Sources: IndyCar, Watkins Glen Int'l Struggling To Find Race Date On '18 Schedule
The planned '18 Verizon IndyCar Series race at Watkins Glen Int'l is in question, as the sides have been unable to find a date that works for the event, according to sources. ISC-owned WGI returned to the IndyCar schedule in ’16 when it replaced the cancelled Boston race on Labor Day weekend, and the two sides’ contract includes a third race in '18 -- meaning they would have to mutually agree to terminate the deal for it to not be on next year’s schedule. But sources said that while the matter is still being sorted out and is not yet final, WGI may now get dropped from the ’18 slate and replaced by another venue. The move would be a blow of sorts to IndyCar as the sport has been energized by a return to the historic road course. The race drew a meager crowd this year after an encouraging 10,000-15,000 showed up last year on short notice, and the track was thought to be seeking a change of date away from Labor Day for next year (Adam Stern, Staff Writer). WGI President Michael Printup said, "We've had two good races but it's been an uphill climb trying to make it work. I don't think the dates help us any because July 4 and Labor Day don't seem to be good. I asked IndyCar about changing dates but there weren't any available." RACER.com's Robin Miller noted in the event WGI is off the calendar, the "replacement could be Portland or Nashville -- with Portland the favorite based on reports the city is very interested in reviving its road course race" that hosted CART from '84-'03 and then Champ Car from '04-07. IndyCar CEO Mark Miles is "optimistic the schedule will be done next week but insists, 'nothing has been decided or signed yet'" (RACER.com, 10/7).