Five things to watch for during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono

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In six previous NTT IndyCar races at Pocono Raceway there have been five different winners. Will Power is the only driver to post more than one victory and his pair came in the back-to-back seasons of 2016/2017. To win his second, he had to be the last man standing after a record 42 lead changes among 10 drivers.

Scott Dixon won the inaugural race in 2013. Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015) and Alexander Rossi (2018) have a chance to become repeat winners this week along with Power.

Here are some of the storylines to watch this Sunday:

  1. Rossi and Josef Newgarden had been within two positions of one another in seven races prior to Iowa. Rossi lost five spots to Newgarden on the short oval, which caused us to wonder if he would close the gap again at Mid-Ohio. It turned out there was no reason to worry as Newgarden’s off-course excursion contributed to a 14th-place finish – nine spots behind Rossi.
  2. It turns out that Mid-Ohio was a streak-killer for a few racers. In addition to Newgarden’s culmination of a four-race, top-five streak, James Hinchliffe finished 23rd to snap a three-race, top-10 streak and Sebastien Bourdais failed to score three consecutive top-10s, which would have been the first time he did so in 2019. Bourdais did not miss by much with an 11th-place finish and each time his two-race streaks have ended, they did so with either an 11th- or 12th-place result.
  3. Racing is a zero-sum game. The travails of Newgarden, Hinchcliffe and Bourdais created opportunities for the field, not the least of which was Hunter-Reay who finished third to end a three-race string of results outside the top 10.
  4. One should not worry overly about Newgarden’s ability to bounce back immediately from his Ohio disappointment. Three active drivers have been perfect at Pocono in regard to top-10 finishes. Newgarden has never finished worse than eighth. Dixon’s worst finish is ninth and Power’s worst finish is 10th. Carlos Munoz (four) and Juan Pablo Montoya (three) have also been perfect at Pocono.
  5. The close but no cigar award has gone to Santino Ferrucci in recent races. Finishing either 11th or 12th in his last three attempts, he is looking to improve slightly and earn his first top-10 since he finished fourth at Texas – another high speed oval.

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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.