IndyCar: Gallagher Grand Prix preview, predictions and how to watch

Romain Grosjean - IndyCar
Spread the love

It was a successful return to Iowa for the IndyCar Series, with a record number of fans in attendance. Now, the series returns to its home base, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the Gallagher Grand Prix, part of the second annual Brickyard Weekend.

INDIANAPOLIS — It seemed like Josef Newgarden had a sweep of both Iowa races in the bag until a suspension failure ruined those chances, Sunday. The 31-year-old Nashville, Tennessee, native suffered a fall and a head injury post-race and was transported to a Des Moines, Iowa, hospital, where he stayed overnight. He will be reevaluated Thursday, and if he is not cleared to race, Santino Ferrucci will take his place in the No. 2 Penske car for the Gallagher Grand Prix

EDITOR’S NOTE: After press time, IndyCar announced that Josef Newgarden was clear to participate in Friday’s practice session, and will be re-evaluated to determine if he’s clear to run qualifying and Saturday’s race.

Whether Newgarden takes part in this weekend’s activities or not, there is one thing that’s for sure.

IndyCar is back at its home.

While it isn’t the famed oval, the Indianapolis Road Course has some interesting history as well, spanning Formula 1, IndyCar, Sports Car racing and more recently, NASCAR.

Last year, Will Power took the victory in this race at the first annual Brickyard Weekend. Ever since IndyCar started running the IMS Road Course in 2014, Power and Simon Pagenaud have dominated almost every race, with Power taking five wins to Pagenaud’s three. After two poles in Iowa, Power has a chance to tie Mario Andretti’s record for all-time pole positions, this weekend, with 67.

The Circuit

Built in 2000 to accommodate Formula 1, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course measures just under 2.5 miles long. The circuit hosted non-American series such as Formula 1 and MotoGP in the past.

Running opposite the oval, a lap around the road course begins with a trip down the 5/8 mile frontstretch, before taking drivers into a slow right followed by a long left that makes up Turns 1 and 2. Turn 3 is an arching right-hander which slowly brings drivers back around to another right-hander, the 90-degree Turn 4, which presents another prime overtaking opportunity.

Turns 5 and 6 make up the now-infamous chicane that wreaked havoc amongst the NASCAR grid in last year’s Verizon 200. After the chicane comes the back straight, which splits the IMS infield in two, running just behind the NASCAR Cup Series garages.

The final part of the lap starts with Turn 7, which is a 90-degree left before drivers are swung back and forth with Turns 8 and 9 before taking a right back onto the oval with Turns 10 and 11. Turns 12 and 13 slow drivers down before they make their way back onto the frontstretch, while Turn 14 transports drivers right back to the finish line to complete the 2.439-mile lap. Drivers will do that 85 times before seeing the checkered flag on Saturday afternoon.

IMS Road Course Circuit

Championship Standings

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson holds the championship lead, but the Penske duo of Power and Newgarden close in more and more every weekend.

  1. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing – 406 points
  2. Will Power, Team Penske – 395 points
  3. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske – 369 points
  4. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing – 369 points
  5. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP – 367 points

Race Predictions – Gallagher Grand Prix

Something tells me that it is finally time for Will Power to grab the championship lead, and there’s no better place to do it than the track that he loves most. He will take the win, with Pato O’Ward fairly close behind. Rounding out the podium will be the man who was on pole here in 2021, Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean.

  1. Will Power, Team Penske
  2. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP
  3. Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport

How to Watch (All Times in EST)

  • Practice: Friday, 7/29 – 9:30 a.m. on Peacock
  • Qualifying: Friday, 7/29 – 1 p.m. on Peacock
  • Warmup: Saturday, 7/30 – 4:06 p.m. on Peacock
  • Gallagher Grand Prix: Saturday, 7/30 – noon on NBC (Green flag at 12:30)

All IndyCar sessions will be covered live by IndyCar Radio, which can be found on the official IndyCar mobile app or on SiriusXM Channel 160.

For a list of international broadcasters, click here.

Read On: Kurt Busch out for Indianapolis with a concussion