IndyCar, NASCAR crews in good starting positions for Rolex 24

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Qualifying for a 24-hour race is essentially meaningless, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to start up front.

Such is the case for the full-time Verizon IndyCar Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers competing in the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend.

AJ Allmendinger will share the overall polesitting No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, with polesitter Ozz Negri and other co-drivers John Pew and Matt McMurry.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s six combined IndyCar/NASCAR/development drivers are second and third on the grid. The No. 02 Riley-Ford (Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson) edged the No. 01 (Scott Pruett, Joey Hand, Charlie Kimball, Sage Karam) in qualifying.

Sebastien Bourdais will start fourth in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves is part of the lineup in the DeltaWing coupe, which starts fifth.

Indy 500 driver James Davison scored the GT Daytona pole position in the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Simon Pagenaud will be part of the lineup that won the pole in GT Le Mans, with co-driver Oliver Gavin snatching the top spot in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R.

Here’s the full grid, so you can find your favorite driver. Meanwhile others of note will start as follows:

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay in P8 (No. 7 Starworks Motorsport Riley-Dinan BMW, Prototype)
  • Simon Pagenaud in P1 (No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, GT Le Mans)
  • Graham Rahal in P4 (No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE, GT Le Mans)
  • Ryan Briscoe in P5 (No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, GT Le Mans)
  • Jack Hawksworth in P7 (No. 11 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09, Prototype Challenge)

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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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.