It’s May, which means Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in the racing spotlight — even if it’s virtually in this case.
The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will hold its season finale today at the virtual Brickyard. The legendary 2.5-mile track will be the third oval race in the series. Simon Pagenaud won the previous two at Michigan International Speedway and Twin Ring Motegi.
The front row will feature two drivers who are inexperienced at Indy but accomplished at sim racing. Two-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will start on pole after a 228.241-mph lap Friday, and F1 McLaren’s Lando Norris will start second (228.201) after becoming eligible for the race with his win at Circuit of The Americas.
WATCH: First Responder 175, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN or via streaming
READY FOR THE REAL: Kanaan, Rossi anxious to get behind the wheel
NASCAR and rallycross veteran Scott Speed will start third. Graham Rahal was the highest qualifying full-time IndyCar driver in fourth.
McLaughlin and Norris are two of only three drivers in the field without any starts at IMS. Rookie Alex Palou, who qualified eighth, also has yet to race at real-world Indy.
Here is the information on today’s virtual race:
START: The command to start engines will be given by New York City first responders at 2:43 p.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 2:45 p.m.
TV: Coverage of the race will begin on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET and also via the NBCSN stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App. The IndyCar on NBC booth of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy will have the call of the race with reporter Marty Snider.
The race also can be viewed through drivers’ individual Twitch channels.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Performed by the Indianapolis Fire Department’s Voices of IFD at 2:39 p.m. ET.
TRACK: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a four-turn, 2.5-mile oval. Turn banking: 9 degrees, 12 minutes. Straightaway width: 50 feet. Turn width: 60 feet.
DISTANCE: The First Responder 175 is 70 laps/175 miles (281.6 km) (approximately 75 minutes).
SETUPS: Fixed; no changes allowed for drivers.
PIT STOPS: One or two. Fuel window will be approximately 30-35 laps.
FAST REPAIRS: One (drivers have been allowed two fast repairs, the equivalent of hitting a reset button, at the past three races on road courses; on ovals, drivers have been limited to one fast repair).
REAL WORLD AT INDY: Of the 33 starters, 24 have made at least one Indianapolis 500 start. Five others have competed in the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race (Oliver Askew, RC Enerson, Dalton Kellett, Pato O’Ward and Rinus VeeKay). Scott Speed has started the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Cup Series race.
There are eight Indy 500 winners in the starting lineup: Helio Castroneves (Team Penske), Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport), Tony Kanaan (A.J. Foyt Enterprises), Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske), Will Power (Team Penske), Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) and Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing). The top qualifier for Saturday’s race among that group is Power, who will start seventh.
UNOFFICIAL POINTS STANDINGS: There is no championship at play, but if points were being kept, the Team Penske duo of Simon Pagenaud and Will Power would be tied for the lead. Click here for the points standings after the Circuit of The Americas race.
PAST FIVE ROUNDS: Click here for the full boxscore from Circuit of The Americas. Click here for the full boxscore from Twin Ring Motegi. Click here for the full boxscore from Michigan. Click here for the full boxscore from Barber. Click here for the full box score from Watkins Glen.
STARTING ORDER: Click here to see Friday’s qualifying results at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for today’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge finale.
ENTRY LIST: Click here to see the 33 drivers entered at Indy for the sixth and final round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge.
SPOTTER’S GUIDE: Click here to see the paint schemes being used in today’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.