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Grosjean keen for test days before making NASCAR debut

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Romain Grosjean remains keen to make his NASCAR debut in the near future, but wants to complete some test days before entering a race.

Grosjean joined NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas’ new Formula 1 operation at the beginning of the season, leading its charge to points on debut in Australia.

Grosjean told NBC Sports in pre-season that he did discuss trying out a NASCAR with Haas, before identifying either Sonoma or Watkins Glen as possible debut races.

With Sonoma taking place two weeks ago, Grosjean’s only chance – albeit a slim one – of making his NASCAR debut in 2016 will come at Watkins Glen during F1’s summer break.

“When I was sitting on my sofa watching the Sonoma race, I wished I was there,” Grosjean said.

“It looks good fun. I liked the last lap with Tony Stewart winning the race and pushing [Denny Hamlin] a little bit wide but it was great fun.”

However, Grosjean admitted that he would need to complete a few days of testing before entering a race, not wishing to go wheel-to-wheel without being comfortable with a NASCAR.

“I do need to get a few laps, a few days in the car, do some laps, get some good sensation and then I will come to do a race,” Grosjean said.

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.