24th March - St. Petersburg, Florida (Street)
7th April - Barber, Birmingham, Alabama (Road)
21st April - Long Beach, California (Street)
5th May - Sao Paulo, Brazil (Street)
26th May - Indianapolis (Oval)
1st & 2nd June - Detroit (Street – Double-header)
8th June - Fort Worth, Texas (Oval)
15th June – Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Oval)
23rd June - Newton, Iowa (Oval)
7th July - Pocono, Pennsylvania. (Oval)
13th & 14th July - Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Street – Double-header)
4th August - Lexington, Ohio (Road)
25th August - Sonoma, California. (Road)
1st September - Baltimore, Maryland (Street)
5th & 6th October - Houston, Texas (Street – Double-header)
19th October - Fontana, California (Oval)
First up, more races - Fifteen was just not enough, even with the cancellation of the China race, the season is now up to nineteen races, which was Randy Bernard target going into next season.
More ovals - There was a cry for more ovals, we got it, one more, still heading in the right direction.
Return of the Triple Crown – You could say three ‘marquee’ events, although maybe 100 mile short in some peoples eyes, but the cash prize for winning all three is a big incentive, I wouldn’t say no to the prize for winning two out of the three. There has been some early talk that Pocono could be a 500 mile’r come 2014.
Double-Headers – New idea for this year, be interesting to see how 1) teams approach the first race, now they have a little more time for repairs unlike the hour or so between the Texas Twin trial in 2011, and 2) how the fans turn up on the first day. Prices will need to be reflective to attract Saturday fans. (See Con’s)
Longer Season – Finishing in September this year was way too early. (See Con’s)
Better Spread – Important to gain another race in the north east of the country, some very large populated cities are nearby.
Timing - The schedule is out in October, not Christmas time, not in the new year, this gives plenty of time now for promoters to really get to grips with it and sell tickets and promote the race unlike years gone by
Low number of Ovals – maybe we were hoping for too much too soon but would like to of seen the gap between the three circuits close, talk of Kentucky returning did not materialise. But, going forward hopefully dialogue has been opened and something to look forward too.
Double-Headers – Whilst providing the necessary races to reach 19 for the season, is this going to detract from what would be considered the main event (i.e. Sunday race)?
That Gap – Between Baltimore and Houston there is a five week gap. That is a long time especially if the championship is going to the wire, may worry that momentum for fan interest / viewers maybe lost? This could be though a time to get some testing weekends in, open to the public, or maybe trials for drivers in the Road to Indy ladder to test and Indycar.
The Canadian ‘One’ – Well technically two, but after losing Edmonton to the promoters axe, many Canadian fans have felt left out a little, hopes of maybe adding Vancouver, Montreal, or a rescue bid for the Edmonton race have faded.
Overall I am pretty happy this schedule, like the title says, not just a schedule for 2013, but beyond, new tracks in place, ones in the pipeline like Providence and hopefully dialogue has been opened with former tracks. We also have new sites like COTA, Minneapolis and NOLA maybe being considered in the near future.
I always believe you will never really reach your end goal, you just try all different ways of getting there, its up to us how we enjoy the ride.
What are your thoughts on the schedule?