By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2021 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. 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
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix – Saturday, August 14, 2021 12:30PM (ET) NBCSN – A whopping 28 cars are on the entry list this weekend as Top Gun Racing and RC Enerson join the same entry list from last weekend in Nashville with Christian Lundgaard making his debut in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing No. 45 rather than Santino Ferrucci.
Looking at past performance on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, there are five former winners in the field in Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, and Rinus VeeKay. The active Top 5 in laps led at the circuit are Power (285), Dixon (69), Pagenaud (68), Newgarden (59), and VeeKay (48). Looking at the box scores from warmer weather GMR Grand Prix results in 2021 and 2020, VeeKay and Graham Rahal finished in the Top 5 in each race. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, those two are joined by Newgarden, Pagenaud, Dixon, and Marcus Ericsson. Those races were won by VeeKay and Dixon.
My pick to win: Romain Grosjean – Going somewhat bold with this one and predicting Grosjean will back up his pole performance in May with a victory this weekend. He had speed all weekend for the GMR Grand Prix earlier this year and outside of VeeKay’s incredible drive was the best in the field. This team has gelled well together and shown flashes all season, why can’t they deliver a victory that would send the fans crazy at IMS this weekend?
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Romain Grosjean, Rinus VeeKay, Graham Rahal, & Jack Harvey – You know my thoughts on Grosjean. Rinus VeeKay delivered an electric drive for his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory in May and has been fast here before. This is one of Rahal’s best tracks, regardless of qualifying efforts, and he’s a must-have this weekend. Harvey will once again deliver an outstanding qualifying effort as he does most places and especially on this track, but can he and the team avoid the black cloud that inexplicably follows them everywhere? He should probably be a favorite for this event but if anything can go wrong, it often does unfortunately.