Indianapolis Race Course: Things To Know About The Race

Author: Yash


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A lot of surprises have occurred in 2022's NASCAR Cup races. Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, and Tyler Reddick have claimed their first career victories on road courses this year. With so many possibilities, it makes sense that the series will visit Indianapolis Race Course on Sunday, July 31, for its fourth road course of 2022. The 2021 IMS race was an eventful one for A.J. Allmendinger.

Following Christopher Bell's victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, there have been 14 different winners in the NASCAR Cup Series' first 20 races. A third-place finish for Bubba Wallace turned around his recent struggles after Bell outdueled Elliott in the closing laps. The two drivers traded blows under caution, as well as tempers flared between Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski. There was no major tension between Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain in spite of the ever-present Denny Hamlin/Ross Chastain rivalry.

The winless Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. are right on the edge of elimination despite sitting third and fourth in the regular season standings. The chances of either team winning the title in 2022 are unlikely based solely on their points totals, but a new winner alone would be enough to end their championship hopes. Although Harvick has the slightest chance of upsetting Blaney or Truex, there are plenty of other drivers on the lower end of the standings who are desperate to win their first race with Daytona still to come.

 

Scott Dixon Trying to Win From Pole

 

Scott Dixon has won everything you could imagine on the Indianapolis race course circuit. A 2008 win at the Indy 500 brought the New Zealander six championships in the IndyCar Series. Multiple times in the last decade, Dixon has missed out on the chance to win a second Indianapolis 500. 

In 2008, he won the race from the first starting position and had sat on the pole three times since then. Three of his races resulted in fourth, 32nd, and 17th places. A pole position finish in 2017 and 2021 may be an indicator of what is to come on Sunday, as they finished 32nd and 17th, respectively. At over 234 miles per hour, Dixon achieved the pole position. 

He has the experience and speed to get out in front early in Indy, and his car has the pace to do so. Dixon might seem like the favorite for Milk and Bricks due to his pole position, fast lap times, and experience, but he has struggled recently. 

 

What is the likelihood of anyone making noise from the back of the grid? 

 

All of the last five Indy 500 winners have been from the first three rows of the starting grid. Conor Daly, who started in the middle of the pack, took the most laps and nearly ended the trend in 2021. It is possible for Daly to control Sunday's race from the midfield or back. 

Under 15th place, Helio Castroneves, Alexander Rossi, and Simon Pagenaud stand out as previous Indy 500 champions. 

A development deal between Colton Herta and McLaren's Formula 1 team has been the talk of the racing world. Herta opened the month at the Indianapolis race course by winning an IndyCar Series race. During Friday's practice session, the American's primary car flipped, forcing him to use a backup car. The crash resulted in no serious injuries for Herta. 

Among the back of the pack, Marco Andretti is one of the most notable names. In his last four attempts, Andretti has not finished inside the top 10 of the Indy 500, despite being close on several occasions. In qualifying, Dixon, Alex Palou, Rinus VeeKay, and others performed well, so one of them might duplicate Daly's success on the front row. 

 

Favorites to win the Indianapolis race course

 

1. Chase Elliott

 

Despite not winning on a road course since July 2021 at Elkhart Lake, Wis., the No. 9 Chevrolet driver is always a favorite. Elkhart Lake was the second round of the series points standings on July 3 after the points leader led 56 laps on road courses.

 

2. Kyle Larson

 

It was tougher in 2022, as Larson finished third at Elkhart Lake, but he won three times in seven road course starts in 2021. On June 13, Larson led 26 laps at Sonoma, winning the 2021 Cup championship and earning a playoff berth.

 

3. Ryan Blaney

 

Despite not having clinched a playoff spot for 2022, the driver of the No. 12 Ford has the most points among the remaining drivers. He led five laps in this year's races at the IMS road course after finishing runner-up last year.

 

Conclusion

 

Some of the most distinguished names in open-wheel racing have competed in the Indianapolis 500. The sport's best young drivers were not able to beat Helio Castroneves for the third time as he won the Borg-Warner Trophy last year. The Indianapolis racecourse on Sunday features eight Indy 500 champions. For the second consecutive year, former winner Scott Dixon holds the pole position. As a result, Dixon failed to secure his second Indy 500 victory in 2021 despite qualifying on pole. Before Castroneves swooped in to win, several young drivers, including Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay, held the lead.


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