SBD/October 1, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

IndyCar Series '13 Schedule Features 19 Races, Including Return To Pocono

The '13 Izod IndyCar Series schedule will have 19 races, highlighted by a return to Pocono Raceway after 24 years and a new street course event in Houston. The 19 races is up from 15 this year and includes three doubleheaders, with two races taking place on a single weekend. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard unveiled the schedule last night on Speed's "Wind Tunnel."

Mar. 24 Streets of St. Petersburg Street course NBC Sports Network
April 7 Barber Motorsports Park Road course NBC Sports Network
April 21 Street of Long Beach Street course NBC Sports Network
May 5 Streets of Sao Paulo Street course NBC Sports Network
May 26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval ABC
June 1 Streets of Belle Isle Street course ABC
June 2 Streets of Belle Isle Street course ABC
June 8 Texas Motor Speedway Oval ABC
June 15 Milwaukee Mile Oval NBC Sports Network
June 23 Iowa Speedway Oval ABC
July 7 Pocono Raceway Oval ABC
July 13 Streets of Toronto Street course NBC Sports Network
July 14 Streets of Toronto Street course NBC Sports Network
Aug. 4 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Road course NBC Sports Network
Aug. 25 Raceway at Sonomo Road course NBC Sports Network
Sept. 1 Streets of Baltimore Street course NBC Sports Network
Oct. 5 Reliant Park Street course NBC Sports Network
Oct. 6 Reliant Park Street course NBC Sports Network
Oct. 19 Auto Club Speedway Oval NBC Sports Network

EXAMINING THE SCHEDULE: Bernard said the goal of the doubleheaders is to "help our team owners, our sponsors, the television partners and just building exposure." Bernard: "That’s so important to us right now, and we think that a fan is really going to be the one that really gains on this because they get to see double excitement in that weekend.” He added, "When you look at the schedule, you’ll see the continuity of what we’ve been able to do with NBC Sports Network, putting most of all those together and then coming right back and putting six out of seven races on ABC. It gives us momentum and continuity which we think is really important to our series.” Bernard said the fans “love the fact that IndyCar ended their series at an oval" this season, and the league decided it was "important for us to continue” that ("Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain," Speed, 9/30).'s Robin Miller noted with the doubleheaders, Bernard is trying to "give IndyCar a different look in hopes of creating better crowds and more eyeballs on television." Bernard: "It gives the fans something new and I think they'd much rather watch a race on Saturday than practice and qualifying." Miller noted the doubleheaders will "count full points and full purses." Qualifying details will be revealed later. Meanwhile, Bernard is "still open to adding a race at Providence, R.I., if details can be worked out or possibly New Orleans if Rhode Island doesn't materialize" (, 9/30).

GOING FOR THE TRIPLE CROWN: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin reports the 400-mile race at Pocono Raceway will be the first for IndyCar at the track since '89 and also will be "part of a rejuvenated Triple Crown that includes the 500-mile races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway." A driver winning at all three tracks will receive a $1M bonus while "two wins among those three tracks will be worth an extra $250,000." IndyCar "last contested the Triple Crown in 1989" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/1). Late Pocono Raceway Owner & CEO Joseph Mattioli in '09 said that he "didn't want to see IndyCar races back at the track." At the time, Mattioli indicated that he "lost money three years in a row on the races, including $200,000 hosting the final one" (POCONO RECORD, 9/29).

HEADING BACK TO CHARM CITY: In Baltimore, Chris Korman notes IndyCar is returning to Baltimore for a third year, but the '13 race "wasn't assured until Tuesday" when Race On LLC head J.P. Grant "reached an agreement on a sanctioning fee" with Bernard. Grant said that though it lost a "significant amount" of money on the '12 Baltimore Grand Prix, Race On "has paid its bills." Korman writes whether the Baltimore "becomes a fixture like the road race in Long Beach, Calif., will depend on how well Race On can cut costs and market the event in a still-skeptical downtown." Grant still believes that the race "can become a signature event that draws large crowds to Baltimore and burnishes the city's reputation." As part of the '13 deal, Race On "will advertise during IndyCar broadcasts throughout the season." Creating "more buzz on television is important" to Bernard (Baltimore SUN, 10/1).
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