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PREVIEW: F1 in Austria; IndyCar and NASCAR at Indianapolis; IMSA at Daytona

PREVIEW: F1 in Austria; IndyCar and NASCAR at Indianapolis; IMSA at Daytona

Saturday, July 4

1. NTT INDYCAR GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
• TV: NBC + SportsNet (local channels + 360) at 12:00 noon
• 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course incorporates portions of Turns 1 and 2 and the front straight of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval
• 80 laps = 195 miles
• There will be practice and qualifying sessions on Friday, July 3 and a warmup session on Saturday morning before the race.
• this will be a non-spectator event
• Last year, this road-course event was held on May 11th as part of the ‘Month of May’ events preceding the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend. This year this is not part of the Indy 500 happenings but it is a separate event combined with two NASCAR races on the same weekend – Xfinity on Saturday and Cup on Sunday.
• In last year’s race Simon Pagenaud drove down and passed Scott Dixon in the rain to win the event. Jack Harvey finished third ahead of Matteus Leist and Spencer Pigot. Clearly, last year, this road course circuit favoured drivers with plenty of road course experience.
• So far this year, there has been only one IndyCar race – at Texas Motor Speedway. That race was won by Scott Dixon who held off Pagenaud for the race win. Josef Newgarden finished in third place ahead of Zach Veach and Ed Carpenter.
• Click HERE for the entry list for this week’s IndyCar race at IMS.

2. NASCAR Xfinity Pennzoil 150, Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
• TV: NBC + TSN3/5 at 3:00P
• 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course incorporates portions of the Indy car oval’s Turns 1 and 2 and the front straight of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval
• 62 laps = 151 mi; Stages: 20/20/22 laps
• this will be a non-spectator event
• there will be two practice sessions on the Friday preceding this event
• I can’t find any confirmation of the procedure used to set this week’s NGROTS starting lineup. I presume it is the same as at the previous event at Talladega:
> Positions 1 - 12: The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
> Positions 12 – 24: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 12th- 24th using a random draw.
> Starting positions 25 – 36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw.
> Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.
• Last year the Xfinity Series raced here on September 7th. Cup regular Kyle Busch was the race winner with Justin Allgaier second, Noah Gragson third, Jeb Burton fourth and Justin Haley fifth.
• The most recent Xfinity race was run at Pocono Raceway last Sunday, June 21st. Chase Briscoe emerged as the race winner in the closing overtime laps. Ross Chastain was second, Jeremy Clements third, Myatt Snider fourth and Michael Annett fifth. This was Briscoe’s fourth win of the 2020 season.
• Click HERE for the entry list for this week’s Xfinity race at IMS

3. IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona
• TV: Discovery Velocity at 6:00P
• Daytona Intl. Speedway is a 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course; 2 hours, 40 minutes race duration
• Up to 5,000 fans will be permitted to attend this IMSA WeatherTech Championship race on July 4th. All guests must be residents of Florida and must adhere to multiple safety protocols. These include temperature checks before entering the venue, required the wearing of face coverings and social distancing at 6 feet between traveling parties. Seating will be made available in the frontstretch grandstands. The track also will host a limited number of infield camping guests in Turns 1 and 2.
• This short July event at Daytona has been inserted into the schedule to compensate for some other events which have been cancelled.
• This event will include one practice session on Friday and another practice session plus separate qualifying sessions for each class on Saturday.
• It was once traditional for Daytona to host two sports car races per year, the first was the 24-hour race in January and the second was a shorter race
• The most recent similar race here was the Grand-Am Brumos Porsche 250 on the July 4th weekend in 2010. It was won by Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas in a BMW/Riley Daytona Prototype racer. R.J. Valentine/Andy Lally won the GT class in a BMW M6.
• Only one IMSA WeatherTech championship race has been run so far this year – the Rolex 24 here at Daytona in January. The No. 5 Cadillac DPi (van der Zande/R. Briscoe/Dixon/K. Kobayashi) won overall and its class. The LMP2 class winner was the No. 81 ORECA (Hedman/Hanley/Braun/Newey); there are no LMP2 entries in this week’s event. The No. 24 BMW M8 GTE of Edwards/Krohn/Farfus/Mostert won the GTLM class while the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan of Lewis/Sellers/Snow/Caldelli won in the GTD (GT3) class. There are no LMP2 class entries in this weekend’s event.
• Click HERE for the entry list for this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech race at Daytona

Sunday, July 5

4. FIA Formula 1 Rolex Grosser Preis von Österreich at the Red Bull Ring in Austria
• TV: TSN1/4/5 at 9:05 am
• The Red Bull Ring (the former Österreichring) is now a 4.318 (2.683 mi) road course in the Styrian mountains near Zeltweg in central Austria.
• Race length = 71 laps = 306.6 km (190.5 mi)
• This Grand Prix and the second one here the following week will be non-spectator events with a minimum of personnel in attendance.
• As is usual for such Grand Prix events, there will be two practice sessions on Friday with another practice session plus a qualifying session on Saturday. In addition, this weekend will include races for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Formula 3 and Formula 2. The F2 races will be broadcast on TSN here in Canada.
• Last year the Austrian Grand Prix was run on June 30th. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was the race winner over Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull).
• This race in Austria will be the first race of the 2020 season. The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus at the last moment and all the subsequent races that had been scheduled have either been cancelled or rescheduled to a later date. A second Grand Prix will be run here in Austria a week later to make up for one of the other races now missing from the 2020 schedule.
• Click HERE for the 2020 F1 entry list.

5. NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
• TV: NBC + TSN3/5 at 4:00P: 160 laps = 400 mi; Stages: 50/50/60 laps
• 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course incorporates portions of Turns 1 and 2 and the front straight of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval
• this will be a non-spectator event
• There will be no practice or qualifying sessions for this Cup Series event.
• I assume that the starting lineup will continue to be determined by the ‘no qualifying’ draw formula. I.e. Saturday’s starting lineup will be determined by a random draw among groups in the team owner standings:
> Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
> Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
> Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
> Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points
• Last year, the equivalent Cup race ran here on September 8th. Kevin Harvick was the race winner ahead of Joey Logano, Darrell Wallace, William Byron, and Clint Bowyer.
• The most recent Cup race was the second race of the doubleheader at Pocono last weekend. Denny Hamlin won out over Kevin Harvick, turning the tales on their result the day before here (Harvick beat Hamlin to the checker that day). Erik Jones was third, Chase Elliott fourth and Aric Almirola fifth.
• Click HERE for the entry list for the NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400.

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