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IndyCar eyes 20-race schedule for 2015, includes return to Brazil and possible first-ever race in Middle East

Jun 8, 2014, 1:04 AM EST

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NASCAR is reluctant to alter its schedule or expand to new venues – although to be fair, rumors persist that there could be a major shakeup in the upcoming 2015 slate.

But IndyCar officials are already thinking bigger and broader for next season – as in abroad, with a likely return to Brazil and a potential first-ever race in the Middle East.

Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles and Derrick Walker, IndyCar president of operations and competition, told reporters Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway that the series will expand to 20 races in 2015, according to a report by the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin.

Although not totally set yet, series officials hope to soon finalize plans for a race in Dubai in early February, while a return to Brazil in early March appears likely before the U.S. part of the schedule begins March 29 in St. Petersburg, Fla., Cavin reported.

Miles described talks with Dubai officials and promoters as “ongoing, positive conversations,” according to Cavin.

The race in Brazil will be held in Brasilia, a shift from IndyCar’s prior four-year run in Sao Paulo from 2010 through 2013. The tentative race date is March 8. An official announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

Dates/races in 2015 already confirmed, according to Cavin, are:

* March 29 — St. Petersburg, Fla.

* April 19 – Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

* May 10 – Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

* May 24 – Indianapolis 500

* May 30-31 — Chevrolet Indy Dual doubleheader in Detroit

Another report by Motorsport.com added that IndyCar officials are open to return to former venues at Michigan International Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, and have had preliminary talks about racing at Nashville Superspeedway, whose pending sale to NeXovation was recently announced by parent company Dover Motorsports.

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  1. matt33fl - Jun 8, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    A return to Michigan would be AWESOME in that it could truly bring back IndyCar’s old Triple Crown setup with Indianapolis(May 24), Michigan (June 14?), and Pocono(July 5), all in a seven-week span. That being said, the only way this can work is if NASCAR, in revamping it’s schedule for next year, moves Michigan’s 1st date to another facility(Iowa?). And where do you schedule a possible date at Phoenix where it won’t be too hot and wouldn’t be too close to NASCAR’s dates? What other tracks are in danger of not returning next year? Will they expand the schedule beyond Labor Day? All relevant questions……..

    • indycarseries500 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      I like Fontana better and you get an East, Middle and West thing for the triple crown plus Fontana has been the best race of the season the last two years.

  2. matt33fl - Jun 8, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    If indeed they go ahead with any of these changes, here’s an idea on how a 21-race sked would look like:

    Feb 08—-Dubai
    Mar 08—-Brasilia
    Mar 29—-St Petersburg
    Apr 19—-Long Beach
    Apr 26—-Phoenix
    May 09—Indy GP
    May 24—Indianapolis
    May 31—Detroit Dual
    Jun 07—-New Orleans
    Jun 14—-Michigan
    Jun 21—-Houston Dual*
    Jul 05—–Pocono
    Jul 11—–Nashville*
    Jul 19—–Toronto Dual
    Aug 02—Mid-Ohio
    Aug 16—Road America
    Aug 30—Iowa
    Sep 06—Texas*

    • Jeff - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      No Fontana race?

    • indycarseries500 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Fontana has been the best race the last two years!! Also Michigan doesn’t work on June 14th that’s their traditional Spring Cup date.

      • matt33fl - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        I’m not necessarily against IndyCar running at Fontana. I just left it off given that there might be only 20 races next year and I was running out of room to include certain venues. I had to choose between Fontana and Texas. Personally, I wished they would expand the season to 24 races.

  3. moezilla - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Two words…ROAD AMERICA!!!

    • bigdcart - Jun 9, 2014 at 7:49 AM

      One word – CLEVELAND!!!

  4. testover6370 - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    I want to see Road America too but Phoenix and MIS are a good start.

  5. convincedofthehex - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Will these be regular points paying races? Earlier conjecture was that the international rounds would not be.

  6. brimab - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Adding Phoenix and Michigan is a great start. Road America would be next on the agenda, but then they HAVE to find a way to get back to the Northwest.

  7. Jeff - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    More oval races is what I want to see in IndyCar. I’d love to see MIS and Nashville added to the series’ schedule. Those are two more races I could easily make it to.
    I couldn’t care less about Dubai or a return to Brazil, especially if it’s the street-course race in Sao Paulo. If IndyCar returns to Brazil, then please let it be one of the F1 road courses.

    • randominternetpunter - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      The Brazil race seems to be at Autodromo Nelson Piquet in Brasilia.
      It’s NOT a street course.

  8. elcaminobilly - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    The series needs more races, so I hope it turns out to be true. I hope they also find a way to not conflict with NASCAR. I have enjoyed every single Indy race I’ve watched, but NASCAR is my passion and I can’t bring myself to skip them for the Indy races, even though over the past couple of years I’ve found the Indy racing to be more enjoyable.

  9. slickslammer9041 - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    IndyCar needs to build up its fan base, and the number of teams before increasing the number of races. The Firestone 600, with 22 cars starting, 5 on lead lap at the end, and 47 people in the stands, was basically a snoozefest. Give consideration to different engines…turbocharged, supercharged, stock block….adjust the displacements to keep them close to the same HP…allow 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering, anything inventive that distinguishs one car from another…and make the whole package cheaper than it is now to develop more teams. As it is, no one watched the race on TV on a minor cable station, practically no one was in the stands, and press coverage was nonexistant. CHANGE, or disappear! Maybe if you don’t change the cars in the races, nudity might help??? Have a topless Hooter’s pit crew…I might watch for more than 5 minutes then.

    Have you ever noticed that IndyCar doesn’t release attendance at their races…Embarassed, perhaps????

    • indycarseries500 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Probably because it’s the promoter who decides if the attendance gets released or not, not IndyCar’s. Indianapolis didn’t for the 500, you going to tell me that one was one to be embarrassed about? They did for the IndyGP, Detroit did, Long Beach did.

  10. DCNation2beta - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Segun Derrick Walker, el calendario 2015 en teoría podría ser asi:
    Ronda 1: Gran Premio IndyCar de Dubai (Febrero)
    Ronda 2: Gran Premio IndyCar de Brasil (Marzo)
    Ronda 3: Gran Premio IndyCar de San Petersburgo (Marzo)
    Ronda 4: Gran Premio IndyCar de Long Beach (Abril)
    Ronda 5: Gran Premio IndyCar de Alabama (Abril)
    Ronda 6: Gran Premio IndyCar de Indianapolis (Mayo)
    Ronda 7: 500 millas de Indianapolis (Mayo)
    Rondas 8 y 9: Gran Premio IndyCar de Detroit (Carrera 1 y Carrera 2) Por Ahora si no se incluyen nuevos trazados que reduzca a una sola carrera (Mayo)
    Ronda 10: Gran Premio IndyCar de New Orleans (En conversaciones) (Junio)
    Ronda 11: Texas IndyCar 600 (Carrera Nocturna) (Junio)
    Ronda 12: Gran Premio IndyCar de Houston (Carrera Nocturna) – De acuerdo a lo que entiendo, sería reducida a una carrera nocturna para dejar la entrada del trazado de Dubai y Brasil (Junio)
    Ronda 13: Pocono IndyCar 500 (Julio)
    Ronda 14: Iowa IndyCar 300 (Julio)
    Rondas 15 y 16: Gran Premio IndyCar de Toronto (Carrera 1 y Carrera 2) – Por Ahora si no se incluyen nuevos trazados que reduzca a una sola carrera (Agosto)
    Ronda 17: Gran Premio IndyCar de Mid-Ohio (Agosto)
    Ronda 18: Milwaukee IndyCar Mille 250 (Septiembre)
    Ronda 19: Gran Premio IndyCar de Sonoma (Septiembre)
    Ronda 20: Fontana IndyCar 500 (Carrera Nocturna) (Octubre)
    Otros trazados que Derrick Walker propone como posibles regresos:
    La serie ha tenido una reunión exploratoria con el Nashville Superspeedway,
    - Nashville SuperSpeedway (Está en conversaciones, un primer acercamiento con promotores)
    Ve abiertas conversaciones de regresos:
    - Michigan International Speedway (Abierto a conversaciones si hay promotores)
    - Phoenix International Raceway (Abierto a conversaciones si hay promotores)

  11. dcollins22585 - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    IndyCar is good racing but they need a little variety in the cars. They are too equal right now and it is just a faster version of Indy Lights. Keep the cars in North America and reduce the street circuits. Michigan and Road America have to be included to be a prominent part of the U.S. scene.

  12. drylake - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    I dont see Sonoma. every year i hear Laguna is on the radar.

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