More of the same

Posted by Iannucci | 9/19/2007 | 7 comments »
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Yesterday the 2008 schedule was announced to a collective yawn, since it had pretty much been solidified for several months. With but a few tweaks it’s the same schedule as 2007 – sans Michigan, and that omission still totally sucks.

However, in what can only be classified as “No news is good news”, the one prospective new event for next year appears to be dead. After much speculation, Curt Cavin threw a bucket full of cold water on us by repeatedly saying on his daily blog that the new date was going to involve some kind of Dodger Stadium Grand Prix. I can think of a few four-letter words I might say if they held an IndyCar race IN A PARKING LOT, but “Huge” is not one of them. Unless of course we put a word like “Mistake” after it.

The bottom line is this schedule is stable, and both fans and promoters in the respective locales can predictably plan around the events. (This just in: random dates are not so good for attendance.) It would appear by coupling these 16 dates with the new “value” plan for larger payouts that for the short term the IRL has decided it’s best to attempt expansion the base of ownership than the increasing the number of races.

Which means as long as more than 18 participants show up for each event next season this plan can be considered successful. Except for leaving out Michigan.

Here’s the ’08 schedule. Plan accordingly.

March 29 Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1.5-mile oval (Night)
April 6 Streets of St. Petersburg, 1.8-mile street course
April 19 Twin Ring Motegi, 1.5-mile oval
April 27 Kansas Speedway, 1.5-mile oval
May 25 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2.5-mile oval
June 1 The Milwaukee Mile, 1-mile oval
June 7 Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile oval (Night)
June 22 Iowa Speedway, .875-mile oval
June 28 Richmond International Raceway, .75-mile oval (Night)
July 6 Watkins Glen International, 3.37-mile road course
July 12 Nashville Superspeedway, 1.33-mile oval (Night)
July 20 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, 2.258-mile road course
Aug. 9 Kentucky Speedway, 1.5-mile oval (Night)
Aug. 24 Infineon Raceway, 2.4-mile road course
Aug. 31 The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, 2.096-mile street course
Sept. 7 Chicagoland Speedway, 1.5-mile oval


  1. Paul Winston // September 19, 2007 10:42 AM  

    I have yet to hear/read anyone saying the Dodger Stadium idea is a positive one. In fact, when mentioned, it prompts a strong response from everyone about how bad an idea it is.

    So, why is the IRL still pursuing it (allegedly)?

  2. Jeff Iannucci // September 19, 2007 10:49 AM  

    My guess is that the are sensing a lost opportunity in SoCal.

    NASCAR events don't sell out at California Speedway, while the Long Beach event seems to draw as many spectators as any other Champ Car event. The thinking would be that Los Angeles is a prime market for Open-Wheel racing, so maybe the IRL leadership thinks any event would work.

    Speaking of, there's also the school of thought that if Champ Car does close it's doors (again) that Long Beach would immediately be snapped up. However that's just hope or daydreaming at this point.

    Also factor in that the current Dodgers owner is always looking to make a buck. He may be begging the IRL to pimp the stadium if he thinks it can work for him. In fact, I can't imagine how this idea would have originated with IndyCar people.

    Anyhow, that's probably how we got to this being a highly discussed non-event for two years in a row.

  3. Jordan // September 19, 2007 10:56 AM  

    I agree with you about Michigan---it's the 2nd best race on the schedule and a fantastic, unique track. Losing it hurts as now almost half of the series is on 1.5 mile oval tracks.

    Still, I don't understand why Fontana isn't a viable track for an IRL race unless the strategy was to shorten the season to reduce some operating costs thereby attempting to make it more attractive to some of the teams on the margin.

  4. erika // September 19, 2007 1:12 PM  

    As a resident of Los Angeles, I can tell you it's a lonely place for an IRL fan. Whenever the IRL figures out how to come back to SoCal, it will need to be in partnership with an organization that really excels at promotion - the only thing worse than a race in a parking lot is a race in a parking lot filled with empty stands.

  5. john c // September 19, 2007 4:38 PM  

    Dodger Stadium Parking lot looks big, but.... I just don't see this happening. Though and old friend of mine in Glendale assures me that the parking lot is big enough. I need more convincing. If they miss a turn they end up in the middle of the Pasadena Freeway. That might be interesting. =)

  6. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // September 19, 2007 6:42 PM  

    I still think it's stupid to schedule races in TN & KY in the hell that is the humidness of July and Aug in The South. It makes me grouchy.

  7. Johnny // September 20, 2007 4:08 AM  

    I completely concur with the above statement about the TN and KY race scheduling. Cut us some slack with at least one tolerable level weather Southern race please.