By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2021 GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. 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: Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Spotter Guide – Race 1: Friday, May 14th, 2021 2:00PM (ET) Peacock & Race 2: Saturday, May 15, 2021 12:35PM (ET) Peacock – The favorites this weekend have to be the HMD Motorsports and Global Racing Group teammates David Malukas and Linus Lundqvist after how strong they looked on the natural terrain road course at Barber Motorsports Park. Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood looked much stronger at St. Pete with a win and podium and he has three podiums in four starts at Indy in the Road to Indy ladder.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: GMR Grand Prix – Saturday, May 15, 2021 2:00PM (ET) NBC – There are two new drivers this weekend as two teams add a third car with Charlie Kimball in the AJ Foyt Racing No. 11 and Juan Pablo Montoya in the Arrow McLaren SP No. 86. It’s a very interesting weekend early in the championship to set a narrative before the the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race up next. Scott Dixon already finds himself in the championship lead coming to a race he won last year before having the best car in the Indy 500.
Previous driver experience on the IMS road course shows four former winners in the field in Will Power (4), Simon Pagenaud (3), Dixon (1), and Josef Newgarden (1). Dixon, Power, and Newgarden all won on the circuit last year as there were three races between the GMR Grand Prix and Harvest GP doubleheader. Looking at the box scores from the three races in 2020 at the GMR Grand Prix, Harvest GP Race 1, and Harvest GP Race 2 only Colton Herta finished in the Top 5 in all three races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, he is joined by Newgarden, Dixon, and Graham Rahal.
My pick to win: Race: Colton Herta – Herta was spectacular in qualifying on the IMS road course last year with qualifying positions of P3, P3, and P2. If he can break through with a pole position we’ve seen him dominate races if he gets the chance. He finished in the Top 4 of all three races last year. He’s already put on a clinic once this year with a masterclass at St. Pete. Don’t be surprised if he does it again this weekend to kick of the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, Scott McLaughlin, and Jack Harvey – You know my thoughts on Herta. Rahal always races well on the IMS road course and puts himself in intriguing situations. I expect him to be a contender for the podium this weekend. Team Penske has dominated this event over the years. Take Scott McLaughlin as a steal at $22 especially if he qualifies reasonably well. Harvey has performed admirably well in qualifying at this venue in recent years and is well overdue for things to go his way on race day. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this is where we could see the next first time NTT INDYCAR SERIES winner.