The roar of INDYCAR racing was noticeably absent from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 2020 amid the pandemic. Which makes it all the more exciting that the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, a fan favorite event, returns Sept. 17-19.
The action begins on Friday, Sept. 17 with practice and qualifying for Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, and practice for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The first Indy Lights race takes place Sept. 18, as well as NTT INDYCAR qualifying. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey – the penultimate race of the 2021 season – begins at noon Pacific Time on Sept. 19, with coverage on NBC. It is preceded by the second Indy Lights race, which starts at 10:05 a.m. PT.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming INDYCAR back to our beautiful race track for the first time in two years,” said John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “We at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca missed having INDYCAR here in 2020, as did the Monterey community and all of our dedicated fans.”
Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for his role as Carlton in the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” and as the current host of “America's Funniest Home Videos,” will sing the National Anthem prior to the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sept. 19.
Following the action at the Grand Prix of Portland on Sept. 12, Alex Palou – who took the checkered flag in Portland – now leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES by 25 points over Pato O’Ward. With a maximum of 54 points available in Monterey this weekend, every lap could make or break a season championship.
David Malukas is the leader in the Indy Lights standings, a mere five points ahead of Kyle Kirkwood. With just two races left at WeatherTech Raceway before the final two at the season finale at Mid-Ohio, it’s a two-man battle for the title. At stake for the Indy Lights champion is a scholarship valued at $1.3 million that will guarantee entry into a minimum of three NTT INDYCAR SERIES races in 2022.
Tickets are available at WeatherTechRaceway.com. Children ages 15 and under get free entry when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Premier and Reserved event camping is available to book and can be reserved by calling the Tickets & Accommodations Office, Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (831) 242-8200.
(Courtesy of WeatherTech Raceway)