Back in May, INDYCAR confirmed that it was targeting the NOLA Motorsports Park road course outside New Orleans for a 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series event.
As of now, that potential race and another 2015 possibility in Providence, Rhode Island are still being worked on according to Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles.
“There’s ongoing work with both to see what’s possible,” Miles said during an interview this morning on Fox Sports Radio. “Neither is done.
“We’re probably further along in New Orleans, but we still have to agree on some improvements at the track – which I think are quite likely to be made – and the event agreement and date. They understand we can’t pick one date until we know more about other dates so it’s kind of the dominoes.
“And in Providence, there’s some ongoing conversation. I’m not going to handicap the chances of both of them happening for next year, but they’re top of mind as we think about putting together the schedule.”
The New Orleans event has the backing of Andretti Sports Marketing, an off-shoot of Andretti Autosport that also handles IndyCar’s annual race at the Milwaukee Mile and used to run the now-defunct Grand Prix of Baltimore.
As part of the May announcement, it was disclosed that upon approval of the Louisiana state legislature, $4.5 million would be put toward enhancing the NOLA circuit. That sum, plus private funding from the track itself, would bring the facility up to INDYCAR standards.
Talk about Providence, however, hasn’t been as plentiful since it first hit the radar as a possible 2015 stop. That said, just because we haven’t seen as much buzz on this potential event doesn’t mean that things haven’t been happening behind the scenes.
But while we wait for confirmation on New Orleans, Providence, or both, we shouldn’t be doing the same for any new ovals in 2015.
“At this point, I don’t think that’s very likely for next year, to be quite frank,” Miles told Fox on the subject. “I’m not going to list them – to me, there’s some great ovals that we’ve had great history with and at the point and time when it makes sense to those tracks and can fit in with our schedules, then it’ll be much more active discussion.
“But at this point – and I don’t think it’s likely to change for the ’15 schedule – I see the number is probably staying pat.”
And that probably won’t make the oval-centric portion of the IndyCar fans base very happy. Currently, the series only races at six such tracks – Indianapolis, Texas, Pocono, Iowa, Milwaukee, and Auto Club Speedway in California.