IndyCar: Nashville Preview, Predictions, and How to Watch

IndyCar Nashville Street Circuit
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For the first time in over three years, it was Alexander Rossi’s turn to win last Sunday at Indianapolis. Now, the IndyCar Series continues its quadruple-header of races on the streets of Nashville.

For a long time at Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course, it appeared as if Colton Herta would be taking an easy victory. That hope was spoiled on Lap 42 when a clutch issue knocked the American out of the race, giving his Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi the lead and eventual win going into Nashville.

Despite losing out in Indianapolis, Herta is looking forward to Sunday’s race at the Nashville Street Circuit, saying “It’s an awesome market for IndyCar, and I wish it came sooner,” in a virtual press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Last August, in IndyCar’s inaugural race on the streets of Nashville, Herta dominated much of the race, before crashing out of the race from second place with just five laps to go.

For the first time since the Detroit Grand Prix in early June, Marcus Ericsson is not the IndyCar points leader. Due to a problem in qualifying at Indianapolis and an 11th place finish for Ericsson, Team Penske’s Will Power now leads by 12 points. Speaking in Saturday’s post-race press conference, the Australian said “…you’ve got to make the most of every situation…” which Power certainly has in 2022 with a win and seven podiums throughout the season with four races to go.

The Circuit

Perhaps more unique than any other circuit on the IndyCar Series calendar, a lap around the streets of Nashville actually starts just before Turn 9. Drivers complete the 2/3 of a mile over the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Cumberland River before making a quick right and then a hard left in the wide corner that is Turn 9. Straight on to Turns 10 and 11, which sends drivers down the pit straight towards the finish line, and Turn 1, which lies adjacent to Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennesee Titans.

Turns 1 and 2 make up a slow left-right chicane that make up the main overtaking zone in the 2021 version of the race. Turn 3 sends drivers rightward towards the bridge in the opposite direction. After traversing over a half mile over the Cumberland River, drivers navigate left, then back right through the narrow spaces of Turns 4 and 5. Turns 6 and 7 are two quick 90-degree left-handers that set drivers up for the sweeping Turn 8, spitting drivers out to the right, and back onto the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge one last time.

To finish the lap, drivers must once again navigate Turns 9, 1o, and 11 to make it back to Nissan Stadium and the pit straight, completing the 2.170-mile lap around the bumpy Nashville Street Circuit.

Nashville Street Circuit Track Map

Championship Standings

After Marcus Ericsson suffered a mechanical failure in qualifying in Indianapolis, he finished 11th, which was not enough to match Power’s third-place finish, which propelled the Australian to the points lead.

  1. Will Power, Team Penske – 431 points
  2. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing – 422 points
  3. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske – 399 points
  4. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing – 393 points
  5. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP – 385 points

Race Predictions – Nashville

Once again, I believe the 80 laps around Nashville will be chaotic, but the hometown boy Josef Newgarden will take the win for Team Penske. Following just behind him will be his teammate Will Power, and finishing off the podium will be Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward.

  1. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
  2. Will Power, Team Penske
  3. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP

How to Watch (All Times in EST)

  • Practice 1: Friday, 8/5 – 4:15 p.m. on Peacock
  • Practice 2: Saturday, 8/6 – 12:15 p.m on Peacock
  • Qualifying: Saturday, 8/6 – 4:30 p.m. on Peacock
  • Warmup: Sunday, 8/7 – 10:15 a.m. on Peacock
  • Big Machine Music City Grand Prix: Sunday, 8/7 – 3:00 p.m on NBC (80 laps, green flag at 3:30)

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.

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