Getty Images

IndyCar unveils 2019 schedule, adds Circuit of the Americas to 17-race slate

5 Comments

Even though the 2018 season still has one race to go, IndyCar officials are already thinking about next year, announcing the series’ 2019 schedule Tuesday morning.

The number of races will remain the same at 17 events. However, there will be two venue changes: Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, will replace ISM Raceway in Phoenix on the schedule, and Laguna Seca will assume the season-ending race in place of Sonoma Raceway.

All events will be carried by the NBC Sports Group, including NBC and NBCSN, and will be highlighted by the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2019.

COTA has long been mentioned as a potential venue for IndyCar. The 3.426-mile permanent road course becomes the second-longest track on the circuit, behind Road America (4.048 miles) in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

COTA becomes the second track in the state of Texas to host an IndyCar race, the other being longtime series host Texas Motor Speedway (has hosted 30 races since 1997), which recently reached agreement on a new four-year deal with the sanctioning body.

“COTA is one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world and Austin is a happening city,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “This a natural fit for the IndyCar Series.

“Indy car racing has a large and passionate fan base in Texas with a hunger to attend more races. This added date will allow us to deliver both oval and road course events to the state in a single season.”

AddedCOTA founder and chairman Bobby Epstein, “It’s going to be spectacular. Our entire team at COTA is excited to welcome the teams, drivers and visitors to our great city, and we know Austin will give them a warm welcome.”

There will be a nearly three-month window between the March 24 event at COTA and the Saturday night, June 8 event at TMS.

The other addition to the 2019 schedule, which was announced last month, is the 2.238-mile WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway permanent road course near Monterey, California.

IndyCar returns to Laguna Seca after a 15-year absence. Indy cars have contested 22 races there over the years, the last being in 2004.

The rest of the series remains the same as 2018 in terms of venues, starting for the ninth consecutive year with the Grand Prix on the Streets of St. Petersburg (Florida) on March 10.

All told, there will once again be a wide breath of diversity on the schedule, with races on seven permanent road courses, five temporary street courses and five ovals.

“IndyCar has worked to deliver a consistency and cadence to the schedule and that is reflected again in 2019,” Miles said. “We’ve added races at a pair of tracks that know how to put on fantastic events, while returning to tracks where INDYCAR has longstanding relationships on familiar race dates.

“The diversity of next year’s schedule will continue to make what we believe is the most challenging and competitive championship in motorsports.”

The other major element to note is NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the entire series in 2019, the first of a three-year multimedia rights deal with IndyCar.

Eight of next season’s races will air on the NBC network, highlighted by the Indy 500. The other nine races will be carried on NBCSN.

Additional exclusive content will available on NBC Sports Gold, the direct-to-consumer product that will bring subscribers closer to IndyCar racing than ever before.

Here’s how the 2019 IndyCar schedule looks:

Date: Track

March 10: Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida

March 24: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas

April 7: Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama

April 14: Streets of Long Beach, California

May 11: IndyCar Grand Prix, Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course

May 26: 103rd Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval

June 1: Streets of Detroit, Race 1, Detroit, Michigan

June 2: Streets of Detroit, Race 2, Detroit, Michigan

June 8: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas*

June 23: Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

July 14: Streets of Toronto, Canada

July 20: Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa*

July 28: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio

Aug. 18: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania

Aug. 24: Gateway Motorsports Park, Madison, Illinois*

Sept. 1: Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon

Sept. 22: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Salinas, California

(*-night race)
(Schedule subject to change)

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

SupercrossLIVE.com
Leave a comment

“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

View this post on Instagram

Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

A post shared by D E A N O (@deanwilson15) on

Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter