INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — IndyCar announced Monday that it will not replace its canceled China race, leaving the season schedule at 15 events.
IndyCar had been exploring a replacement since announcing earlier this month that event organizers had canceled the Aug. 19 race in China. Among the options was a race at Road America, but the track had a Sunday night deadline for an agreement.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said the series did not want to rush an event for the schedule.
“After carefully considering all possible options for an additional race, we felt it was in our best interest to keep our schedule at its current 15-event lineup,” Bernard said. “We want to make sure that when we add events to our roster they have long-term potential and are given every opportunity to be successfully promoted. The more we explored, the more we felt like we were rushing what could be good, long-lasting opportunities for the sport.”
The series will remain at 15 races and end Sept. 15 at California.
Series sponsor Izod said it supported IndyCar’s decision not to add a 16th race, which is required as part of its deal.
“As the entitlement partner of the series, we agree that it is in the best interest of the series to focus on a long-term strategy for the future schedule instead of a quick fix for this year,” said Mike Kelly, executive vice president of The PVH Marketing Group.
IndyCar officials had spoken to Texas Motor Speedway about adding a race, but track president Eddie Gossage declined. Bernard and series officials spoke to other race promoters, but couldn’t work anything out over the last two weeks.
“I thank all of the promoters who entertained the possibility of hosting the IZOD IndyCar Series this season,” he said. “It certainly validated what we already knew – there’s a lot of interest from venues across North America in hosting our sport.”
There are six races remaining on the IndyCar schedule. Will Power currently leads the points standings as he searches for his first IndyCar championship.