- Iowa and Laguna Seca will host doubleheaders, making up for the canceled "Dual in Detroit."
- The new INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix pays tribute to a September 1916 event at IMS and brings the planned 2020 race count to 15.
INDYCAR has turned its Iowa Speedway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca event weekends into doubleheaders for this season and added a second race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in October to counter the loss of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader and other races due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Friday, July 17 race is scheduled as an addition to the Saturday night contest during the Iowa 300 weekend and the site of last year’s season finale now plans to host an additional race on Saturday, Sept. 19 before the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey concludes with its regular Sunday race the following day on Sept. 20.
The INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix on Oct. 3 will pay tribute to September 1916’s “Harvest Classic,” the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 until the first Brickyard 400 in August 1994. The first Intercontinental GT Challenge race at the Speedway was already scheduled for the first weekend in October, creating a shared weekend between the series of GT3 sports cars and North America’s premier open-wheel championship.
Event organizers were forced into an effort to reschedule the Belle Isle race given the area’s current public health restrictions but were unsuccessful, making the Genesys 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6 IndyCar’s new provisional season opener and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 26–28 the next possible outing for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Despite the loss of the races at Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach, Circuit of The Americas and Detroit, IndyCar still plans to race 15 times in 2020. The original season opener at the St. Petersburg street circuit is listed as the year’s 15th race and the new finale, though still without a confirmed date.
“We’re committed to bringing fans as much on-track action as possible,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “Our updated schedule features additional racing at fan-favorite venues and adds to the total number of events on our calendar.
“The COVID-19 situation continues to be dynamic and challenging for everyone, so we have developed contingency plans which will allow us to respond to changing conditions. Our goal is to preserve as much racing competition as possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our participants and spectators.”
Featuring an increase of one event from the 14 races announced March 26, this third revision to the 2020 schedule sees INDYCAR leverage existing events that aren’t expected to be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and hints at a possible new tradition: a late-season race at the series’ famed home Indianapolis.
Following a curiosity first sparked at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in 2007, Aaron co-created The Apex in 2015. Five years of article writing, podcast hosting, and race attending ensued before Aaron called time on this motorsports journalism project and began to study web development.