NASCAR: Ambrose to run Nationwide at Watkins Glen

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His future in the sport may be a question mark, but for Marcos Ambrose, the immediate concern is heading to Watkins Glen International this weekend and resuming his level of domination he’s enjoyed since coming over to NASCAR at the circuit in the first place.

Ambrose will need a win to get in the Sprint Cup Chase, and thus join his Richard Petty Motorsports teammate Aric Almirola.

He’ll try for both that win and a win in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event as well. It was announced Monday he’ll run the No. 09 STANLEY entry for RPM in that race.

“I love going to Watkins Glen and competing there,” Ambrose said in a team release. “I am really thankful to STANLEY for allowing me the opportunity to race in the Nationwide Series and giving me another opportunity to win there. We have had a good record in this race and at this track. I’d love to win again. It will also give me and my pit crew more time on the track as we hope to sweep the weekend.”

Ambrose has five Watkins Glen wins – both of his Cup career wins in 2011 and 2012, and three Nationwide wins.

On the Cup side, he also has a second and two thirds in three of his four remaining starts.

Ambrose currently ranks 17th in the Cup standings; he’s 49 behind Greg Biffle in 13th, and Biffle, currently holds down the 16th and final Chase spot as the fifth highest-ranked driver without a win this season (there have been 11 race winners).

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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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.