INDIANAPOLIS — We’re finally out of the month of March, or should I say the year of March. The worst month that has likely ever graced us in our lifetimes has come and gone. Now, where do we go from here?
Right now, no one still knows. If anyone says that they know one thing or another, they’re flat out lying to you. Everyone wants to know when we will return to racing, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not in our hands and won’t ever be. We can only speculate, but what fun is that? The only thing we can go by now is, what’s next up on the schedule and hope for the best.
You may have read article after article right now about how each race is hoping to go off without a hitch but has a contingency plan in place for the Fall if they can’t race during their allotted weekend. What’s the point of telling you that Belle Isle is the first race up now for the NTT IndyCar Series but if they can’t race at the end of May, then they’ll shift to October. Duh!
So, let’s take a look at where we stand now and some realistic approaches to them.
NASCAR (May 9)
Right now, the NASCAR Cup Series is supposed to return to action on May 9 at the Martinsville (VA) Speedway but that is likely going to change. Virginia is under a stay-at-home order through June 10. How can NASCAR race next month there? Plus, North Carolina is under the same order through April 29 themselves.
Will NASCAR begin with an All-Star race on May 16 or the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 in the state of North Carolina? Two of the three big races on Memorial Day weekend (Monaco/Indy 500) have already postponed or canceled their events. Why do we think the ‘600 will just go off without a hitch?
In all likelihood, Kansas could be first up for NASCAR on May 31. Then, it’s to Michigan on June 7, but that state has been affected themselves.
I can see NASCAR not starting up until June 14 in Sonoma at the very earliest.
IndyCar (May 30)
The first six races to the season have either been postponed for canceled. We know Long Beach, COTA and Barber are off for 2020 but St. Pete (October) and both races at IMS (July 4/Aug. 23) have been rescheduled. Will Belle Isle go off without a hitch?
The North American Auto Show has already been canceled for 2020 and that was supposed to be held in early June in Detroit. With Michigan under a stay-at-home order, can they get Belle Isle set up in enough time? With that being a street course race, it takes several weeks prior to set up.
That race is on, but too in doubt. Then, it’s to Texas on June 6 and a week off before coming back at Road America on June 21. Richmond is after that on June 27 but as I said above, they’re under a stay-at-home order until June 10. Can IndyCar stage a race two weeks after that?
Toronto has a stay-at-home order through the month of June, so their street race on July 12 is in doubt with needing time to setup too. Belle Isle, Richmond and Toronto could be affected by all of this.
Texas (June 6), Road America (June 21) and IMS (July 4) may be the first three races up for IndyCar.
IMSA (May 30)
Their next race is the same Belle Isle weekend as IndyCar. With that race in potential doubt, their next race up is Watkins Glen on June 28 which seems more likely. But, Watkins Glen is in New York and they’re had a terrible outbreak. Will they get going in June or will IMSA be pushed to Mosport in July. Even Mosport is in doubt with Toronto issuing a ban through June. Will Mosport be in the same boat and if so, can they race a week after the order is lifted? Lime Rock (July 18) seems the most likely for a return for IMSA.
NHRA (June 7)
We saw a couple races before their season came to a halt. NHRA announced a new revised schedule that’s going to resume on June 7 in Florida at the Gatornationals.
Formula 1 (June 14)
Everything has been postponed or canceled up to the Canadian Grand Prix. But, with Toronto’s new order taking place through June, I bet Montreal follows suit. That could put the Canadian Grand Prix in doubt. Then, it’s to France two weeks later, but with Le Mans already postponed, why would the F1 race run a week later?
Their first race up could be in Austria on July 5. Then, it’s to England on July 19. These are the only four races on schedule between now and August but half could be nixed by then joining Australia, Bahrain, China, Vietnam, Netherlands, Spain, Monaco and Azerbaijan in getting moved. Australia and Monaco are canceled while the rest postponed.