Is It Really Bye-Bye to IndyCar Racing in Houston?

There were two IndyCar races in Houston this past June. The races were run on a course laid out around the NRG Park parking lot with NRG Stadium and the Astrodome looming large in the background. The track was bumpy and dangerous. The first day saw racing in the rain, the second day saw racing during the extreme heat of a Houston summer afternoon.

This was the second year of the IndyCar series' return to Houston. And according to reports, it appears that IndyCar will not be returning to Houston for a third straight year. Because, apparently, running a car race on a stadium parking lot in the middle of the day in the summer in Houston isn't popular with the crowds.

If so, the IndyCar series in Houston was probably doomed the moment that IndyCar decided to end its season at the end of August. With the series running at overseas sites to start the season, there was just no place in the schedule to hold an event in Houston that made sense if the comfort of the drivers and spectators was to be taken into account. (IndyCar is going to New Orleans for a race in early April next season, which would seem good for Houston, but with NRG Stadium hosting the NCAA Men's Basketball Regional at the end of March, there probably wouldn't be enough time for track set-up).

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John Royal is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas College of Law. In his day job he is a complex litigation attorney. In his night job he writes about Houston sports for the Houston Press.
Contact: John Royal