By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2021 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Preview: Cooper Tires Indy Lights Oval Challenge of St. Louis – Spotter Guide – Race 1: Friday, August 20, 2021 6:30PM (ET) Peacock & Race 2: Saturday, August 21, 2021 6:30PM (ET) Peacock – Indy Lights returns for their first race since Mid-Ohio over July 4th weekend for their only only weekend of the season. Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood maintains a slender lead over championship rivals David Malukas and Linus Lundqvist as we head toward the homestretch and the final eight races of the season at four venues. Expect the Andretti Autosport cars to be strong this weekend with the team’s experience and performance in Thursday testing. I’d expect Kyle Kirkwood to win at least one of the two races during the weekend with Devin DeFrancesco to maybe step up and win his first career race in Indy Lights.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – Saturday, August 21, 2021 8:00PM (ET) NBCSN – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ final weekend of the year on an oval will have 24 entries highlighted by the oval debut for Romain Grosjean. The championship battle is as close as it’s been in some time after Alex Palou’s mechanical issue to end his day early at the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix as Pato O’Ward is now just 21 points behind and the Top 5 are separated by just 62 points.
Previous driver experience at World Wide Technology Raceway shows four former winners in the field in Josef Newgarden (2), Scott Dixon (1), Will Power (1), and Takuma Sato (1). Dixon and Newgarden won the two races in the doubleheader in September last year. Looking at the box scores from 2020 Race 1 and Race 2, O’Ward and Dixon each finished in the Top 5 in both races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, that duo is joined by Rinus VeeKay, Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist, Conor Daly, and Sato. The active Top 5 in laps led at the circuit are Newgarden (268), Dixon (251), Power (200), Sato (145), and O’Ward (130).
My pick to win: Race: Scott Dixon – All of the Chip Ganassi Racing cars were strong at Gateway last year and Scott Dixon is going to win another race in 2021. Why not this weekend, especially as he’s inched himself closer to championship contention? Dixon has never started worse than P8 here with four Top 5’s in six starts so you know he’ll be a factor for the win.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Scott Dixon, Rinus VeeKay, Takuma Sato, & Scott McLaughlin – You know my thoughts on Dixon. VeeKay was excellent on race day in this race last year. Sato has finished in the Top 10 in his last four Gateway races with a win and P2 mixed in. Team Penske cars are typically strong at this track and McLaughlin was a quick learner on the oval at Texas earlier this year. I’d say watch a combination of McLaughlin, Conor Daly, and Grosjean close in practice and qualifying for the best of some budget values.