Stability in the 2018 IndyCar calendar

The Verizon IndyCar Series only have one venue change compared to the 2017 season, which finished 3 months ago.

The calendar once again consists of 17 races at 16 different tracks, but that results in one circuit no longer receiving a visit by the fast single-seater series.

Portland International Raceway, Oregon is on the IndyCar calendar for the first time, since Champ Car visited the track back in their final season, back in 2007.

After just two seasons on the calendar, the Watkins Glen circuit north west of New York had to drop off again. The circuit gave the drivers some unique challenges with quick corner combinations and long high speed turns. But the IndyCar series has chosen to go west, and end the season with two races on the west coast in the shape of Portland and Sonoma.

The season will start off in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, before Phoenix International Raceway (newly renamed ISM Raceway) will be the first oval of the year, already at the second round of the championship. Long Beach, California will follow with Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama and the IndyCar Grand Prix on the infield in Indianapolis, before the highlight of the year, Indy 500, will be run on the final weekend in May.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 2017
Photo by: Owens

The 2018 calendar is a good mix of ovals, street courses and road courses. Only with the Pocono Raceway, Pennsylvania and Gateway Motorsports Park, Illinois there will be two ovals in a row.

The IndyCar drivers going to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June will have a super busy one and a half months. It all starts with the IndyCar Grand Prix followed by the Indy 500 tests starting on the Monday after that event, which will culminate with the Indy 500 itself on May 27. One week later the teams will be in Detroit, Michigan for a double round, with races both Saturday and Sunday. Texas Motor Speedway will host a race the following weekend, before the drivers will go straight to Le Mans. And on the weekend following Le Mans, the IndyCar series will visit Road America, Wisconsin. Even with the biggest part of the field NOT going to Le Mans, everybody will have a very busy May and June.

The calendar looks like this:

Rd. Date Race Name Track City
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (S) Streets of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Florida
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (O) ISM Raceway Avondale, Arizona
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (S) Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, California
4 April 22 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (R) Barber Motorsports Park Leeds, Alabama
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix (R) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Speedway, Indiana
6 May 27 102nd Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil (O) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana
7 June 2 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear Corporation (S) Belle Isle Park Detroit, Michigan
8 June 3
9 June 9 Texas Indy 600 (O) Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas
10 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix (R) Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
11 July 8 Iowa Corn 300 (O) Iowa Speedway Newton, Iowa
12 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto (S) Exhibition Place Toronto, Ontario
13 July 29 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (R) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio
14 August 19 ABC Supply 500 (O) Pocono Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania
15 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Presented by Valvoline (O) Gateway Motorsports Park Madison, Illinois
16 September 2 Grand Prix of Portland (R) Portland International Raceway Portland, Oregon
17 September 16 Grand Prix of Sonoma (R) Sonoma Raceway Sonoma, California

S = Street circuit

O = Oval

R = Road Course

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