News: Schedule Confirmations - July

Jay Frye and Mark Miles never stop working on making IndyCar better, and it shows through the work being put into making the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Season the best it can be for the drivers, teams, and fans.

Having already released the concepts for the new universal Dallara chassis next season, Frye and Miles turn their guns on the schedule.

Frye was quoted as saying to RACER earlier this season that every race on the 2017 schedule will be back in 2018, with the potential of maybe one new race (the shortlist is Mexico, Portland, or a street race in Calgary).

Official word has come out of three races as well as the time for the Iowa Corn Indy 300. The 12th edition of IndyCars at Iowa Speedway will remain a late-Sunday afternoon race like the previous two years, rather than the much praised Saturday night time that we've seen in years past.

Along with that, RACER has learned that the race at Phoenix International Raceway has once again switched dates, as it had a conflict with the NCAA Basketball Final Four date last year. It will take place on Saturday, April 7th. The following weekend is the Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach on Sunday, April 15th. This allows teams to do both races back to back, rather than racing on the West Coast, go back to their shops in the Midwest (or North Carolina for Team Penske), and then straight back to the West Coast.

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Day 2
James Hinchcliffe races through downtown Long Beach in 2012
(Photo: Robert Laberge / Getty Images North America)

Here are the confirmed dates for the 2018 Schedule:

March 11th - Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
April 7th - Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix
April 15th - Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
May 12th - IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis
May 27th - The 102nd Indianapolis 500
June 24th - Kohler Grand Prix of Road America

My Opinion

Kind of lost in the latest news is the fact for the 10th consecutive year (or something like that), the 'Formula 1 is considering a return to Long Beach' rumors that we see annually are once again unsubstantiated and fictional. I just don't see why the city would turn in their winning hand for a potential losing one.

Also, I really do like how Jay Frye and Mark Miles worked with the teams to make the West Coast road trip more financially viable and less stressful on the pit crews. Saving money wherever possible is good.

And I don't like the Iowa Corn Indy 300 being on a late Sunday afternoon. The Saturday night race has been and will continue to be the best option.

Thanks for reading!

-Matthew Hickey