The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule includes the return of Richmond Raceway and multiple date changes for existing events due to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Richmond will host North America’s premier open-wheel championship for the first time since 2009 on June 26–27, 2020 — the same weekend used for the previous nine IndyCar races at the track, dating back to 2001. The night race under the lights at the three-quarter-mile Virginia oval will be the 11th round of the season.
The addition of the short, D-shaped oval near Richmond comes perhaps at the expense of Pocono Raceway, a superspeedway steeped in Indy car racing history. Multiple serious incidents and poor — though improving — fan attendance in recent years likely contributed to INDYCAR not ensuring the 2.5-mile racetrack returned to its schedule.
Eight of the year’s 17 races will be telecast live on NBC but a negative effect of INDYCAR’s full-season partnership with the NBC Sports Group will be felt during its second year when the Summer Olympics divert the television company’s attention from motor sports. A new three-week break after the Iowa Speedway race on July 18 will allow NBC and NBCSN to focus on televising the Olympic Games.
The post-Iowa break will come to a close with the fan-favorite race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which has been pushed back three weeks from July 28 to Aug. 16 next year. Returning to the mid-August slot it formerly occupied, Mid-Ohio will begin a four-race run to the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca finale. Three of the four final races will be telecast on NBC.
Two empty weekends between the Grand Prix of Portland and Laguna Seca has been reduced to one for 2020, with the two concluding races of the year scheduled to take place Sept. 6 and Sept. 20. The span between the final oval round at World Wide Technology Raceway and Portland International Raceway’s date has grown by one weekend with Portland being pushed back one week.
St. Petersburg, Florida will be the site of the season opener for the 10th consecutive year on the weekend of March 13–15 and will be followed by Barber Motorsports Park’s 11th IndyCar race, the 37th consecutive Grand Prix of Long Beach and the second Circuit of The Americas contest, which was moved back one month to avoid a clash with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s 12-hour event at Sebring International Raceway.
Qualifying weekend May 16–17 and the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24 will be televised on NBC. Detroit’s Belle Isle will host the lone doubleheader event for the eighth consecutive year during the weekend immediately following the Indianapolis 500.
Broadcast times are unannounced, but all track activity and additional exclusive content will again be available via INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.