2021 IndyCar Texas Motor Speedway Preview

This weekend will see the IndyCar series contest its first double header of the season at the Texas Motor Speedway. Similar to the double headers held last season Texas will see one race contested on the Saturday with the other taking place on the Sunday.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou will begin the double header leading the championship with a two point advantage over Will Power and Scott Dixon who are tied in second. Power finished eighth in St. Petersburg after claiming second in the season opener, while Dixon has started the season with a third and then a fifth place finish.

After impressing in the season opener at Barber Motorsports Park Palou had a quieter race at St. Pete where the Spaniard finished seventeenth, although he did claim the fastest lap.

The second round of the 2021 season was won by Colton Herta who dominated as he also secured pole position and led the most laps by the conclusion of the weekend. The American is fourth in the standings, three points behind Dixon and Power, and five points behind Palou.

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Last season saw the Texas Motor Speedway host just a single event, the season opener, which was won by Dixon ahead of Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden. Power finished down in thirteenth, Palou was classified in twenty third while Herta finished seventh.

Pagenaud will start the weekend fifth in the standings after finishing twelfth at Barber and third at St. Petersburg. Newgarden meanwhile recovered from his first lap crash in the season opener to finish second last weekend, the two time IndyCar champion is currently tenth in the championship.

Two drivers who won’t be in action in Texas will be Romain Grosjean and Jimmie Johnson, with both opting not to contest the ovals and superspeedway rounds on the 2021 schedule.

Over the hill they go” by Steve Grant is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Grosjean will therefore be handing over his #51 car to Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi. It will be the first IndyCar race that Fittipaldi has contested since the 2018 Grand Prix of Sonoma, where he finished sixteenth. The last IndyCar oval event that Fittipaldi contested was at Gateway Motorsports Park in 2018 where he finished eleventh.

Meanwhile Johnson will also be handing over his #48 car to a Brazilian, in the form of Tony Kanaan. The 2004 champion contested last season’s event at Texas where he went on to finish tenth.

Another driver swap taking place is over at Ed Carpenter Racing where team owner Ed Carpenter will pilot the #20 car, which has been driven by Conor Daly in the opening two rounds of the season. Daly will instead be driving the #59 Carlin, deputising for Max Chilton.

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