IndyCar at Pocono Raceway faces uncertain future

LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — IndyCar and Pocono Raceway could be headed toward another split.

The track has no deal for the open-wheel series to return for an eighth straight year in 2020, and another break could be on the horizon after Sunday’s race. IndyCar returned to Pocono in 2013 after a 24-year absence for the first race of a three-year contract.

Pocono CEO Nick Igdalsky said both sides have continued to talk about the future of the series at the track.

“I did float them the idea of being an every couple of years stop, every three years,” Igdalsky said. “I don’t want IndyCar to lose touch with the Northeast. I don’t want IndyCar to lose touch with the Pocono fanbase. I don’t want Pocono to lose touch with IndyCar. It’s part of our history.”

IndyCar’s return to Pocono has been marred by the death of driver Justin Wilson from injuries suffered in the 2015 race and Robert Wickens suffered a spinal injury last August in a crash.

The race was held around the July 4 weekend the first two years and moved to an August date in 2015.

“If it works, it works,” Igdalsky said. “If it doesn’t work, if it’s not the best thing for their operation, if it’s not the best deal for our operation, then it is what it is. I want their league to be successful.”

This isn’t the first time Pocono and open-wheel racing have reached a crossroads. During the days of the dueling USAC and CART series in the late 1980s, Pocono track founder Joseph Mattioli wanted out. Mattioli, who died in 2012, chose not to seek a new deal after 1989.

Pocono Raceway, a 2-1/2-mile tri-oval track, has had two NASCAR weekends on the schedule for decades. The track moves to one NASCAR race weekend next year, featuring a Cup Series twin bill.

IndyCar could release its 2020 schedule next month.

“IndyCar still is in the process of finalizing the 2020 schedule, and as it relates to Pocono, although no decision has been made, we have been communicating with Pocono Raceway’s leadership and look forward to being there for our race when we will speak again about our future,” IndyCar executive Stephen Starks said.


Colder and quiet rest of the week

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A good 20° swing Wednesday morning with temperatures in the lower to mid 20s this morning with feel-like temperatures in the teens. it will be a clear start then brighter heading through the rest of the morning and the afternoon! Sunshine won’t help us out too much in terms of temperatures today. Daytime highs should warm to the upper 30s. Wednesday night will be a cold one with lows in the lower 20s with a partly cloudy sky.

Thursday will be another cold one with highs struggling to reach 30°. It’ll still be a bright one with a mostly to partly sunny sky. A slow warming trend will start Friday with highs warming to the upper 30s with a mixture of sun and clouds.

This weekend will be split with a chance of showers arriving late in the day Sunday. Highs will continue to warm to the mid-40s Saturday with a partly sunny sky. Clouds return Sunday with showers later in the evening and overnight. Rain will continue through Monday. Tuesday looks to be a dry day for now then showers should return by midweek with highs in the mid 40s.