INDYCAR Pre-Race Media: Nashville track trends, favs, sleepers, fades, etc

TRACK: Nashville Street Circuit (2.170-mile, 11-turn street course), DISTANCE: 80 Laps (173.6 Miles)

  • Not much history here since this is the 2nd edition of this event this weekend.
  • Course has changed in some areas too in order to help improve the show a bit and add better areas for restarts and passing.
  • Street Course Trends: The last 3 Belle Isle winners came from Row 8. Long Beach last year was won by the 14th place starter. Marcus Ericsson won from 18th here last year. However, 3 of the 4 street course races this season too were also won from the front row also.

TRACK COMPARISONS/WHO’S BEEN GOOD ON THEM

Nashville being a street course is unique in the sense that we don’t have many of them on the schedule. In 2020, there was just one – St. Pete. Last year, we have a few more in Belle Isle, St. Pete, Nashville and Long Beach. The same are back with the addition of Toronto again this season.

These are the best comparisons to Nashville in the fact that the top drivers on those places are also good here too.

If you go back to the start of the 2019 season, we’ve had 15 races on these tracks with 9 different winners. Josef Newgarden (4 wins), Marcus Ericsson (2 wins) and Colton Herta (2 wins) are the only multi-time winners with Newgarden having 4 trips to victory lane, two of which coming on the streets of St. Pete and two wins each last year for Ericsson and Herta.

The big teams are strong on them with Penske winning 7 of those last 15 races, Ganassi and Andretti each with 3 wins a piece. Arrow McLaren SP is the only other team to have won.

Penske has won 3 of the 4 this year and eyeing a 4th after a rough weekend in Nashville during the 2021 season.

Favorites

Team Penske

Why not start here? They’re 3-for-4 on street courses this season.

Josef Newgarden has 4 street course wins in 4 seasons and being 16th, 1st, 4th and10th on them this year. Will Power has 3 top 4’s in 4 starts with Scott McLaughlin having won at St. Pete.

Scott Dixon

He’s getting better and better on these tracks in 2022. He was 8th in St. Pete, 6th in Long Beach, 3rd in Belle Isle and won in Toronto.

Colton Herta

He should have won this race last year, should have won Long Beach this year and has 3 top 8’s in 4 street courses run in 2022 including a runner-up the last time out in Toronto.

Alexander Rossi

He has 2 top 8’s, one a runner-up in Belle Isle, in 4 races run on street courses in 2022. Toronto he was fast but crashed with Felix Rosenqvist while battling for a spot in the top 5.

Marcus Ericsson celebrates his Nashville win last year. Photo Credit: IndyCar Media Site

Sleepers

Marcus Ericsson

Worth a flier on him since he flew to a win last year. However, he has 1 top 5 in 4 races on these types of tracks in 2022 but does have 3 top 10’s to keep him worthy of a sleeper nod.

Romain Grosjean

He has 2 top 5’s in 4 races including a runner-up in Long Beach.

Meyer Shank Racing

Both Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves were fast in Belle Isle in sharing Row 2, fast in Toronto and Andretti cars were quick last year at Nashville too. Each have that alliance at their disposal.

Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing

They were vastly improved in Toronto and credited that Sebring test as a large reason for that. Can that carry over to Nashville? Graham Rahal does have a pair of 7th place finishes to start the year off on them but was 26th in Belle Isle then back up to 4th in Toronto. Christian Lundgaard was 8th in Toronto himself while Jack Harvey does no top 10’s in 4 tries on them.

Dale Coyne Racing

While the results aren’t there on street courses this season for David Malukas and Takuma Sato, they’ve been fast in qualifying. If they can put the Friday-Saturday pace to Sunday, watch out.

Fades

Alex Palou

He has 2 podiums and 4 top 6’s in 4 tries on these tracks this season. However, he also has just 1 top 5 finish in the last 9 starts on the season too.

Arrow McLaren SP

Not been their strong suit in 2022. Pato O’Ward was 5th in 2 of the 4 races and 12th and 11th respectively in the other 2. Felix Rosenqvist has 1 top 5’s and 2 top 10 in the same 4 events.

Ed Carpenter Racing

This also hasn’t been a strong suit for them either. Conor Daly was 21st, 12th, 12th and 20th respectively while Rinus VeeKay was 6th, 13th, 16th and 13th himself.

AJ Foyt Racing

They’ve not won a race since 2013 and were 18-24-25 in St. Pete, 10-16-26 in Long Beach, 20-24-27 in Belle Isle and 22-24 in Toronto.

Callum Ilott

The young rookie hasn’t exceled on these types of tracks. He’s finished 19th, 24th and 14th respectively on them and also missed Belle Isle due to an injury.

Devlin DeFrancesco

He was 22nd, 25th, 18th and 18th in 4 street course events this season.

Jimmie Johnson

He’s finished 23rd, 20th, 22nd and 21st respectively on these tracks in 2022.

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