Auto Club Speedway out for IndyCar in 2016

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Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. hosted arguably one of the most exciting races in recent IndyCar memory on Saturday, June 27.

It won’t have an encore for 2016.

A track spokesperson has confirmed it won’t be on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, unable to find a suitable date and time that works for its schedule.

INDYCAR has also confirmed the news via a statement released:

INDYCAR explored several options to retain the event as part of its 2016 calendar, including plans to race later in the season to comply with the track’s request to host the season finale. Ultimately the two sides were unable to identify a start time and broadcast window that would not adversely impact television viewership on the East Coast.

“There was a tremendous amount of effort put forth to keep Auto Club Speedway on the calendar. In the end, we could not identify a compromise for 2016 that was amicable for both parties,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We’re thankful to (Auto Club Speedway President) Dave Allen for his efforts in these negotiations. We mutually agreed that our inability to identify a date for next year doesn’t preclude us revisiting these conversations in the future.”

It’s a shame as Auto Club Speedway hosted some of the most exciting races in IndyCar since its return in 2012, but has also been subject to four date changes in four years.

In 2012, the race was in mid-September, then moved to mid-October for 2013, end of August for 2014 and then end of June for this year.

Auto Club had been rumored as a possible season-ender for 2016, after Boston’s race on Labor Day weekend, but that is now not the case.

It remains to be seen whether ACS – a staple of open-wheel calendars from 1997 to 2005 and from 2012 to 2015 – will have a third life with IndyCar.

The news comes as Phoenix International Raceway is closing on a possible April return, incidentally, for the first time since 2005.