IndyCar cancels Portland, Laguna Seca; adds Mid-Ohio, Gateway, Indy

IndyCar cancels Portland Laguna Seca
Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UPDATE: IndyCar and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Couse announced Saturday that the Aug. 8-9 race weekend has been postponed to September or October

The NTT IndyCar Series has canceled three races in September at Portland International Raceway and Weather Tech Raceway at Laguna Seca, announcing Monday the expansion to three race doubleheader weekends to fill the gaps this season.

The first will take place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which will add a race Saturday, Aug. 8 race to precede its previously announced Sunday, Aug. 9 event.

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway also will add a Saturday, Aug. 29 event to pair with its Sunday, Aug. 30 race. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will play host to an additional race Friday, Oct. 2., adding to its already scheduled Saturday, Oct. 3 event — which now will mark the last of three races conducted this season on the road course layout that includes part of the famed 2.5-mile oval.

In a format similar to Iowa, World Wide Technology Raceway announced the lineups for both races will be set during an Aug. 29 qualifying session with the first lap determining the starting spot for Saturday’s 200-lap race and the second awarding the starting spot for Sunday’s 200-lap race.

IndyCar recently completed consecutive race weekend doubleheaders at Road America and Iowa Speedway that were well-received by teams.

“Our race fans have loved the exciting doubleheader action of the NTT IndyCar Series this year at Road America and Iowa Speedway,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “We look forward to giving them even more world-class entertainment this season at three of the most exciting racetracks on the NTT IndyCar Series calendar.”

The Grand Prix of Portland on Sept. 13 and the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca doubleheader Sept. 20-21 have been canceled “by mutual decision between the series and promoters” because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar said it plans to return to both tracks next year. Portland had returned to the IndyCar schedule in 2018 after its most recent Champ Car race in 2007. Laguna Seca was the site of last year’s season finale after last playing host to Champ Car in 2004.

Here’s the release announcing IndyCar canceled its Portland and Laguna Seca races:

INDIANAPOLIS (July 27, 2020) – The NTT IndyCar Series released an updated 2020 race calendar today featuring several modifications.

Three events already scheduled on the series calendar will now become doubleheader weekends, including IndyCar’s upcoming race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Prior to the originally scheduled Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, Aug. 9, the stars of the NTT IndyCar Series will square off in another championship-points paying event Saturday, Aug. 8.

In addition, the race weekends at World Wide Technology Raceway in August and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in October will become doubleheader weekends. WWTR will feature races Saturday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 30. IMS will add a road course race Friday, Oct. 2 before the already scheduled event Saturday, Oct. 3.

“Our race fans have loved the exciting doubleheader action of the NTT IndyCar Series this year at Road America and Iowa Speedway,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “We look forward to giving them even more world-class entertainment this season at three of the most exciting racetracks on the NTT IndyCar Series calendar.”

INDYCAR’s race at Portland International Raceway and double-header weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellation of both event weekends was a mutual decision between the series and promoters following close consultation and monitoring of the local situation. The series looks forward to returning to both venues in 2021.

The NTT IndyCar Series remains on track to run 14 races in the 2020 season. The full, updated schedule can be found at

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”