Texas Motor Speedway will not host its June IndyCar race if fans cannot attend

Tribune Content Agency

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said Thursday that the IndyCar race his track is scheduled to host the first weekend in June would only occur if fans were allowed to attend.

“At some point we have to make a decision, but it’s not time yet,” Gossage said. “We wouldn’t consider running IndyCars without fans in the stands.”

The sports world continues to struggle with how to move forward amid the coronavirus pandemic, a situation that clearly has no fixed end date. Sports leagues, executives, unions, athletes and other interested parties have explored the idea of having sports return without fans being able to attend events, but the concept is not without its challenges.

Unlike in NASCAR, race tracks do not receive a portion of IndyCar’s TV revenue. So, while it might make sense for tracks to host NASCAR races with no fans, the incentive isn’t there when it comes to IndyCar races.

TMS is scheduled to be the first site for IndyCar to return to racing with the Genesys 600 on June 6. The NASCAR truck series is scheduled to run the SpeedyCash.com 400 on June 5.

IndyCar canceled the two races in Detroit scheduled May 30-31, the events preceding TMS’ race weekend. The Detroit races are among five races that IndyCar has canceled, including the AutoNation IndyCar Challenge at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas scheduled for April 26.

The series’ signature event, the Indianapolis 500, has already been moved from May 24 to Aug. 23. The season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Fla., that was supposed to take place on March 15 has been postponed as well.

TMS has already postponed its opening race weekend with a NASCAR triple-header scheduled March 26-29. A makeup date isn’t known at this point, although Gossage believes TMS would be more in line for a weekend race date opposed to a possible mid-week date given the size of the tracks.

“Everything is on the table,” Gossage said.


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