One of the more interesting pieces from the recent announcement regarding changes to the 2020 IndyCar schedule is that there is now a shared weekend with NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.
This shared weekend does not include the Indy 500, which will now take place in August, but rather the GMR Grand Prix which will be run on the Indianapolis road course and the annual 400 mile NASCAR race on the oval.
This event will mark the first time that IndyCar and the NASCAR Cup Series have shared a race weekend at the same venue. It is also the first year that the NASCAR Xfinity Series will run a race on the road course at Indianapolis.
In addition, this weekend falls on July 4-5 and will be the first year that NASCAR has shifted its Independence Day race from Daytona to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“This historic pairing will be circled on the calendar of every motorsports fan,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles.
“We appreciate our friends at NASCAR for their flexibility and support in this matter and will work with them on a memorable, exciting weekend of racing action.”
The exact timeline is still being finalized, but the plan is for IndyCar to run its race on Saturday with the Xfinity Series race to immediately follow. The NASCAR Cup Series race would then be run on the oval course the next day.
All of this hinges, of course, on restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic being lifted by early July, just over three months from now.
This combined weekend presents a good opportunity for drivers to run in multiple series if they would be up to the challenge.
There is precedent for this type of crossover. Multiple drivers have run the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day, including Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and, most recently, Kurt Busch in 2014.
At this time, no announcements regarding drivers intending to run both races during this year’s combined weekend have been made, but there are some rumored to be interested.