IndyCar results and points standings: NASHVILLE — Marcus Ericsson scored one of the most improbable comebacks in recent series history, rebounding to win the inaugural Music City Grand Prix after a Lap 4 crash that shot his No. 8 Dallara-Honda skyward about 6 feet.
It’s the second career victory for the Swede, who also won at Detroit two months ago. But this was perhaps the comeback of the 2021 season as Ericsson fell to the rear of the field after serving a stop and go penalty (and pitting for a new front wing) after the contact with Sebastien Bourdais.
But 25 laps later, Ericsson was in the lead, and he’d stay in first for 37 of the final 49 laps on the 11-turn, 2.17-mile track.
CHAOTIC DEBUT: Marcus Ericsson wins wild Music City Grand Prix inaugural
“I’m trying to figure out how I won the race after being up in the sky, thinking my race was over,” Ericsson said with a laugh. “Yeah, I can’t believe it. Got some good airtime. I feel sorry for (Bourdais). One of those incidents. I thought my race over there. Then we had to repair the car. I got a stop-and-go. We were dead last. It was all about trying to recover. I think the car got some damage, as well, from that flight.
“I thought I would try and recover as many positions as possible and have a solid top 15 was sort of my game plan after that incident. Then the team did a great job with the strategy. Pit stops were great. There were so many incidents. For sure there was a little luck there, as well, no doubt about that.
Who had this guy leading the race with 5 laps to go?#INDYCAR // #MusicCityGP // NBCSN pic.twitter.com/A48AewqDjG
— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) August 9, 2021
“But we delivered when we had to. I think the bottom line was that we were really fast. We were fast. In IndyCar, anything can happen. It’s been like that over the years. Once again today it shows that you can never give up, you have to keep pushing all the time, keep believing. If you have a strong team like I have, anything’s possible.”
Teammate Scott Dixon finished second in the first new IndyCar street race in 10 years. It was the fourth consecutive IndyCar victory in the Nashville area for Chip Ganassi Racing (which won the most recent three races at Nashville Superspeedway from 2006-08) and the fifth win this season for Ganassi.
Dixon also closed within 42 points of teammate and championship leader Alex Palou in the standings with five races remaining.
James Hinchcliffe finished a season-best third in his first podium finish since Iowa Speedway in 2019 and his best road or street course finish since Barber in 2018.
Here are the IndyCar results and points standings Sunday after the inaugural Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville:
Click here for the box score from the inaugural Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville. Click here for the lap leader chart.
Here is the finishing order with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out:
1. (18) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 80, Running
2. (2) Scott Dixon, Honda, 80, Running
3. (10) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 80, Running
4. (14) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 80, Running
5. (13) Graham Rahal, Honda, 80, Running
6. (26) Ed Jones, Honda, 80, Running
7. (9) Alex Palou, Honda, 80, Running
8. (4) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 80, Running
9. (15) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 80, Running
10. (12) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 80, Running
11. (17) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 80, Running
12. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 80, Running
13. (8) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 80, Running
14. (11) Will Power, Chevrolet, 80, Running
15. (6) Jack Harvey, Honda, 80, Running
16. (5) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Running
17. (3) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 80, Running
18. (21) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 80, Running
19. (1) Colton Herta, Honda, 74, Contact
20. (27) Cody Ware, Honda, 70, Handling
21. (7) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 68, Contact
22. (23) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 67, Running
23. (19) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 37, Contact
24. (22) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 24, Contact
25. (24) Takuma Sato, Honda, 19, Contact
26. (25) Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 18, Contact
27. (16) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 5, Contact
Winner’s average speed: 72.607 mph; Time of race (not counting the two red flags): 2:18:49.8305; Margin of victory: 1.5596 mph; Cautions: 9 for 33 laps; Lead changes: 4 among 3 drivers; Lap leaders: Herta 1-32; Ericsson 33-44; Herta 45-51; Grosjean 52-55; Ericsson 56-80
Click here for the points tally in Sunday’s race.
Through 11 races, here are the full points standings for:
Top 10 in the standings: Palou 410, Dixon 368, O’Ward 362, Newgarden 335, Ericsson 331, Rahal 286, Pagenaud 280, Herta 275, VeeKay 263, Sato 231.
NEXT: The NTT IndyCar Series will race Saturday, Aug. 14 (12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the 12th of 16 rounds in the 2021 season (click here for the full broadcast schedule this year).