(Originally posted by Paul to Planet-IRL.com.)
So, here it is.
My initial thoughts are quite mixed. It’s nice that the League has put the schedule out this early, and it’s good that there actually seems to be a market for IndyCar races these days. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in the announcement of two ovals being lost and two road courses being added.
I know the New Hampshire race was poorly attended when the IndyCar Series last raced there in 1998, but many things have changed in the past 11 years. The northeast part of the US is an area that IndyCar Series really needs to be in, and it’s a shame that the Series can’t come to terms with a track that is desperate to have them. It’s no secret that International Speedway Corporation (ISC) continues to give the Indy Racing League kicks to the groin year in and year out (as witnessed by the removal of Richmond, just like Michigan, California, Nazareth, Pikes Peak, and Phoenix before it). But Speedway Motorsports Inc. seems to be one of the few true friends that the League has.
I suppose I can understand the concern of the IRL in avoiding NHMS with Sprint Cup dates very close together and a short racing season. What I really do not understand is why the Indy Racing League is continuously avoiding Las Vegas. That track only hosts one Sprint Cup race and that is usually the first weekend in March. Why the League would not want to finish the season in Vegas is just beyond me.
I’ll chew on this schedule for a bit longer and come back with some more thought-out comments.