20 IndyCar races per year would be “sweet spot” says Frye

After the IndyCar demonstration in Argentina “wildly exceeded expectations”, series president Jay Frye says he would like to add more venues to the schedule.

20 IndyCar races per year would be “sweet spot” says Frye
Listen to this article

A delegation from Juncos Racing, IndyCar and Chevrolet went down to Argentina this month, for touring car legend Agustin Canapino to demonstrate an IndyCar during a promotional tour.

Frye told Motorsport.com the reception from the fans was “amazing”. He went on: “I would say, the best thing is, they got our attention. We appreciate everyone's interest and everybody that came out to watch that, the two things. Everything we saw was an amazing event.

“We worked with Ricardo [Juncos] on that, obviously, with Chevrolet, how's it gonna work, shipping – the technical competition part, the driver. So, obviously, we had been aware of how hard he worked on this for a long time to get this done.

“We don't know what to expect. So what we saw wildly exceeded expectations, there was lots of interest, lots of people. Again, we certainly appreciate everybody coming in checking it out. So, who knows? But I mean, that got our attention.

“Never say never. Again, it was, I think it was a really good thing for Ricardo going back, it was cool that he was able to do that back to his home. And like I mentioned, we didn't know what to expect, but whatever we expected, it exceeded it. It was awesome.”

Frye stated that IndyCar remains committed to seeking new venues, as well as establishing the ones already on the schedule.

“Sometimes there's X amount of tracks that are out there – less street courses, obviously, that's a whole different thing – where we can go. I mean, there's X amount of ovals. So we know what the options can be. Road courses, same way.

“Street courses, obviously, we get inquiries often from cities, but a street race is a pretty large commitment, shutting down streets – and there's a big capital expenditure. How can it work?

“We're trying to get date equity in our calendar, so we are basically in the same places year on year, so from a fan perspective they know that on this weekend, we're in St. Pete. We've done a really good job with that, but now we probably need to look at what's next.”

Frye believes that getting up to 20 should be the series’ goal, but like anyone in management, he is swift to iterate that he’s not intending to add venues just for the sake of reaching that figure.

“My personal opinion is, I've always thought 20 is kind of the sweet spot,” he said, “and we're at 17 right now. But… you don't add three just to add three; you add three that are great events. And you know, there's something around it, [an event]. Iowa was gone and then they came back, it has become now a big event. Awesome. So if we were to add an oval, so that that got us 18 races, we would want the oval to become a big event.

With Pato O’Ward set to remain in IndyCar at least until 2025, there have been increasing calls for the series to venture into Mexico once more, and take advantage of the huge enthusiasm for racing, particularly now that one of the series’ established aces has garnered a huge following.

“We're looking at lots of different things now,” said Frye. “There's often inquiries about Mexico, obviously, we go to Canada. You know, we want to remain as much of a North American series as we can, but the world is getting smaller, too, right? I mean, you know, with social media and all that type stuff, it's changed from 20 years ago. So, yeah, certainly we'll look at it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Roger Penske to receive Autosport Gold Medal in London, England
Previous article

Roger Penske to receive Autosport Gold Medal in London, England

Next article

Hy-Vee to sponsor Lundgaard’s RLL-Honda in IndyCar in 2023

Hy-Vee to sponsor Lundgaard’s RLL-Honda in IndyCar in 2023
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021