2021 NTT IndyCar Series preview: Indianapolis Grand Prix

After a doubleheader weekend racing on the oval at Texas Motor Speedway and a week off, the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series returns to road-course racing for the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit inside of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Last season, the IndyCar Series ran three races at the Indianapolis GP Circuit with Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden and Will Power all claiming victories at the track. Dixon’s victory came on the Fourth of July while the two Team Penske drivers won on a doubleheader in Indianapolis the first weekend of October.

Romain Grosjean will start on the pole for the first time in his IndyCar career, which comes only about six months after his horrific crash during the Bahrain Grand Prix in Formula 1. In only his third start in IndyCar, he is looking to get on the podium after 13th and 10th-place finishes in the first two races of the season (Alabama and St. Petersburg). The last time Grosjean finished on a podium in his career was the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix in F1.

Newgarden will start on the front row besides Grosjean. His 2021 season has been eventful with two crashes and two podiums, placing him fourth in the driver’s standings.

Jack Harvey will start third and Alex Palou will start fourth. Harvey has two top-10 finishes in the first four races, but was forced to retire in the second race at Texas due to wheel issues. Palou, who won the season opener at Alabama, has had mixed results since then with a 17th-place finish at Alabama while achieving two top-10 finishes at Texas.

Scott McLaughlin, a former champion in Australian Supercars who picked up a podium in his first-career oval race at Texas, will start fifth. Conor Daly, who hasn’t finshed higher than 16th this season so far, will start sixth.

Rinus VeeKay, last year’s IndyCar Rookie of the Year, will start seventh. He has landed three top-10 finishes in the first four races of the season.

Colton Herta has had a rollercoaster of a 2021 season thus far. He crashed out on the first lap at Alabama, won pole and the race at St. Petersburg, did not finish the first race at Texas and finished fifth in the second race at Texas. He will start the GMR Grand Prix eighth.

Ed Jones and Simon Pagenaud round out the top 10. Jones is without a top-10 finish so far in the 2021 season and Pagenaud has finished in the top 10 in each of the past three races, including a podium in St. Petersburg.

The top-two drivers in the championship standings and the two winners at Texas, Dixon and Patricio O’Ward, will start outside the top 10 in 13th and 18th.

Coverage for the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis will begin at 2:00 p.m. EST. You can catch the race on NBC and IndyCar Radio.

Starting grid:

ROW 1

1. (51) Romain Grosjean, Honda
2. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet

ROW 2

3. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda
4. (10) Alex Palou, Honda

ROW 3

5. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet
6. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet

ROW 4

7. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet
8. (26) Colton Herta, Honda

ROW 5

9. (18) Ed Jones, Honda
10. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet

ROW 6

11. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda
12. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet

ROW 7

13. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet
14. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda

ROW 8

15. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda
16. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda

ROW 9

17. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda
18. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet

ROW 10

19. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda
20. (14) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet

ROW 11

21. (11) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet
22. (29) James Hinchcliffe, Honda

ROW 12

23. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Honda
24. (4) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet

ROW 13

25. (86) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet

Track layout:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course NASCAR layout | NASCAR

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