IndyCar set to open season next month
IndyCar has gotten the green flag to finally start its season, which it will do in Texas with a nighttime race June 6 without spectators.
The race at Texas Motor Speedway was the next one on the schedule that hadn’t been postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. IndyCar and track officials announced the details Thursday, heavy with safety precautions along with financial concessions from both sides to make it happen.
There will be a condensed schedule, with practice, qualifying and the race taking place on the same day. There will be strict access guidelines limiting the number of personnel on site, with health screening system administered to all participants and personal protection equipment provided to everyone entering the facility.
TMS president Eddie Gossage had previously indicated he didn’t want to run an IndyCar race without fans, given that tracks don’t get a cut of the TV revenue for those races like they do for NASCAR events.
“For a race track with the IndyCar race, the gate is your single largest revenue source. So that’s a big deal to do it without fans in the stands, and I didn’t want to do that,” Gossage said. “But at the end of the day, we worked something out. We’re paying IndyCar, we’re just not paying as much. So both of us compromised, and both of us are losing money.”
While Gossage wouldn’t reveal any figures, he said it was good to get things going in the sport again. He joked that one concession he got from Roger Penske was 10 minutes in the motorcoach of the series’ new owner to “search between the cushions to kind of help bridge the gap on our financial issues.”
Texas has held IndyCar races since the 11⁄2-mile track opened in 1997, longer than any facility in the series other than Indianapolis Motor Speedway. TMS hosted two races a year from 1998-2004.
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