NASCAR’s “road course ringers” largely struggle at the Glen

12 Comments

Regular MotorSportsTalk readers might remember my attempt at forecasting how NASCAR’s “road course ringers” would fare at Sonoma, and suffice to say, it didn’t go so well.

But as occasionally a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, so too does a pick of mine come good. My “Charlie Kimball as IndyCar’s Mid-Ohio sleeper” pick blossomed nicely.

Either way, here’s a recap rather than a forecast of how the “road course ringers” did Sprint Cup’s second and last road course race of 2013. It’s become a lot harder for these one-off drivers to come in and score a result as easily as they used to.

  • Max Papis got the call in the No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet and did a respectable job, finishing 15th after starting 29th.
  • Boris Said (No. 32 Fas Lane Racing Ford, 22nd) and Sprint Cup debutante Owen Kelly (No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, 24th) scored top-25 finishes, which is far from great, but OK given how far most of the full-season drivers have come on road courses.
  • Alex Kennedy ended 29th in the No. 19 Humphrey Smith Toyota, that car’s best result in quite a while, with Ron Fellows only 35th in the No. 33 Circle Sport Chevrolet. Only positives there are the cars coming home in one piece.
  • Victor Gonzalez Jr. (No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet) and Tomy Drissi (No. 87 NEMCO Chevrolet) were caught up in a Lap 39 accident. Rough day.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.