Extensions for Honda and Chevrolet appear close, while an extension for Pocono Raceway with the Verizon IndyCar Series remains a toss-up, per a pair of reports out on Saturday.
First up from FOX Sports’ Bruce Martin is word that not only Honda – whose extension talks have been a hot topic all year – but also Chevrolet appear close to dual five-year extensions with INDYCAR (sanctioning body).
INDYCAR’s outgoing president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said his boss, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, will need to review a request by Honda for INDYCAR to enact Rule 9.3, which allows for updates to a manufacturer aero kit for competitive purposes.
That request, as well as Honda’s status, are likely to be determined after the end of the season. Honda’s contract with INDYCAR expires on Sept. 13; Walker’s expires the Monday after Sonoma on August 31.
Another extension talk is with Pocono Raceway itself, where the series competes this weekend for the ABC Supply 500, the second-to-last race of the season.
Track president Brandon Igdalsky told the Associated Press’ Dan Gelston that the odds are an even “50-50” that the track will return to the IndyCar schedule in 2016.
In his latest comments to the IMS Radio Network earlier today, Miles did not mention Pocono explicitly by venue.
In terms of importance, getting Honda to re-sign is higher on the priority list for INDYCAR than is retaining Pocono. Not that Pocono isn’t important, but it’s easier to replace a venue than it is a manufacturer.
And from what Honda provides, not just from a competition but also an activation standpoint, they bring far more to the series than just engines and aero kits.