GMR Grand Prix: Weekend Preview

By: Spencer Neff
May 14, 2021

This weekend, the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins. As has become tradition since 2014, the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Speedway, Indiana will host the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday.

After a week off, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES takes to the road course at the famed speedway for the ninth time, including a doubleheader in October. Last year, the event was postponed from its scheduled May 9 date to July 4 in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Headlines

Two weeks ago, the series ran its first oval track of the season in Texas Motor Speedway, with two races on the 1.5-mile oval.

On Saturday afternoon, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led 206 of 212 laps en route to his first win of the season. The next day, Dixon led 163 laps but faded late, allowing Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward to score his first victory.

O’Ward celebrated his first career win on May 2 (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Despite falling short of the sweep, Dixon holds a 22-point lead over O’Ward in the standings after four races. The six-time series champion heads into this weekend as the defending event winner.

This weekend, two popular veteran drivers make their return to the series. Charlie Kimball will drive for A.J. Foyt Racing with Juan Pablo Montoya joining Arrow McLaren SP. Both drivers will drive for the respective organizations as they attempt to make the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

Now, here is some info to get you prepared for this weekend’s action.

Author’s Trivia: Despite Dixon’s win, Team Penske has dominated at the IMS Road Course, winning all but one race (2014-Schmidt Peterson Hamilton with Simon Pagenaud). Until Dixon and Josef Newgarden won in 2020, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power had won every race at the track.

GMR Grand Prix Fast Facts

Pit Assignments Spotter Guide Entry List

Race weekend: Friday, May 14 – Saturday, May 15

The start of the 2020 GMR Grand Prix (Image by Walt Kuhn/INDYCAR)

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course (clockwise)

Race distance: 85 laps / 207.3 miles

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time, with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate (Note: An seventh set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)

Twitter: @IMS @IndyCar, #ThisIsMay, #IndyCar

Event website: www.ims.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2020 race winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)

2020 NTT P1 Award winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1:10.1779, 125.116 mph.

Qualifying lap record: Will Power, 1:07.7044, 129.687 mph, May 12, 2017 (Set in Round 3 of knockout qualifying)

NBC Sports race telecasts: 

Qualifying, 6 p.m. ET Friday, NBCSN (Same-day delay);

GMR Grand Prix, 2 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC (live).

Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Nick Yeoman and Jake Query are the turn announcers. The GMR Grand Prix will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 205, indycar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, May 14 (All times are local)

9:30-10:15 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock Premium

1-1:45 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock Premium

4:30 p.m. Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of NTT INDYCAR SERIES knockout qualifications), Peacock Premium (Live)

Saturday, May 15

10:45-11:15 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium

2 p.m.  NBC on air

2:39 p.m. “Drivers, start your engines”

2:45 p.m. GMR Grand Prix (85 laps/207.3 miles), NBC (Live)

Header Image By James Black/INDYCAR

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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