This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone after so many reports, but the news is official and it’s definitely great to hear: IndyCar is finally coming to Austin, Texas’s own Circuit of the Americas for the 2019 season. It’s fantastic news for IndyCar, for COTA, for Texas and for racing fans everywhere who want to see a great show.
The circuit announced today that the inaugural IndyCar race will be held March 22-24 next year, the second race of the 2019 season right after the street race in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“From year one, the fans have been asking to see IndyCar at COTA,” circuit boss Bobby Epstein said in a statement. “It’s going to be spectacular. Our entire team at COTA is excited to welcome the teams, drivers and visitors to our great city, and we know Austin will give them a warm welcome.”
For Texas racing fans and longtime visitors to COTA—myself included—this is pretty wonderful news. From the circuit’s launch in 2012 with the first Formula One United States Grand Prix in years, everyone wondered when F1's open-wheel cousin in America would get to make use of the 3.4-mile track, arguably the best motorsports facility in the country and one of the finest in the world. If F1 could race there, it seemed a no-brainer that IndyCar could too.
But it was held up for years for various reasons, including scheduling conflicts and objections by the owners of Texas Motor Speedway, the Fort Worth-area track that has held Texas’s IndyCar race since 1997. Two IndyCar races in the state, they argued, would hurt their attendance.
This is, of course, patently bullshit, because everyone knows that the only thing better than racing is more racing, plus the DFW and Austin are geographically pretty far from one another. As it stands now COTA’s race will be in late March and the TMS race will be held the night of June 8.
Anyway, good on COTA for finally pulling this off. I can’t wait to be there.