It's looking more and more like in the short term at least, finding ovals for IndyCar is going to be tough. It's possible that 2013 could only have seven of them (though I think IndyCar will find a way to have at least eight). Let's just take that as a given for now, and set aside the perfectly understandable angst. I get it, it sucks. I agree. But if we're heading there, what would it take to maximize the awesome factor? A few things:
1.) Big-time races anchoring the season, evenly spaced. The Indy 500, Michigan 500, and California 500 running Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekends would be a great sequence of races.
2.) The other four races on a mix of tracks. If they could run at Las Vegas, Texas, Phoenix, and Iowa, that would be an ideal mix.
3.) They need enough road races to avoid big gaps. Even if it's not a particular fan's cup of tea, they need to keep the series on track a lot to even have a prayer of carrying momentum into the big oval races. They need at least twenty races total. I know that funding is a problem, but if these street races are so lucrative, that should be a problem that can be overcome.
I'm not interested in oval races just for the sake of avoiding right turns. That race at Richmond a few years ago, when the series legislated themselves to sleep, barely qualified as a race. Frankly, a street race would have been preferable. So if they're going to have a very limited number of ovals, they need to grow even more aggressive in making sure those few ovals are absolutely spectacular. They need to leave you STUNNED that you just saw that. And if they could do that, then yeah, I think I could be happy with seven ovals on the schedule. YMMV, of course.