Driver Press Recap
NASCAR Cup drivers were available to the press Saturday morning/afternoon and had much to say about their cars, and the track, here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the possibility of switching the set up and new additions to the course.
The biggest topic was the addition of a start/restart zone and everyone that spoke about it today was in favor of it. Martin Truex, Jr. said he is glad there is a start/restart zone and he thinks it won’t be 5-6 cars wide, like it had been. He does think that there would still be some darting in, but he thinks it will be calmer. When asked if he thought it should have been single file, he said he didn’t think that was in NASCAR’s vocabulary.
One of the rumors swirling around is that the Brickyard may go back to the oval. It seems as though emotions are mixed on the driver’s end of things. Christopher Bell likes the track here, it’s a fun place, but is looking forward to perhaps being on the oval. Denny Hamlin definitely prefers the oval, “we’re crossing over the bricks in the wrong direction.” He would rather run the oval. Martin Truex, Jr likes that there are lots of opportunity to run road courses. And Austin Cindric said, as long as he was in Indy, it was all pretty cool to him.
The other thing that the drivers were talking about was the opinion some drivers had that the last few races didn’t matter. Truex vehemently disagreed. He said that every race was important. He was trying to lock down bonus point for the playoffs. And Austin Cindric feels like they have the best chance to get a win here at Indy.
I guess the thing that sums it up the best is when Austin Cindric said, “As long as I’m in Indy, it’s pretty cool to me.”
Get ready for the adrenaline-pumping action of the Pennzoil 150 at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway!
Get ready for the adrenaline-pumping action of the Pennzoil 150 at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway! As racing enthusiasts from around the world converge on this historic venue, the air is charged with excitement and anticipation for a race that promises to be nothing short of spectacular.
The Pennzoil 150 is set to showcase the finest in motorsport prowess, as skilled drivers from various racing backgrounds come together to battle it out on the renowned oval track. With its rich history dating back over a century, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway provides the perfect backdrop for this high-octane showdown.
Drivers to watch: for possible play off clinches;
Justin Allgaier (1 Win, 777 Points): With a win, he would clinch a playoff spot on wins. If John Hunter Nemechek, Austin Hill, Cole Custer, Sam Mayer, Chandler Smith or Sammy Smith wins, he would clinch regardless of finish. If Josh Berry, Daniel Hemric, Riley Herbst, Sheldon Creed, Parker Kligerman or Jeb Burton wins, he would clinch with 36 points. If Brandon Jones wins, he would clinch with 11 points. If Brett Moffitt wins, he would clinch regardless of finish.
Spectators can expect heart-stopping moments as the drivers push themselves and their machines to the limits, reaching mind-boggling speeds on the straightaways and maneuvering through the challenging turns with finesse and precision. The roar of engines, the scent of burning rubber, and the collective cheers of the crowd will create an atmosphere that only a race at this legendary venue can offer.
The Pennzoil 150 isn't just about raw speed; it's a strategic chess match on wheels. Pit stops, tire changes, and fuel management will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the race.
"The DINGER" is the defending champion
There have been three Xfinity races on the road course. Each has featured a different winner. Chase Briscoe won the inaugural event for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2020. Austin Cindric won for Team Penske in 2021.
Toyota is the only manufacturer yet to win a race at the Indy road course.
The command to start engines will be given by Advanced Auto Parts’ Jimmy Brown at 5:39 p.m. ... The green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:50 p.m.
NASCAR and INDY CAR Racing on the same day at the same track!
Stick around its about to get good
Rossi Takes the Checkered Flag in Indy
It’s great to be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the Gallagher Grand Prix, the first of 3 races this weekend. We also have the Pennzoil 150 on the road course at IMS. The beginning of the Grand Prix was not without drama. Conor Daly had issues in the pits after running P6. There was an incident between Will Power and Pato O’Ward and Grosjean had some issues in the pits as well. The back end of the cars were slipping and sliding around but straightened up as the race went on. Marcus Ericksson started at the back of the grid but found himself in P2 for a time. And early on, Jimmy Johnson was taking faster laps than Will Power and found himself in P1 in lap 24.
By lap 49, Herta was out of the race. He said via radio, “I think this is something we can’t fix.”
During the press conference, Will Power was talking about IMS and stated, “It’s always hard starting on the outside of this track…you get freighttrained.”
Will Power ended up P3 which put him 7th all time leader for podium finishes and 92 career podium finishes. With this 3rd place finish, he took the points lead with 4 races to go. When asked how the season would end up, he stated, “It feels like it always goes down to the last race; [and it is] Impossible to predict in this series.” 46 points separate the top 5, so it truly will come down to the final 4 races this season.
Christian Lundgaard came in P2 for his first podium finish of his career. He stated, “It feels amazing, but the best thing is the team really deserves it….I’m just a guy doing my job, really…This is the right path. We are going in the right direction.” Lungaard turned 21last Saturday and showed a tremendous amount of poise for a 21 year old. One of his presents was a trip to Las Vegas immediately after Laguna Seca. Power suggested that the rest of the group be invited. Lungaard refused to let us know where he would be staying.
Alexander Rossi led 44 of 85 laps. This was Rossi's 1st win in approximately 1000 days. This was his 8th career win. Rossi said, “We had a solid test here a month or so ago…As challenging as it is for me, it is for them too [speaking of the rest of the team].” Rossi was asked if a weight had been lifted and stated, “Yes. There’s no other way to explain it. You’re as good as your last race. It doesn’t matter how good you are…It’s a very special thing today.”
It was announced in June that Rossi will be headed to McLaren. Rossi said today during the press conference, “Good thing we don’t have to have the conversation about breaking the losing streak.”
Be sure and catch The Balance every Saturday from 9-11am. You can catch the replays where ever you find your podcasts.
Chase Briscoe won Saturday’s inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series price on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Briscoe survived a four-car battle for the win in the closing laps of Saturday’s race.
Driver No. 98 celebrated his victory on Saturday with his team by climbing the fence next to the yard of bricks, just as his team owner Tony Stewart used to do when he won.
“Everybody knows that I grew up and my hero in racing was Tony Stewart,” Briscoe said post-race. “To get to drive for him and watch him win the brickyard was always his signature thing and I just wanted to do it. Obviously, it is not the same prestige as winning on the oval but you still won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
Briscoe won by outbreaking road course veteran Allmendinger into Turn 1 to take the lead with two laps to go. The top four cars would run two by two through Turns 1 and 2. Briscoe would keep his lead and pull away from Allmendinger and Cindric.
For Briscoe, this marks his fifth win this season in 13 races becoming only the second driver in Xfinity history to win as many races in the same time frame. Sam Are currently holds that record with six wins in the first 13 races of the season.
Rounding out the top five were Justin Haley in second, Noah Gragson in third, AJ Allmendinger in fourth and Austin Cindric in fifth.
Justin Haley’s runner-up finish is his best finish in six road course starts.
Rounding out the top ten were Ross Chastain in sixth, Justin Allgaier in seventh, Alex Labbe in eighth, Michael Annett in ninth and Preston Pardus in tenth.
Justin Allgaier, who finished seventh on Saturday will also be running in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after 7-time Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson texted positive for Covid-19.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, July 9th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on FS1 in the running of the Shady Rays 200.
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Briscoe
Race Winner: Chase Briscoe