By: Spencer Neff
October 1, 2020
Following the announcement of new events on the streets of Nashville and a third event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series calendar has been announced.
On March 7, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will kick off the season. This will mark the first time since 1982 that the season opener will be held at the same track as the finale from the previous year, when Phoenix Raceway did so. This year’s race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida was moved to October 25.
In April, the series returns to Barber Motorsports Park and the Grand Prix of Long Beach after the 2020 events were cancelled.
For the first time since 2011, Texas Motor Speedway will host a doubleheader. This time, 300-mile races to be run on May 1 and 2. After Texas, the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be held with the IndyCar Grand Prix (May 15) and the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
After a week off, Belle isle hosts its doubleheader weekend on June 12-13 followed by Road America on June 20. On July 4, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will run its race on Independence Day, with the series returning to the Toronto street course on July 11.
For August, the new events at Nashville and IMS on August 9 and 15 highlight the schedule. Six days later, World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway will move to its traditional Saturday night spot for 2021 after this year’s doubleheader was run in the daytime.
On September 12, Portland makes its return to the calendar with the September 19 finale to be run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
After previously announcing a return to Richmond for 2020, the track was left off the calendar for 2021, as were Iowa Speedway and Circuit of the Americas.
The new schedule also gives network television coverage to some long-time staples, as St. Petersburg and Long Beach will be aired on NBC, in addition to both May races at IMS, the Belle Isle doubleheader, Mid-Ohio, Portland and Laguna Seca. All other races will air on NBCSN.
“We’re really pleased that the current plans provide for one additional race on NBC’s network than we had this year,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp in today’s schedule release.
“In particular, the season will start with NBC coverage of the St. Petersburg event, a spectacular start for those in attendance and for those watching from home.”
2021 will mark NBC’s third year as the exclusive broadcast partner of the NTT IndyCar Series.
“The INDYCAR and NBC Sports partnership continues to be mutually beneficial, growing in viewership and providing adrenaline-packed entertainment to a national sports audience,” said Michael Perman, vice president, programming, NBC Sports.
“We’re looking forward to providing increased exposure to the series in 2021, including network coverage of the season opener in St. Pete and the finale in Laguna Seca. Additionally, as a marquee event of our Championship Season, we’ll also provide wall-to-wall coverage of the Indy 500 on NBC, an international sporting spectacle filled with speed and exceptional drama.”
The full schedule is available below.Start times for broadcasts and races will be announced at a later date.
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR