(UPDATE: Two months after this release of the original 2021 schedule, IndyCar announced that the Grand Prix of Long Beach will be moved to the Sept. 26 season finale. In January, it announced that St. Petersburg was moved to April 25, and that Barber Motorsports Park now will open the season on April 18.)
The NTT IndyCar Series released its 2021 schedule, which will feature 17 races with two doubleheader race weekends.
The season will begin March 7 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, which will be the first of a record nine races shown on NBC (including the Grand Prix of Long Beach moving to the network). The other eight will be on NBCSN.
“We’re really pleased that the current plans provide for one additional race on NBC’s network than we had this year,” Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment, said in a release. “In particular, the season will start with NBC coverage of the St. Petersburg event, a spectacular start for those in attendance and watching from home.”
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Among the significant moves:
--Texas Motor Speedway will move ahead of the Indianapolis 500 for the first time with its first doubleheader race weekend on May 1-2.
--The Detroit Grand Prix weekend doubleheader will move from the week after the Indy 500 to June 12-13, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will hold its race July 4.
--The series will hold its inaugural race in Nashville, Tennessee, on Aug. 8 (the first street race added to the schedule since 2013).
--The Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will play host to two race weekends for the second consecutive year, running Aug. 14 the day before the first NASCAR Cup Series race on the circuit.
Three tracks that originally were on the 2020 slate will drop off the 2021 schedule:
--Richmond Raceway, whose return after a 10-year absence was canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic;
--Iowa Speedway, which had played host to IndyCar annually since 2007, including a doubleheader this year;
--Circuit of The Americas, which held its first IndyCar race in 2019 but was forced to cancel this year.
Here are the dates and TV networks for next year’s races (times will be announced at a later date):
IndyCar 2021 schedule
April 18 – Barber Motorsports Park (NBC)
April 25 – Streets of St. Petersburg (NBC)
May 1-2 – Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader (NBCSN)
May 15 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (NBC)
May 30 – Indianapolis 500 (NBC)
June 12-13 – Detroit Belle Isle GP doubleheader (NBC)
June 20 – Road America (NBCSN)
July 4 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (NBC)
July 11 – Streets of Toronto (NBCSN)
Aug. 8 – Streets of Nashville (NBCSN)
Aug. 14 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway GP 2 (NBCSN)
Aug. 21 – World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (NBCSN)
Sept. 12 – Portland International Raceway (NBC)
Sept. 19 – WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway (NBC)
Sept. 26 – Streets of Long Beach (NBC)