INDYCAR's 2016 Schedule Features 100th Indy 500, Key Venues, Longer Span
• Legendary 100th Running of Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for May 29
• Three new events increase INDYCAR's presence at traditional venues (Phoenix and Road America) and in a new major Northeast metro market (Boston)
• 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule expands by five weeks, starting earlier (St. Petersburg, March 13) and ending later (Sonoma, Sept. 18)
• New schedule poised to continue momentum INDYCAR has experienced with 38 percent growth in TV ratings and viewership over the last two years
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 27, 2015) - INDYCAR announced the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule today, a 16-race season - anchored by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race - that spans five weeks longer than last season and features new events in Phoenix, Road America and Boston. INDYCAR has experienced a 38 percent growth in both television ratings and viewership over the past two years with longstanding TV partners ABC and NBCSN and the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season is poised to capitalize and build upon that momentum.
The most diverse schedule in motorsports features five races on oval tracks, five on permanent road courses and six on temporary street circuits.
"Overall, the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is another key step forward in INDYCAR's strategic vision," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We're confident that the momentum that INDYCAR has experienced in fan engagement over the past two seasons will continue as a result of the tireless efforts of our event promoters and our improved scheduling on ABC and NBCSN."
The schedule opens March 13 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Verizon IndyCar Series season has debuted in each of the past five seasons. The battle for the Astor Cup - the trophy presented annually to the series champion - concludes Sept. 18 at Sonoma Raceway, where the season came to a thrilling conclusion this year as Scott Dixon won the race to capture the championship on a tiebreaker.
The season includes the series' return to staple venues Phoenix International Raceway and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., plus the debut of an exciting new event on the streets of Boston.
ABC will broadcast five races in 2016, including the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that kicks off the season two weeks earlier than last year. ABC will blanket Month of May coverage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, broadcasting the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14, Indianapolis 500 qualifications May 21-22 and the eagerly anticipated 100th Indianapolis 500 on May 29.
"The 2016 season is defined by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500," Miles continued. "The historic significance of our season is marked by this legendary event and the return of several storied venues such as Road America and Phoenix. Half the venues on our schedule have hosted 25 or more INDYCAR races and further our rich heritage as the premier form of open wheel racing in the United States."