The 2023 IndyCar schedule has been officially released. Despite start times being listed on the app and IndyCar’s website, times are still to be determined. According to Nathan Brown of the IndyStar, the app and website requires a time to be posted. Maybe saying TBD isn’t an option, non the less still confusing to people. With that said, 17 races on 15 tracks make up a 2023 schedule very similar to what we saw in 2022. Outside of a few date changes and Detroit moving away from Belle Isle to downtown Detroit, the schedule is consistent to what we saw last year, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Yes, we all want more ovals, East Coast fans want more East Coast races and three races will be broadcasted on USA Network with Toronto airing on Peacock. Having similarities in the schedule from year end and year out means these events are happy with their dates and aren’t trying to get out of contracts. A few date changes have allowed the final three races to be on three consecutive weekends. A complaint that was heard all season was carrying momentum weekend to weekend. It’s hard to do that when races are three weeks apart from each other. The 2023 schedule has just one three week gap between the first and second races of the season, with St. Pete opening the calendar on March 5th and the second race of the year at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2nd. This allows the sport to not compete against the NCAA Tournament or The Masters tournament that brings in millions of eyeballs. The first seven events will air on NBC with expanded coverage of Indy 500 qualifying weekend also airing on NBC.
Detroit will cap off a busy month of racing and qualifying weekends in early June. The series will return to the streets of downtown Detroit as it moves away from the course at Belle Isle where IndyCar has raced at since 1992. From the Motor City, IndyCar will tackle three straight road or street courses on USA Network and Peacock. Both Road America and Mid-Ohio will air on USA Network, with the streets of Toronto airing exclusively on Peacock.
The Iowa Speedway double header will continue with races on Saturday July 22nd and Sunday July 23rd. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Saturday race will be run at night, which does make sense. It would be too quick of a turn around if the green flag flew less than 24 hours from each other. Hy-Vee did an amazing job with the race weekend and hopefully Mother Nature will give us temperatures that aren’t approaching triple digits like in 2022, ultimately giving people in the area a reason to not come out.
The Indianapolis Nascar/IndyCar double header will move back to the month of August with IndyCar going green on Saturday, August 12th. The streets of Nashville will be the weekend prior with the race running on August 6th, similar to the 2021 schedule.
Worldwide Technology Raceway will run on Sunday at a time TBD. The 2022 race saw incredibly high temperatures for the weekend and a rain delay. That rain delay was the saving grace as the cooler temperature under the lights made for more passing and better grip. I don’t expect this race to be at night and will more than likely go green around 3:30 EST.
The final west coast swing will see Portland and Laguna Seca wrapping up the schedule. More racetracks and races are coming in the years to come, but going back to places like Watkins Glen, Milwaukee and Richmond take so much time to iron out. I am content with the 2023 schedule and hope to see a few more events added in 2024.
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