INDIANAPOLIS – In 2020, NTT IndyCar Series fans will get what they have asked for at Iowa Speedway: the return of a true night race. INDYCAR and speedway officials announced today that next year’s race in Newton, Iowa will take the green flag under the lights.
The NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 will be held the evening of Saturday, July 18. The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 will fall between the Streets of Toronto and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the schedule – the 13th race of the INDYCAR season.
“The return of a night race for INDYCAR at Iowa Speedway is exciting news for our race fans, sponsors, and the entire region,” Iowa Speedway President David Hyatt said. “The cars look great under the lights, and the competition should be even more fierce given what should be cooler conditions. Our track provides some of the best racing you’ll see anywhere, which will be good for attendance. This will be a can’t-miss weekend for all race fans.”
The return to a true night race at Iowa was the result of fans requesting it. The race will begin at 9 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. And for fans and drivers, it is nostalgic, hearkening back to the first race many of them experienced … a night race on a short track.
The series hasn’t held a scheduled race that began after dusk at Iowa Speedway since 2015, and drivers and fans are welcoming it. Not only does it look more vibrant — and create sparks as cars bottom out — it also makes for better racing. Tires grip better when the track is cooler. Fans also avoid sweltering conditions during summer afternoons.
Everyone lucked out this past July though. The race was dubbed a return to a night race but in all actuality, the scheduled start time was still in sun light. In fact, with the race lasting around two or less hours in duration, the race would be in the day time from start to finish.
To make matters worse, the way the sun would set at the Newton area track, it was hazardous to the drivers when practicing during that time of day.
But, shortly before the start of this past summer’s race, rain began to fall which delayed the start to shortly before midnight ET. The race would run from start to finish under the lights instead which now we will see for 2020.