Texas oval on 2019 IndyCar schedule, despite COTA talks
IndyCar has reached a new multi-year agreement to continue racing at Texas Motor Speedway, despite the series being in talks with the Circuit of The Americas.
TMS president Eddie Gossage had a non-compete ‘radius clause’ in the last contract with the series, whereby no IndyCar race could be held within a certain radius of the oval outside Fort Worth, TX.
That effectively ruled out COTA, which lies approximately 220 miles south, near Austin, TX.
However, despite IndyCar being now deep in talks with COTA for the 20-turn 3.4-mile course to replace Phoenix’s ISM Raceway in IndyCar’s late-March/early-April slot, Gossage has apparently compromised from his previous stance, and renewed TMS’s deal.
Gossage had also been hoping to snag the immediate post-Indy 500 weekend for TMS’s IndyCar round, a schedule slot currently occupied by the double-header Dual in Detroit, on Belle Isle.
However, that Penske-run event has overcome local opposition and will return to the 2019 schedule in its traditional date. It is understood, therefore, that IndyCar will race at TMS again in June.
With Laguna Seca announced last month as replacement for Sonoma, and TMS’s renewal (to be announced on Tuesday), sealing a deal with COTA appear to be the last hurdle to overcome before IndyCar announces a 17-race calendar. A decision is expected within the next 10 days.
Although IndyCar is still in discussions over a return to Richmond International Raceway, that is now more likely to occur in 2020.
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