COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the 15th consecutive year in 2021, and it will be the first time that America’s premier open-wheel racing series will visit Central Ohio on Independence Day.
IndyCar on Thursday released its full, 17-race 2021 schedule, and for the first time in Mid-Ohio’s 36-year IndyCar history, the track’s Honda Indy 200 will be Sunday, July 4.
“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our great country than with a great IndyCar race weekend,” Mid-Ohio president Craig Rust said in a statement. “This date also gives us the opportunity to be broadcast nationally on NBC.”
IndyCar has visited the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Morrow County road course in all but five years since 1980, but the race has usually been held somewhere between late July and mid-September. This year, the Honda Indy 200 was scheduled for Aug. 9, then postponed because of COVID-19, and finally held Sept. 12-13 as a doubleheader.
Green Savoree Racing Promotions owns and operates Mid-Ohio and three other events on the 2021 calendar: Portland International Raceway in Oregon and street course races in Toronto and St. Petersburg, Fla.
“We can’t thank our fans enough for their patience and understanding as we’ve navigated this fluid situation around the pandemic,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and CEO, in a statement. “Our team has worked very, very hard to hold as many events as possible this year while keeping the health and safety for all involved as the top priority.”
State and local health officials allowed Mid-Ohio to host 6,000 fans per day during this September’s IndyCar weekend. The track implemented various health protocols, including closing grandstands, spacing fans six feet apart, requiring masks be worn at all times and placing hand sanitizer stations around the track.
Green Savoree Racing Promotions says its races “will continue to be held based on the ongoing guidance of the CDC and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings.”
Changes from IndyCar’s pre-pandemic 2020 schedule include the addition of a street course race in Nashville, Tenn., and the dropping of Circuit of the Americas, Iowa and Richmond.
With the latter two tracks off the schedule, IndyCar will run just four oval races next year: a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and World Wide Technology Raceway outside St. Louis.
|Sun., March 7||Streets of St. Petersburg||NBC4|
|Sun., April 11||Barber Motorsports Park||NBCSN|
|Sun., April 18||Streets of Long Beach||NBC4|
|Sat., May 1||Texas Motor Speedway||NBCSN|
|Sun., May 2||Texas Motor Speedway||NBCSN|
|Sat., May 15||Indianapolis (road course)||NBC4|
|Sun., May 30||The 105th Indianapolis 500||NBC4|
|Sat., June 12||Detroit Belle Isle Park||NBC4|
|Sun., June 13||Detroit Belle Isle Park||NBC4|
|Sun., June 20||Road America||NBCSN|
|Sun., July 4||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||NBC4|
|Sun., July 11||Streets of Toronto||NBCSN|
|Sun., Aug. 8||Streets of Nashville||NBCSN|
|Sat., Aug. 14||Indianapolis (road course)||NBCSN|
|Sat., Aug. 21||World Wide Technology Raceway||NBCSN|
|Sun., Sept. 12||Portland International Raceway||NBC4|
|Sun., Sept. 19||WeaterTech Raceway Laguna Seca||NBC4|
Start times of races will be announced at a later date.