No More IndyCar Racing at Phoenix
The open-wheel series will not return to ISM Raceway in 2019.
IndyCar announced on Saturday that it will not return to ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix, Arizona in 2019. This comes after speculation regarding the track's future on the open-wheel series' calendar due to lower-than-anticipated attendance in the last three years.
Formerly a hot spot for IndyCar action, fans flocked to Phoenix in years past. Upon its opening in 1964, it was consistently a popular stop on the schedule and much of the same was expected once the series came back to ISM Raceway in 2016 following a brief leave. However, it wasn't able to garner the same level of interest as it had before and numbers have wavered each year since.
“IndyCar has enjoyed its time racing at ISM Raceway, but attendance in the past three years has been disappointing despite considerable investment from both sides,” the series said in a release. “Track president Bryan Sperber and his team have been terrific partners and are developing a beautiful facility, and IndyCar will reconnect with them when conditions are right for both parties. Meanwhile, IndyCar is moving forward with building a terrific schedule for the 2019 season.”
It's currently unclear which track will take Phoenix's place on next year's schedule. Additionally, this testifies to the dropping number of oval circuits visited by IndyCar each year as recently mentioned by those within the sport.
The track is currently undergoing $178 million worth of renovations in preparation for the 2019 race season.