Pocono confirms IndyCar return, adding to number of set dates

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Pocono Raceway confirmed the IndyCar Series will return in 2014 for an encore, after its return to the track for the first time in 24 years this past July.

The 2.5-mile oval, better known as “the Tricky Triangle,” announced IndyCar will again sandwich its pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup dates. The IndyCar and Indy Lights weekend will be on July 5-6, with Cup weekends June 6-8 and August 1-3.

Although IndyCar is yet to release its full 2014 schedule – reports on Sao Paulo’s status seem to be the holdup – there have been several pieces already released by tracks or other series.

The confirmed dates for IndyCar’s 2014 schedule are below:

March 28-30    St. Petersburg, Fla.
April 11-13    Long Beach, Calif.
May 25         Indianapolis, IN (Indianapolis 500)
May 30-June 1  Detroit, Mich.
June 5-7       Fort Worth, Texas
July 5-6       Pocono, PA
July 18-20     Toronto, Ontario
Aug. 1-3       Lexington, Ohio

Races without set dates but announced for that month include a return to Barber Motorsports Park in April, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course race in May.

Races yet to be confirmed for 2014 that occurred or will occur in 2013 are: Brazil, Milwaukee, Iowa, Sonoma, Houston and Fontana. All bar Brazil are expected to be retained for 2014 on a similar, but condensed in terms of number of weeks, schedule.

UPDATE 2: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama once again under red-flag race stoppage

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UPDATE No. 2: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was closing in on restarting on Lap 23 or 24 before officials threw the second red flag race stoppage because of lingering puddles on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park, particularly on the front stretch. We’ll keep you updated as situations warrant.

UPDATE No. 1: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.