NEWS & RACES
2020.09.17START YOUR ENGINES: MUSIC CITY GRAND PRIX CONFIRMED FOR 2021 SCHEDULE
The Music City Grand Prix, in partnership with INDYCAR, is bringing a new sound to Nashville. The Music City Grand Prix announced today that the newest NTT INDYCAR SERIES race will debut Aug. 6-8, 2021, in Nashville, Tennessee. The three-day international festival of speed and sound will be staged on a temporary grand prix circuit in downtown Nashville and around the Nissan Stadium campus.
Attendees can look forward to the best Nashville has to offer, including live music performances by top artists, best-in-class chef-curated food experiences and entertainment that centers on speed in a way only Music City can serve up.
“The Tennessee Titans and Nissan Stadium are excited to partner with the Music City Grand Prix to bring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES to Nashville and the stadium campus,” said Burke Nihill, president and CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “This is in keeping with our organizational goal of making our city, this venue and our organization as versatile and as busy as possible.”
Never-Before-Seen Track Features
With Nissan Stadium serving as the paddock for the race, the 2.17-mile temporary track will race across the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge into downtown Nashville and back, making the Music City Grand Prix one of the only events in motorsports to cross over a major body of water.
The first street course added to INDYCAR since 2013, it features 11 turns and plenty of straightaways for drivers to pass. These and other dynamic features will create an exhilarating experience for both drivers and fans.
“The Music City Grand Prix will be a one-of-a-kind NTT INDYCAR SERIES experience anchored in the heart of Nashville’s action-packed, exhilarating downtown corridor,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. “Nashville is a world-class city and global entertainment capital that provides an exceptional platform for our Series. From professional sports teams and top live music acts to a burgeoning food and culture scene, it is a perfect home for a racing event of this magnitude. Urban street festivals have become a huge part of our DNA at INDYCAR, and this three-day festival—complete with a course that pushes the limits—will highlight everything Nashville and the sport have to offer, providing international travelers, racing enthusiasts and local thrill-seekers alike with an experience of a lifetime.”
A Local Event With an International Draw
“Nashville continues to serve as a world-class entertainment and event destination, so adding an urban racing festival of this caliber is a logical next step for the city,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation. “From the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Finals to the 2019 NFL Draft, Nashville knows how to host sporting events of all kinds while making them a party. The Music City Grand Prix underscores why Nashville was named Best Sports City in 2019, and we look forward to the national and international marketing it will bring to the city.”
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES features talented and charismatic drivers from around the globe, including legendary Scott Dixon from New Zealand, two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato from Japan and Nashville native and resident Josef Newgarden, a two-time Series champion.
“Nashville is a special place, and the announcement of the Music City Grand Prix truly marks a huge step forward for our community as we look to the future and a return of our thriving and unique entertainment scene,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “This announcement could not have come at a better time. The event represents a tremendous private investment in the city and a catalyst to our economic recovery.”
In keeping with true Nashville community, the Music City Grand Prix has forged key partnerships in order to bring this privately funded event to fruition. Music City Grand Prix is appreciative for the collaboration with INDYCAR, the Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County, the State of Tennessee, the Nashville Sports Council and the Middle Tennessee State University School of Concrete and Construction Management.
Club RPM and the Founders Experience
While the event will feature a variety of affordable and attractive ticket options to ensure all attendees experience a weekend unlike any other, the Music City Grand Prix is currently offering two distinctive membership initiatives. Club RPM is a premium VIP experience. Early members will gain access to concierge-style service for entertainment reservations, valet parking and entry into the Club RPM lounge at the Bridge Building. Additionally, fans can become a Music City Grand Prix Founder and receive reserved seating, exclusive discounts and priority purchase opportunities on parking, hotels and more.
Additional information, including the Music City Grand Prix schedules, artist lineup, food experiences and more, will be released at a later date. Visit www.musiccitygp.com to find more details on the event, sign up for Club RPM or become a Founder.
2020.09.14First Lap Contact Ends Palou’s Race 2 at Mid-Ohio
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou’s race ended as quickly as it started after contact going into the second turn of the 75-lap event put an end to his Honda Indy 200 doubleheader weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Palou, who was starting from fourth, maintained his position at the start, however his race would soon come to an end following contact with teammate Santino Ferrucci. The Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan driver was getting back on track after running wide into the grass when he hit Palou.
Damage to the front suspension combined with a sprained thumb suffered in the incident put an end to the rookie’s race.
“That’s not how I wanted to end my day at Mid-Ohio in our #55 Guaranteed Rate car. We were happy to be starting from fourth and to be starting at the front of the field. I had a good start but then I saw a car coming towards me. I moved to the right a bit to try and avoid him, but I couldn’t go very far because Felix (Rosenqvist) was next to me and we ended up both getting hit and taken out. It just wasn’t our weekend at Mid-Ohio,” shared Palou.
Next up for Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh is the doubleheader Harvest Grand Prix weekend October 2nd and 3rd.
2020.09.13Palou Gains Eight Positions, Finishes 12th in Race 1 at Mid-Ohio
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou moved up eight positions, the most of any driver, during Race 1 of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio to finish 12th aboard his No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, things were looking up for Palou after finishing seventh in the weekend’s only practice session. Then in qualifying, Palou took over first place in his group after two laps on primary tires. However, he ended up going off track on his third qualifying lap and in doing so, damaged the underwing on his Honda powered car.
In addition to losing his quickest time for causing a local yellow and impeding a competitor’s lap, the broken underwing meant he also ruined his chance of improving his lap time. Palou had to settle for 20th place on the starting grid of a race where passing proved to be difficult even with a fast car.
At the start of the 75-lap event, Palou gained three positions on the first lap and was running 16th by Lap 2. Despite moving up while others pit ahead of him, the Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh driver would once again find himself 16th after making his first trip down pit lane on Lap 24.
Palou then picked up another three positions during this second stint to move into 13th following his final pit stop on Lap 52. The rookie registered the fifth fastest lap time on his way to a 12th place finish.
“It was a tough day. Things went really well in practice this morning. I was very confident and comfortable with the #55 Guaranteed Rate car,” said Palou. “Then in qualifying, the first two laps with the blacks were really good. I was P1 at the time but I went off track and broke the underwing so that ruined our run on the alternate Firestone tire. Starting 20th there wasn’t a lot we could do. It was a difficult race just because we were quick but couldn’t overtake much. On the positive side, we gained the most positions of all drivers. At the end of the day, I don’t think there was much more we could do. It was tough but we have another chance tomorrow to do better.”
Palou and the Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh squad will be back in action tomorrow for Race 2 of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car course.
Qualifying for Race 2 will take place on Sunday, September 13 at 10:15am ET and will be streamed live on the NBC Sports Gold App with Race 2 of the Honda Indy 200 doubleheader weekend broadcast live on NBC from 1pm ET.
2020.09.12Alex Palou Heads Back to Where it All Began
For the first time this season, Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou will be competing at a track he’s driven an Indy car before when the NTT IndyCar Series heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200 doubleheader September 12 and 13.
Palou got his first taste of IndyCar at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course during an impressive test with the team in July 2019. With changes in the schedule and no testing permitted this season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the rookie hasn’t had the chance to visit a track he’s tested at previously until now.
“I’m super excited to be heading back to a road course this weekend at Mid-Ohio after doing six oval races in nine events so far this season. I’ve had great fun on the ovals and learned a lot. We had really good pace but unfortunately no strong results to show for it. So, I’m really looking forward to Mid-Ohio this weekend,” expressed Palou. “It’s the first track that I’m going to this year that I’ve driven on before, so I know what to expect. It’s an environment that I’m much more comfortable with and our #55 Guaranteed Rate car has been strong on road courses. My confidence is 100%. I will definitely be more in ‘push’ mode versus ‘rookie’ mode! Hopefully we can get our first win at Mid-Ohio. Plus, it’s a doubleheader weekend, so it’s a great opportunity for us to maximize our results. I can’t wait to get on track.”
The Spaniard scored his best NTT IndyCar Series result so far on a road course with a third-place finish at Road America Race 1 and he also registered his best starting position of third at Road America Race 2.
Drivers will get a 75-minute practice session on Saturday, September 12 starting at 10:45am before qualifying in the early afternoon (2pm ET) for that evening’s race. Race 1 from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will go green at 5pm ET and be broadcast live on NBCSN from 4:30pm ET.
Qualifying for Race 2 will take place on Sunday, September 13 at 10:15am ET with the second part of the doubleheader weekend broadcast live on NBC from 1pm ET.
Practice and both qualifying sessions will be streamed live on the NBC Sports Gold app.