We all knew this was going to happen, right? It was simply to good to be true.
As reported by the Boston Herald, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ inaugural trip to Boston, MA., for the Grand Prix of Boston has been cancelled.
The news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The race has been hotly contested since it was announced, and the promoters failed to provide the financial backing they promised leading up to the race.
Still, the cancellation poses a problem for America’s top single-seater series. It leaves IndyCar with a month-long gap between its last two races.
With a gap that large, IndyCar would be wise to look into adding a race at another venue to fill the gap. Here are five circuits they should look at to fill the void.
1. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
One of the top picks to fill the gap left by Boston is Laguna Seca.
The history of Indy Car racing goes through the Monterey, CA, track. The CART tour ran their first race at the 2.238-mile road course in 1983, with Teo Fabi claiming one of his five victories in the series. Bobby Rahal then followed with four-straight victories from 1984-1987, with other legends including Michael Andretti, Gil de Ferran, Rick Mears and Paul Tracy adding victories over the next two decades.
CART’s last race at Laguna Seca was ran in 2004. IndyCar had yet to run at the track, but the sanctioning body did hold two Indy Lights races at Laguna Seca on Sept. 12 & 13, 2015.
A move to Laguna Seca would put IndyCar’s last two events in California, but it still serves as a strong option given Indy Car racing’s rich history at the track.
2. Watkin’s Glen International
Watkin’s Glen International is one of America’s premier road-courses.
Since holding its first NASCAR race in 1957, WGI has gone on to host 88 NASCAR-sanctioned events, 16 Indy Car events and 20 Formula One grand prix.
IndyCar has recent history at the circuit, running six races from 2005-2010, but hasn’t returned to New York since. A race at WGI could be a difficult sell with nearby events at Toronto and Pocono Raceway, but the tradition of the track would fit right into the 2016 IndyCar season.
3. Milwaukee Mile
The Milwaukee Mile has held events in some sort of Indy Car series for every year since 1946. 1946! But after decades of USAC, CART and IndyCar races, the circuit was removed from the tour prior to the 2016.
Perhaps it’s fate, but the Boston cancellation offers a perfect opportunity to put the track back on the schedule where it belongs.
Sure, it hasn’t always sold well, and there’s a significant geographical conflict with nearby Road America returning to the schedule, but Milwaukee is as deserving of an IndyCar date as any track on the schedule. If the track and sanctioning body can come to an agreement, IndyCar could return to the one-mile oval where many feel it belongs.
4. Gateway Motorsports Park
If the series can’t go to Milwaukee, then another nearby oval is possible in Gateway Motorsports Park.
After falling quiet in 2011, Gateway’s found a resurgence over the last couple seasons, hosting two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
The 1.25-mile oval is placed in Madison, Illinois, a state that’s gone unvisited by IndyCar since a 2010 trip to Chicagoland Speedway. Better yet, Gateway also has history with Indy Car racing in the late summer, having hosted CART and IndyCar races in late Aug. and early Sept. from 2000-2003.
5. Kentucky Speedway
IndyCar held some great races at Kentucky Speedway from 2000-2011. With speeds in excess of 215 mph, drivers including Buddy Lazier, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Helio Castroneves thrilled fans en-route to victories at the 1.5-mile oval.
Sadly, the track had become too bumpy for IndyCar to run on safely in recent years, but that’s all changing this season, as Kentucky Speedway is undergoing a complete repave before the track’s July NASCAR races. The repave offers an opportunity for IndyCar to make a return, should the series and track reach an agreement.
These are just five tracks that IndyCar could consider revisiting. Have a different track in mind? Let us know in the comments.