IndyCar finale moves from Nashville street circuit to oval
Updated: Wednesday 14th February. The last race of the 2024 IndyCar season will be held at Nashville Speedway, rather than the downtown circuit which the Music City Grand Prix has used for the last three seasons. It will be the first time that the IndyCar season has finished at an oval for a decade.
The move has been brought about due to several factors including the construction on a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans, which would have forced a dramatic change to the circuit used for the race.
While the move is expected to remain for more than one year, Scott Borchetta, who took over the running of the event on 14th February said it was hoped that the race would return to the streets one day.
“This has no bearing on our great relationship with the Tennessee Titans. The team’s management has been nothing but supportive regarding the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix and we fully intend to continue conversations with them and the City of Nashville as to when the right time will be to return to the streets of Nashville. We feel that we’ve landed on the best option for a great race experience, for both fans and race teams, by moving to Speedway Motorsports’ Nashville Superspeedway.”
The race will still take place on the same day as originally intended.
What about the rest of the calendar?
The only casualty of the new season is the loss of the oval round at Texas, that had normally made up part of the early season. To compensate for the loss of an oval round Milwaukee will host a double-header as the penultimate round of the season.
IndyCar’s 2024 season will start with the now traditional trip to Florida for the St Petersburg round on 10th March, after which there won’t be another points-paying race until the teams battle at Long Beach on 21st April.
The gap will be filled by the brand new, non-championship, challenge at The Thermal Club, a new format that will not earn points to the championship, but will see the drivers going head-to-head in a series of heats and a final for a $1million payout.
After Long Beach, the teams will move on to Barber Motorsports Park a week later before the famous Month of May builds up to the Indianapolis 500. IndyCar will race on the road course at Indy on 11th May before qualifying for the 500 gets underway on 18th May, finishing on the 19th. The Indy 500 will take place on 26th May.
The teams will return to the downtown circuit in Detroit a week later for a second crack at the new layout on 2nd June before heading to Road America on 9th June. The quick three-leg sweep of races in June concludes down in California with a race at Laguna Seca. Laguna Seca had been the final race of the season over the last few years but moves into summer to make way for Nashville, which will provide a potentially chaotic finish to the 17-race calendar.
Mid Ohio hosts a race on the 7th of July before a double-header at the Iowa oval and the one race outside of the USA, at Toronto, takes place on the 21st of July. After the summer break IndyCar returns with a single race at World Wide Technology Raceway, formerly known as Gateway, on 17th August before the final four races in Portland (25th August), Milwaukee (31st August, 1st September) and Nashville (15th September).
All the races, including the exhibition at Thermal Club, are set to be shown on NBC and all rounds will be shown in the UK on Sky Sports.