IndyCar results and points standings after inaugural Music City Grand Prix at Nashville

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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.

“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:


RESULTS

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


POINTS

Click here for the points tally in Sunday’s race.

Through 11 races, here are the full points standings for:

Drivers

Entrants

Engine manufacturers

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).

New Chip Ganassi driver Marcus Armstrong will team with boyhood idol Scott Dixon

Marcus Armstrong Scott Dixon
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images
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Marcus Armstrong was a Scott Dixon fan his entire life, and when he was 8, the aspiring young racer asked his fellow New Zealander to autograph a helmet visor that he hung on his bedroom wall.

Next year, Armstrong will be Dixon’s teammate.

Armstrong was named Friday as the fourth IndyCar driver in the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup and will pilot the No. 11 next season on road and street courses.

A driver for the five oval races on the 17-race schedule will be named later.

The No. 11 is essentially the No. 48 that seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson drove the last two seasons, with Chip Ganassi making the change to run four cars numbered in sequential order. Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson drives the No. 8, six-time champion Dixon drives the No. 9, and 2020 IndyCar champion Alex Palou drives the No. 10.

So just who is the second Kiwi in the Ganassi lineup?

A 22-year-old who spent the past three seasons in Formula One feeder series F2, a Ferrari development driver in 2021, and former roommate of Callum Illot and former teammate of Christian Lundgaard – both of whom just completed their rookie IndyCar seasons.

“I’ve always been attracted to the IndyCar championship because it’s one of those championships that’s been really well televised in New Zealand since I was young, mainly because of Scott and his success,” Armstrong told The Associated Press. “As time progressed, as I got closer to F1 and single-seaters, the attraction to IndyCar grew just because of how competitive the championship is – I like to challenge myself and the level of competition in IndyCar is remarkably high.”

Armstrong, from Christchurch, New Zealand, was set to travel from his current home in London to Indianapolis this weekend to meet his new team. He won’t need an introduction to Dixon, the 42-year-old considered the best IndyCar driver of his generation and Armstrong’s unequivocal childhood hero.

Last season, Dixon earned his 53rd career victory to pass Mario Andretti for second on the all-time list. Dixon has driven for Ganassi in all but 23 of his 345 career starts.

“For a long time I’ve been a Scott Dixon fan. I don’t want to make him cringe with our age difference,” Armstrong told the AP.

Despite the two-decade age difference, Armstrong never considered someday racing with Dixon a fantasy.

He convinced his father after winning five national karting championships to allow him to leave New Zealand for Italy at age 14, where he moved by himself to pursue a racing career. Armstrong said as soon as he’d received parental permission, he’d never look back.

Armstrong was in Formula 4 two years after his move to Italy and won that title in his first season. He won four races and four poles in F3 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, then collected four wins and eight podiums in three seasons of F2.

“Maybe it’s a strength, or maybe it’s a weakness, but I always thought I was capable of doing great in the sport,” Armstrong told the AP. “I think you probably have to succeed in the sport, you need to believe in yourself. I always pictured myself being in IndyCar.

“As Scott’s teammate? I can’t specifically say I saw that. It’s an extraordinary chain of events.”

Armstrong becomes just the latest driver to leave Europe, where F1 is the pinnacle but has only 20 seats each year. Alexander Rossi began the trend in 2016 when the American left F1 and won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. He’s been followed by Ericsson, last season’s Indy 500 winner, Romain Grosjean, Illot, Lundgaard, and on Thursday three-time W Series champion and Williams F1 reserve driver Jamie Chadwick was announced as driver for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar’s second-tier development series.

Armstrong said he could have remained in F2 for a fourth season, but he’d been watching IndyCar for so long, and after conversations with Illot and Lundgaard, he decided to make the move to what he believes is the most balanced racing series in the world. He tested for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring in October.

He doesn’t know if European racing is done for good, just that he wants to be in IndyCar right now.

“I don’t want to think too far into the future, I’m just grateful for this opportunity that is standing right in front of me,” Armstrong said. “I want to perform as well as I can in the near future and just consolidate myself in the fantastic chance that is IndyCar and just do my best.

“I’m not looking at F1 as a landing spot – I am looking at IndyCar, and that’s exactly why I am here.”