The always correct Dolly Parton describes her home state “In my Tennessee mountain home, Life is as peaceful as a baby’s sigh”. While I will never argue with Dolly – I know this upcoming weekend will not be as peaceful as a baby’s sigh. The NTT INDYCAR Series thunders onto the Streets of Nashville Tennessee after weeks off for the Inaugural Music City Grand Prix this weekend. There will most certainly be hootin’ and hollerin’.
With an inaugural race there’s not a lot of history to go back and discuss. We’re starting off fresh. Drivers have never been on this track. Since it’s a street course: there has been no testing. Drivers will have a 2.17 mile street course with eleven turns (seven left and four right). On Sunday they’ll hopefully complete all eighty-laps for a total race distance of just over one-hundred and seventy-three miles. The track itself is quite a marvel. It uses the area around the Tennessee Titan’s stadium and has drivers crossing the Korean Veteran’s bridge. There’s going to be track action everywhere: thankfully there’s going to be a lot of screens! If you can find yourself near Turns 1, 2, or 7 – those are the places to go!
If you are going, the track put out a great infographic (which I’ll put below this paragraph) on some helpful tips. The biggest tip I can give is PACE YOURSELF. There will be music and racing from the time the gates open until they close. Between INDYCAR and Stadium Super Trucks and three different music stages: you will not be bored.
As far as drivers? Well it’s anyone’s guess truly. That’s the fun part of inaugural tracks: no one knows. Keep an eye to practice times and see who tends to improve and who doesn’t. This is Josef Newgarden’s home track, so I know it’ll be extremely disappointing for him if he doesn’t place well. And yes Alex Palou is currently in the points lead: but it’s not a comfortable lead. This race kicks off the back half of the schedule and a strong win here helps build momentum. That being said, because it’s a new track with tight turns and areas of at (hopefully) 190 miles per hour: things are going to get wild.
There’s been a lot of anticipation for this race. Earlier this year we interviewed Jason Rittenberry, COO of the Music City Grand Prix . Let’s see how it goes!