Hinchcliffe vents about doubleheaders, but is he right?

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Perhaps it was just venting in the face of an emotional, challenging weekend in front of his home fans. Or perhaps, he had a point.

Either way, James Hinchcliffe was not a happy camper in the aftermath of this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader weekend. Scott Dixon swept the weekend and Hinchcliffe had one eighth place, and a second race to forget after needing to fix a stuck throttle at the outset.

“I don’t think anybody likes them,” he told Wheels.ca after the race. “You have to have double-headers at all of them or none of them. I’ve said that since they announced these things. It’s not a fair way to do it.

“Nobody in the series will ever warm up to these,” he added. They’re too hard on the drivers, they’re too hard on the teams. You get so little practice, it’s so tough to get the car set up right.”

Hinchcliffe followed that line of thinking with a line that “it’s not about us,” and that if the fans want to see it and buy more tickets, then they need to try to way to make it work.

He’s not alone in questioning the doubleheader format. Earlier this year, in an exclusive interview with MotorSportsTalk, racing legend Mario Andretti said he personally wasn’t a fan of doubleheaders heading into Detroit.

“You want to have just one main event,” he told me.

Judging by the attendance, and particularly the increased Saturday attendances at both Detroit and Toronto, the promoters have to be happy with the financial increases. But what are some ways forward for IndyCar to modify or enhance the doubleheader weekend format?

More importantly, is Hinchcliffe right? Or was it just sour grapes because his Andretti Autosport, which has been on target the rest of 2013, missed the setup this weekend? Sound off in the comments.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.