IndyCar Cancels Detroit Doubleheader but Adds New Races at Indianapolis, Iowa and Laguna Seca

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another NTT IndyCar Series event as the Duel in Detroit has been canceled.

For the second time this month, IndyCar has ordered a schedule overhaul to reflect the changing landscape as the global pandemic extends deeper and deeper into the summer months.

The shutdown has now forced the cancellation of events at Barber Motorsports Park, Circuit of the Americas and the Belle Isle Raceway Park. To compensate, the new provisional IndyCar Series schedule opens on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.

To make up for the cancellations, IndyCar has added races to the schedule, turning the events at Iowa Speedway (July 17-18) and Raceway Laguna (Sept. 19-20) into doubleheaders. IndyCar has also created a new event to take place on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course — the Harvest Grand Prix on Saturday October 3.

The new event with share the stage with Indianapolis 8 Hour sports car race that features the Intercontinental GT Challenge and the GT World Challenge America.

The name of the event pays homage to the Harvest Classic, a three-race series held at the Speedway in September 1916 that was swept by Johnny Aitken. The race was the only event held at the Speedway outside of the traditional month of May until the advent of the Brickyard 400 in 1994.

“Paired with the Indianapolis 8 Hour, we’re set for a can’t-miss fall weekend of motorsports at The Racing Capital of the World,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles in a release. “We appreciate everyone’s support and flexibility as we continue to navigate calendar adjustments caused by the COVID-19 situation.”

As it stands right now, the provisional 2020 IndyCar Series schedule is set to host 16 races. Each event has a new date, with the exception of the postponed Streets of St. Petersburg, which IndyCar is targeting for an October season finale.

If IndyCar and Green Savoree Promotions are unable to secure a new date for the Florida street race, the Harvest Grand Prix would become the IndyCar championship race.

“We’re committed to bringing fans as much on-track action as possible,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “Our updated schedule features additional racing at fan-favorite venues and adds to the total number of events on our calendar. The COVID-19 situation continues to be dynamic and challenging for everyone, so we have developed contingency plans which will allow us to respond to changing conditions. Our goal is to preserve as much racing competition as possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our participants and spectators.”

The outright cancellation of the Duel in Detroit was necessary because the state of Michigan is under a stay at home order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer until at least April 13. Track construction would have to begin around that some time. Belle Isle Park is booked for private events for much of the summer and autumn months, making the viability of a postponement infeasible.

The provisional IndyCar Series schedule as of early April can be viewed below.

Saturday, June 6 | Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday, June 21 | Road America
Saturday, June 27 | Richmond Raceway
Saturday, July 4 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Sunday, July 12 | Streets of Toronto
Saturday, July 17 | Iowa Speedway
Saturday, July 18 | Iowa Speedway
Sunday, Aug. 9 | Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Sunday, Aug. 23 | Indianapolis 500 Mile Race
Sunday, Aug. 30 | World Wide Technology Raceway
Sunday, Sept. 13 | Portland International Raceway
Sunday, Sept. 20 | WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca
Sunday, Sept. 20 | WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca
Saturday, Oct. 3 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
TBD | Streets of St. Petersburg

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