INDYCAR Pre-Race Media: Top 5 favorites/preview for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network)

TRACK: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile, 14-turn road course), DISTANCE: 85 Laps (207.315 Miles)

Favorites – Can Anyone Beat Penske?

Will Power

This is his playground. Power, led all 75 laps in the second race of the doubleheader weekend last October. He had a race winning car before bad luck struck in July. He’s won four times on this course and has five poles as well.

Scott Dixon

Worth a play. Dixon was only ninth and eighth respectively in October but he was playing defense. When he’s on the offense in this race in general, he has four straight top two results.

Josef Newgarden

He never had much Indy road course success until last year. He was 0-for-6 in terms of top 10’s to start his career off with here then he went out and finished seventh in July, won in October and fourth in the second October race.

Simon Pagenaud

Too good to pass up here. Pagenaud is a three-time winner here including seven top 10’s in nine tries.

Colton Herta

Have to go with him here. Andretti Autosport has generally struggled on this layout, but Herta had three top four finishes in as many tries a year ago.

Race Preview

It’s May and we have Indy Car’s heading towards the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the new annual tradition of the GMR Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). This will mark the eighth straight year that this event has taken place but the first time since 2019 that it’s been held in May.

Last year, the race was moved to the Brickyard weekend in July in very hot conditions. Then, with the cancelations of a few other races on the schedule, they made up for that with a doubleheader on this very race track in cooler conditions last October. Now, it’s back in it’s rightful place in May.

This will mark the fifth race of the 2021 season with us having four different winners thus far. Alex Palou won the season opener at the Barber Motorsports Park while (St. Petersburg) and Scott Dixon/Pato O’Ward won the last time out a few weeks ago in the doubleheader at Texas.

Dixon leads O’Ward (-22), Palou (-26), Josef Newgarden (-37) and Graham Rahal (-46) in the points standings heading into the weekend.

Of Note

Last year, Penske and Ganassi each won three times on these types of circuits including all three at IMS and then swept the podium in the one race on them already this season at Barber. Andretti Autosport won the other last year. Scott Dixon won twice so did Will Power.

If you go back to 2019, we’ve had 15 different races on natural road courses with nine different winners. Power, Dixon and Herta are all the best with three wins a piece. No one else has more than one.

Penske and Ganassi have each won five times with Andretti scoring four trips to victory lane on them too. RLL is the only other team to have won a natural road course event since 2019 as it came at Barber.

Team Penske is the team to beat here though with 7 wins in 9 tries including both races in October.

Key Stat

All 9 winners have started in the top 4 Rows.

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