After the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville the NTT IndyCar series is in action once again this coming weekend with its second race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) road course.
Alex Palou continues to lead the championship and has a 42 point advantage over nearest challenger, and teammate, Scott Dixon. This is after Palou finished seventh in Nashville while Dixon went on to finish second.
Pato O’Ward completes the top three in the driver standings having finished thirteenth last weekend. It means the Mexican is 48 points behind Palou, and therefore six behind Dixon. O’Ward has a 27 point advantage over fourth placed Josef Newgarden who was classified tenth in Nashville.Embed from Getty Images
Marcus Ericsson claimed his second victory of the season in Nashville and is only four points behind Newgarden entering this weekend. The Swede has a 45 point advantage over sixth placed Graham Rahal. Although both Newgarden and Rahal achieved better results, fourth and fifth respectively, in the first race on the IMS road course compared to Ericsson’s tenth place finish.
With this weekend’s race being a road course it means that the series is due to have all of its 2021 rookies in action. Scott McLaughlin is the leading rookie still, the Penske driver is thirteenth in the standings eight points behind Alexander Rossi and 21 points ahead of Jack Harvey.
There is then a 40 point gap between McLaughlin and the next best placed 2021 rookie of Romain Grosjean. The latter made a strong impression in the first race at the IMS road course where he claimed pole position and led parts of the race before eventually finishing second.
The Frenchman is level on points with James Hinchcliffe, the Canadian having finished third last time out in Nashville. The two are 11 points behind Ryan Hunter-Reay who is directly above them in the standings.
Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe finished the first IMS road course race twelfth and eighteenth respectively. But considering they both enter this weekend off the back of finishes inside the top five at Nashville, it will be interesting to see how they, and Grosjean, do this weekend.
The last series rookie to mention is Jimmie Johnson who failed to finish in Nashville, but was classified twenty sixth. The Chip Ganassi driver is twenty eighth in the championship and 28 points behind Max Chilton who runs a similar IndyCar program to that of the seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion.