2022 IndyCar Recap: Big Machine Music City Grand Prixby Jack Gaffney August 8, 2022 0 comments
A week ago in Indianapolis, Alexander Rossi at long last broke his multi-year winless streak in IndyCar. Although far out of the title picture, that was a massive win for that Andretti Autosport No. 27 team, as he is at the beginning of the end with the team. Albeit with the penalty for being under minimum weight, we digress. Will Power continues to lead this points race entering the final street course of the year. Save for Toronto, Power has finished no worse than fourth at the other three events on the schedule which is a good sign.
Also good for Team Penske was Scott McLaughlin winning the pole. With that, he became the all-time pole leader for Team Penske across all racing series at 61, surpassing Helio Castroneves. Now the question was could the V8 Supercars phenom turn that into IndyCar win No. 3? Better yet, could the weather hold up after some bad rain earlier in the day?
Be sure to keep up with all of our IndyCar coverage.
IndyCar Super Silly Season
I don’t think it’s hyperbole that this may be the most chaotic silly season in American Motorsports since the IRL-CART split. NASCAR has its fair share of news, but IndyCar has a bulk of the headlines. The latest news in the evergoing Alex Palou front is of the spicy variety. On the first of August, Palou’s lawyers motioned for the suit to be moved to Federal Court.
A move that Chip Ganassi Racing responded to with Palou’s citizenship status. He is listed as a permanent resident of Spain, and a temporary resident of Indiana. On top of a non-permanent work visa, the team feels the move has no merit. Additionally, Palou and Chip Ganassi haven’t spoken in weeks. As for the rest of the paddock, there is a lot to get through, luckily, one, @mama_gforce put together a chart of everything as of a few days ago, so shoutout to her.
[INDYCAR SILLY SEASON] I dug through reporting from our #IndyCar journalists and tried to get all the silly season tidbits into one visual. I don't have any insider info—this is all based on public reports.
This is changing by the minute, and I'll update it when news comes! pic.twitter.com/Xz6ezn6lHg
— Cassie (she/her) 🏁 See you at Gateway! (@mama_gforce) August 5, 2022
Rush Hour Traffic Jam
Much like a year ago, cautions were aplenty on the streets of Nashville. Between the first two races on the street circuit, 69 of the 160 laps have been run under caution, with an average of eight cautions a race. Some of that can certainly be attributed to how narrow most of the circuit is, but that seems rather high. The notable early caution was a multi-car tangle up in the set of corners after the bridge. Losing out the most was Graham Rahal, suffering major front wing/wheel damage that ended his day. Pato O’Ward additionally was done early, after he couldn’t get his Arrow McLaren ride restarted after stalling. In total, there were five cautions in the opening 55 laps.
Graham Rahal into Pato O'Ward -> O'Ward into Will Power.
Just a mess of a chain reaction. #INDYCAR
— INDYCAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) August 7, 2022
Rookie on Rookie Crime
Caution No. 6 of the day was a rough one, as it ended strong runs for two rookies. Those being David Malukas and Kyle Kirkwood. Going into turn nine, Kirkwood went for what would have been eighth place, but he got pinched and both drivers ended up in the wall. The A.J. Foyt driver didn’t seem too thrilled with Malukas, and hard to fault him seeing as he hit an inside tire barrier before going in the outside wall.
Catastrophic Power Failure
Having a late engine issue was certainly not what Marcus Ericsson had in mind. After a few stalls, he was able to still finish out the race. Ericsson just did so four laps down in 14th. In good news for the Indianapolis 500 winner, while he lost a ton of points on Sunday, he still is in a good spot for the rest of the season.
Return of the Iceman
After a late red flag for a Jimmie Johnson crash, things came down to McLaughlin, Scott Dixon, and a surging Christian Lundgaard, who was phenomenal yesterday. McLaughlin was able to get into second before another caution. After which he had a couple of chances to get by Dixon with a push to pass advantage. McLaughlin would come up short, but not for the lack of effort, cutting the gap to 0.104 at the finish line.
For Dixon, this was a gigantic win for him. Firstly, he now sits in sole possession of second on the all-time IndyCar wins list at 53. Second, and perhaps more important, he now is in prime position for an all-time record-tying seventh IndyCar Championship. With this win, he is back six points of Power with just three races to go. Not a lock that he makes up that gap, but hard to bet against the best IndyCar driver of the last quarter century.
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) August 8, 2022
IndyCar Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Top 10
1st No. 9 Scott Dixon
2nd No. 3 Scott McLaughlin
3rd No. 10 Alex Palou
4th No. 27 Alexander Rossi
5th No. 26 Colton Herta
6th No. 2 Josef Newgarden
7th No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist
8th No. 30 Christian Lundgaard
9th No. 60 Simon Pagenaud
10th No. 45 Jack Harvey
IndyCar Series Points Standings after Nashville
1st No. 12 Will Power 450 Points
2nd No. 2 Josef Newgarden 444 Points (-6)
3rd No. 8 Marcus Ericsson 438 Points (-12)
4th No. 2 Josef Newgarden 428 Points (-22)
5th No. 10 Alex Palou 417 Points (-33)
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images