Although fans will be absent from this weekend’s racing, they will still be witness to a new tradition of NASCAR and INDYCAR taking to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the same weekend, something once thought to be blasphemous by many diehard open-wheel racing fans.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will join INDYCAR as one of two series racing on the 2.439-mile grand prix road course this Fourth of July weekend. The inaugural Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard will be the second race of the day (TV: NBC, Radio: IMS Radio; 3pm EST), following up the INDYCAR GMR Grand Prix (TV: NBC; Noon EST).
A favorite to win the inaugural Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard is no. 16 A.J. Allmendinger. Allmendinger is looking for his fifth career Xfinity win and his second of the season, with the first coming at Atlanta in June, which was his first NASCAR oval track win.
Allmendinger’s record on road courses in the Xfinity Series is impressive. In seven road course starts, he has scored three wins, five top 3 finishes and an average finish of 9.86. He has completed 500 laps and led 167 of those laps, which means he has led 33.4% of the laps he has completed in on road courses in the Xfinity Series.
Allmendinger’s average start in seven road course starts is 3.71 but he will not have the advantage of starting up front Saturday after he drew a 30th-place starting position. However, Allmendinger has his impressive Xfinity Series road course record and good speed in the race’s two practices on his side.
On Friday, Allmendinger was fastest in first practice by 0.548 seconds over no. 22 Austin Cindric and was second-fastest in second practice, 0.467 seconds behind Cindric.
Allmendinger and Cindric are obvious favorites for Saturday, especially considering the numbers at hand.
Cindric has two wins and seven top 10 finishes nine Xfinity road course races. In three of the last four Xfinity road course races, both drivers have finished in the top 3 and Saturday will likely be the same if both drivers can make it to the front.
JR Motorsports drivers no. 8 Jeb Burton and no. 1 Michael Annett make up the front row for Saturday’s Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard while Cindric starts tenth.
The Pennzoil 150 will be 62 laps with stages of 20 laps, 20 laps and 22 laps in the final stage to close out the race, pending any overtimes or the race being cut short.