Indy course will get blended evaluations from Cup drivers

NASCAR

INDIANAPOLIS — Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick made their opinions completely clear Saturday. They might somewhat be racing on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s historic oval.

Different drivers did not appear to thoughts the change.

Now, after one brief observe session, Cup drivers will spend Saturday evening plotting their strategic twists and turns for Sunday’s reconfigured and renamed Brickyard 200.

“I actually loved it,” Kyle Larson stated after posting the third-fastest lap in observe at 97.445 mph. “I assumed it was flowing and there have been some hard-braking zones. I appeared to adapt to it fairly shortly, so I used to be undoubtedly happy.”

That is not excellent news for the remainder of the sphere.

Larson is that this season’s factors chief after adding his series-high fifth victory final week on the highway course at Watkins Glen. The one drivers who went sooner Saturday have been Martin Truex Jr. at 98.021 and William Byron at 97.487.

Many surprise if the collection’ finest drivers ought to even be competing on the highway course. Declining attendance and complaints about passing on the two.5-mile oval had race organizers looking for methods to inject pleasure into Brickyard weekend for years. They appeared to inadvertently discover a answer final yr when the Indianapolis Grand Prix was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. IndyCar officers rescheduled the race as a part of a uncommon crossover weekend with the highest two NASCAR collection.

When Chase Briscoe outdueled AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric within the closing laps to win the Xfinity race, organizers thought it may be a preview of how it will work with the Cup vehicles.

This yr, they introduced again the three-series, three-race weekend, placing all three on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile highway course for the primary time whereas chopping the Brickyard distance in half.

“It is undoubtedly not the identical Indianapolis,” stated Harvick, the defending Brickyard winner. “This place is constructed on the historical past of its oval. For me rising up as a child, that is the place I needed to race, and to return right here and race on the highway course is a little bit degrading, I suppose you might say.”

After Busch’s automobile rolled off the truck and right into a subpar observe session, the two-time collection champ and two-time Brickyard winner known as the course a “car parking zone.”

All they’ll do now could be wait till Sunday’s race to find out if NASCAR made the appropriate name.

“It is completely different, however it’s not the top of the world to me,” Chase Elliott stated. “I imply, we’re nonetheless at Indy and we’re nonetheless racing right here, so I suppose on the finish of the day it actually does not matter an excessive amount of.”

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