IndyCar has finally revealed to the world the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, a 17-race season that provides continuity, featuring the return of Gateway Motorsports Park alongside previously established race events and confirms a multi-year agreement with Watkins Glen International.
The series calendar, which has remained largely unchanged from 2016, will again span from early March to early September, features the returns of all venues on the 2016 schedule and consists of a total of six major events, six on road courses and five on street circuits.
A big addition to the series calendar is the oval race at Gateway Motorsports Park, which had its date confirmed Thursday. The 1.25-mile racing facility will join the Verizon IndyCar Series calendar next season, after a 14-year hiatus.
The addition of Gateway Motorsports Park to the IndyCar Racing League marks a return to the Verizon IndyCar Series, which last competed at the said race track in 2013. IndyCar series made its last race at the St. Louis-area track in 2003. That race was won by Helio Castroneves.
Gateway Motorsports Park currently hosts the NASCAR trucks and the NHRA. The race track was used four times by CART from 1997-2000, and three times by the Verizon IndyCar Series, from 2001-2003.
Watkins Glen International, which fills a gap this season left by the cancelled Grand Prix of Boston race this year, has now signed a multi-year agreement with the Verizon IndyCar Series. The iconic race track will host the upcoming IndyCar Grand Prix on September.
All upcoming 2017 Verizon IndyCar events will be covered and broadcast by ABC and NBCSN, with the final TV schedule will be released later this year.
In addition to ABC and NBCSN coverage, all IndyCar races can also be heard on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the IndyCar Mobile app and IndyCar.com.
Verizon IndyCar Series has experienced a 38 percent growth from 2013-2015 in both television ratings and viewership. Attendance at IndyCar events are also on the rise, with six races this season drawing at or near record highs in attendance.
There’s only one big change in the IndyCar Series schedule, and that is the moving of the oval race at Phoenix International Raceway to April.
2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Schedule:
March 12: St. Petersburg
April 9: Long Beach, CA
April 23: Barber Motorsports Park
April 29: Phoenix International Raceway
May 13: GP of Indianapolis
May 28: Indianapolis 500
June 3: Detroit street race
June 4: Detroit street race
June 10: Texas Motor Speedway
June 25: Road America
July 9: Iowa Speedway
July 16: Toronto
July 30: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 20: Pocono Raceway
Aug. 26: Gateway Motorsports Park
Sept. 3: Watkins Glen International
Sept. 17: Sonoma Raceway
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Image Courtesy: Curt Smith/Wikipedia.org