After more than 25 years competing on the 2.5-mile oval track, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway says NASCAR drivers will shift to the road course in 2021. IMS says the Brickyard Weekend will also include a new NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.
The Brickyard Weekend will be held August 13-15 with the INDYCAR drivers taking to the track on Saturday and NASCAR Cup Series racing on Sunday.
The decision to switch from the oval to the road course follows the first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend in July, which was created as a result of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMS officials moved the GMR Grand Prix, which normally kicks off the month of May at the Speedway, to the Brickyard 400 weekend. That weekend also included a NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the road course
IMS President Doug Boles calls the weekend in July a “big success” with positive feedback from drivers, teams and fans. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.”
During a virtual news conference Wednesday, Boles said the long-term outlook of the switch is unclear, but right now the focus is on the new road course race.
“At this point, I don’t think we’ve really had a robust conversation about what the long, long-term future looks like. We certainly want to see what the fans think about this, how the cars race. I feel really excited about it. I think it’s going to be a good long-term fit for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and for NASCAR. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there might not be a time where maybe, every once in a while, the race is on the oval.”
NASCAR driver Joey Logano said he is excited for a new challenge at the Speedway.
“Indy is Indy, no matter whether you’re on a road course, you’re on the oval, it doesn’t matter. It’s Indy. It’s that big of a deal to win there and it doesn’t matter if you’re in a Cup car, an IndyCar or a tricycle, you want to win at that race track.”
IMS says ticket information for Brickyard Weekend will be available soon.
Boles says the long-term future of the switch is unclear.