IndyCar: Miles wants 20 races; seeks further shift forward

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INDIANAPOLIS – INDYCAR’s top executive, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, took the opportunity Tuesday to better describe the schedule strategy for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Miles took responsibility for what he perceived as a “misunderstanding” of the schedule strategy, as INDYCAR attempts to move the schedule forward.

“I want to say a word to save somebody the trouble of asking our strategy about the schedule,” Miles said.

“It is misunderstood. That’s on me. It’s my opportunity today to talk a little bit about what we are trying to do.

“We’re not trying to shorten the season.  We are actually planning to lengthen the season.  What we’re trying to do is slide the season earlier.

“We’ve shared with the drivers, with the team owners, with the promoters, the vision, the plan, which we’ll get closer to in 2016, where we hope we begin the weekend after the Super Bowl, early February, and go through Labor Day for the championship.  That gets us into eight months, a little over seven months of racing.

“Our objective is about 20 races.

“So, yes, we started by ending earlier.  You haven’t yet seen us start earlier.  But I want you to understand that’s where we’re going.  We want to race in a very full schedule, about 20 races, from the weekend after the Super Bowl in early February through Labor Day.  That will feel very different than it did last year and this year.  You will see the expansion.”

To get there, Miles said there will need to be warm weather climates explored. He also reiterated that international races wouldn’t trump North American opportunities, should they come together.

“We still continue to believe that we’re not going to become Formula One,” he said. “We’re not going to be chasing ourselves around the globe week after week after. That is not the strategy. But we can imagine a limited number of international races at the beginning of the calendar in February, then get to the States, North America, stay in North America.

“I would emphasis this is not about shortening the season, and we’re not shunning North American opportunities for international ones. This is about lengthening the season, racing a full seven-month schedule, and perhaps having international races on a limited basis at the beginning of that schedule.

“In that regard, because it will be asked, we continue to believe there’s a real opportunity there. There are important international capitals that value IndyCar racing, that provide a great value proposition for IndyCar, not only economically, but also in terms of beginning to expose us to race fans around the world in a way we’re not fully exposed to today that I think over time can pay benefits to our series, our teams, our sponsors.”

IMSA race at Daytona: How to watch, start times, schedule, TV info, more

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IMSA start times: For the first time in more than five months, Daytona International Speedway will have a sports car race as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series returns to the same place it left off today (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

After being sidelined by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, the premier sports car circuit will wave the green again on its 2020 season today. But instead of the annual 24-hour endurance classic, Saturday’s WeatherTech 240 will be a “sprint race” around the 3.56-mile road course.

Here are the details for IMSA’s second race of the season at Daytona (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona race information

TV: 6 p.m. NBCSN, NBC Sports App and TrackPass

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSARadio.com, as well as Sirius Channel 216, XM 210, Internet 970

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours, 40 minutes around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 88 degrees with a 51% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to see the 26 cars entered in Saturday’s race.


IMSA weekend schedule: Friday, July 3

11 a.m. — WeatherTech Championship Transporter Load-In

1 p.m. — Garages open; pit lane equipment setup

6:15-7:15 p.m. — First practice WeatherTech Championship (all classes)

9:30 p.m. — Garages close

IMSA weekend schedule: Saturday, July 4

8 a.m. — Garages open

8:45 a.m. — Fuel rig inspection

10:15 a,m — 11:30 am — Practice (restricted by classes: 10:15-10:45 a.m., GTD Silver/Bronze; 10:30-11:30 a.m., DPi/GTLM; 10:45-11:15, GTD all drivers)

1:55 p.m. — GTD qualifying

2:20 p.m. — GTLM qualifying

2:45 p.m. — DPi qualifying

6 p.m. — Formation laps

6:10 p.m. — IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona (2 hours, 40 minutes)

11:30 p.m. — Garages close