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Kimball, Carlin top final practice at ISM Raceway

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Final practice for Saturday’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix (9:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN) was held under the lights at ISM Raceway, and Carlin’s Charlie Kimball, in the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet, found himself at the top of the speed charts when the checkered flag waved on the final practice.

Kimball’s best lap of 179.797 mph bettered Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, whose best lap in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda came in at 179.003 mph, with Kimball and Dixon the only two to break through the 179 mph barrier during the final practice.

A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan was third in his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet, with Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi fourth in the No. 27 MilitaryToMotorsports.com Honda. Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves completed the top five in the No. 88 Chevrolet. Of note: pole sitter Sebastien Bourdais was 21st in the No. 19 SealMaster Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.

The lone incident of the session came in the final minutes as Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot drifted high exiting Turn 4 and brushed the outside wall before coming to a stop on the front straightaway.

Pigot’s No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet did not suffer much damage beyond some bent suspension pieces, but it was just extensive enough to prevent him from going back out as the session came to a close.

Results from final practice are below.

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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.