeks till our next race in St Pete.
RACE TWO: On March 29, we get the Streets of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, FL. It will then be two more weeks till our next race at the NOLA MP
APRIL: We have three races in the month of April:
RACE THREE: Starting April 12 at NOLA Motorsports Park Avondale, LA. One week later, and we are in Long Beach.
RACE FOUR: April 19: Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, CA. One week later we are in BMP Alabama
RACE FIVE: April 26 Barber Motorsports Park Birmingham, AL. Two weeks till next race at GP of Indianapolis
MAY: We have Four races in the month of May. With huge gap between races.
RACE SIX: May 9 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN. Three weeks off between Indy road course race, and the Indy 500.
NOTE: The start of the IndyCar season will have started with 6 road, or street courses. And this is before we get a taste of our first oval race, at the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
RACE SEVEN: May 24 Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis, IN. One week off until race at Belle Isle which will be our only double-header of the season, and in reality killing two races, with one weekend stone!
RACES EIGHT AND NINE: May 30-31 Raceway at Belle Isle Park Detroit, MI. Then one week off between race at Texas Motor Speedway
JUNE: Three races in this month
RACE TEN: June 6 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, TX. One week off between races at Toronto
RACE ELEVEN: June 14 Streets of Toronto, Toronto Canada. Two weeks off between race at Fontana
RACE TWELVE: June 27 Auto Club Speedway Fontana, CA. Two weeks off between races at Milwaukee IndyFest
JULY: Two races total
RACE THIRTEEN: July 12 The Milwaukee Mile Milwaukee, WI. One week off between race at Iowa Speedway
RACE FOURTEEN: July 18 Iowa Speedway, Newton, IA. Two weeks off between race at Mid-Ohio SCC
AUGUST: Three races during the month of August, with last race of the season being at Sonoma. And ending labor day weekend.
RACE FIFTEEN: Aug. 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, OH. Three weeks off until next race at Pocono
RACE SIXTEEN: Aug. 23 Pocono Raceway Long Pond, PA. One week off between Pocono Raceway race, and until Championship race.
RACE SEVENTEEN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: Aug. 30 Sonoma Raceway Sonoma, CA Season ends!
In regards to having our championship race at Sonoma, and our season ending in August. Personally if I had my way this what I would have done. Obviously some traditions are made to be broken in IndyCar, and we find that out specifically at the Indianapolis 500 on a yearly basis. Having said that. What would have been terribly wrong with cutting a deal with the city of Long Beach, to change our race date to Labor day weekend August 30, 2015? We are talking a difference in temperature of about 10 degree’s F. between April, and August. Surely if we can race in the dessert heat of Fontana in June. It would be feasible that we could also race in the beautiful temperate climate of Long Beach in August.
Next to the Indy 500, we all know that Long Beach GP is IndyCar’s cash cow. We also know it is the closest race we have to racing in a Monaco type setting on our calendar. For 40 years, we have for the most part selling out this track, and bringing in sometimes over Two-Hundred thousand fans on our race weekend. What would it hurt the city of Long Beach to bend a little, just to give us a break?
Long Beach would give the people in the surrounding area’s of Los Angeles, and Orange county a great weekend getaway. This brings in more people booking hotel’s, feeding themselves at local establishments, and really giving our television viewer, TV network, and sponsor’s a great sendoff, to the end of our IndyCar season. Now this may be a bit far-fetched. But maybe that is our problem? IndyCar needs to think outside the box, and be willing to take some risk!So here it is.What if we put on a double-header weekend at Long Beach. The track opens on Thursday, and not much goes on Friday, giving our teams and driver’s ample time for practice, and qualifying. We could stage race #1 on Saturday night under the lights. With the publicity this would bring, we could expect even more late minute people clamoring for Sundays daytime race tickets. Double race, double points, and double the excitement in a waterfront setting along the shoreline of Long Beach. Now that’s what I call a IndyCar Championship Grand Prix!
In conclusion: IndyCar instead chooses a venue like Snorenoma, to whisk us all into a Thanksgiving type coma on Labor Day weekend. The word “Championship” before the word Gopro Grand Prix of Sonoma isn’t going to bring in anymore people to our race. Not at a track that already reaps in its money, and fills the stands from a NASCAR race prior to our’s in 2015. By August in Sonoma it is hot, and dusty. And the track will be filled with the carnage of IndyCar driver’s trying to make passes, in the impassable. All while trying to win a championship. Come on IndyCar, its bad enough we have to wait almost seven months between our last race of the season, and your hiatus. Now you have given us five more months to wait for 2015 season. Then six more months of to the end of a season. Just so we can wait for the new 2016 schedule to come out that hopefully gives us all that we want!