The 2010 schedule has been rumored to be released next weekend around the Kentucky race. Just as a preview, I thought it would be good to put up a list of all the possibilities that have been mentioned in the media.
The following venues already have contracts in place for next season:
bold=new venues for next season
Edmonton Airport (r)
Toronto Street Course (r)
Long Beach Street Course(r)
St. Petersburg Street Course (r)
Twin Ring Motegi (o)
Possible Confirmations for next year:
Watkins Glen (r)
Laguna Seca (r)
Brazil, Ribreo Preto Street Course (r)
Brazil, Rio De Janeiro Street Course (r)
Birmingham, Alabama, Barber Motorsports Park (r)
Cleveland Airport (r)
Cleveland Airport (o)
Loudon, New Hampshire (o)
Homestead Miami (o)
The list of potential venues includes races that I have heard talk about in the IndyCar media and/or current venues. Obviously, we won’t have a 24 race calendar, so here is some discussion about what we have been hearing on some of these venues.
Watkins Glen – This one will return, but they have requested a fall date instead of the July 4th weekend. They feel that they don’t get enough corporate hospitality involvement due to the holiday weekend.
Sonoma/Laguna Seca – One of these races will be on the schedule. I would prefer Laguna, since it has a deep history with CART. There has been increased talk about Sonoma not returning. Just recently we have started to hear some chatter about Laguna. My fingers are crossed.
Brazil – Terry Angstadt will be returning today from a trip to Brazil to try and get ink on the deal to run races there. Ribreo Preto sounds like the most likely event, but Rio De Janero and another city have been mentioned as possibilities. This may be one race or two races and will most likely be the season opener(s) in early March or even late February.
Barber Motorsports Park – With the 10,000 strong attendance for the test session that IndyCar did at Barber this spring, it seems likely that this event will be on the schedule.
Cleveland (road and oval) – There was some scuttlebut about running a double header event at Cleveland where they would run a flat oval configuration of the airport track and then run the traditional twisty airport track. It still gets mentioned from time to time, but most likely will not be on the schedule.
Richmond – From all the media that I follow, they have all been pretty down on Richmond’s chances of continuing on the schedule. Their contract with their primary event sponsor has ended and they don’t sound too inclined to cover the sanction fee without major event sponsor help.
Milwaukee – Due to obvious promoter/fair board/money problems at the track. At this time, I don’t look for this historic venue to return. The IRL has said that they will keep a spot open for them on the calendar in case the mess is resolved, but most likely not the traditional weekend after the 500.
Iowa – This has been a great event on the schedule. The local community has embraced IndyCar and the event atmosphere has been very good. Look for Iowa to return.
Kansas – As this speedway expands and tries to get a second nascar date, I dont think they care whether they keep IndyCar or not. Based on the fact that you have to buy one of their ridiculous season ticket packages for all races just to get a ticket for any event, I fully support leaving that track off the schedule. The only way for somebody out of town to attend the race is to buy the season ticket package or get tickets off ebay. Sad. Chicago has the same policy, but that will most likely end after this season since they had 20,000 empty seats during their most recent nascar event which was mostly blamed on their season ticket policy in a bad economy.
Kentucky – There has been talk about Kentucky moving from their current August date to Labor Day weekend. This makes it a strong likelihood that they will return in 2010.
Loudon – With short tracks Milwaukee and Richmond most likely going off the schedule, Loudon would be a good 1 mile oval to add. There has been talk about this deal for the last couple years. I would be surprised if Loudon doesn’t make the 2010 schedule.
Homestead Miami – I certainly hope that this is the last season that we have to watch this race. Attendance has been laughable and since they reprofiled the track (twice) the racing hasn’t been nearly as good. It wouldn’t make any sense though for the IRL to move it from the first race of the season (for many years) to the season finale (this year) only to drop if from the 2010 schedule. Again, my fingers are crossed on this one… but for different reasons.