IndyCar: Saturday Morning Report – Nashville Music City GP

It’s Saturday here in Nashville, qualifying day for the NTT Data IndyCars. Our daily morning report on what to expect from the Music City GP.

Hello from hot Nashville and day two of the Grand Prix just outside the streets around the Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL Tennessee Titans.  Yesterday the temperatures hit 80 degrees but the humidity was around 90 %.  Not comfortable for IndyCar drivers or fans.

Today’s weather is predicted to have scattered thunderstorms in the morning hours, but the racetrack could be dry for qualifying since the window is only for two hours.  Temperatures should be 90 degrees by qualifying time.

So what will it take to win Sunday 80 lap race on this tight 2.17 mile circuit?


Power on the Korean War Veterans Bridge   Photo Nashville Music City GP courtesy of Penske Entertainment

Team Penske’s Will Power set the fastest time in Practice 1 yesterday.  The Aussie commented on how crazy this race can run after having two races and two winners that both had five or six pit stops before winning the races.

“Just one sort of yellow, yeah, you could try to play it safe. Man, you could start last and win it maybe the way it’s been easy.  Maybe it goes completely normal. I thought that’s what would happen last year. Just didn’t. Surprised me.”

“Yeah, you would expect there’s going to be a yellow. Just expect it. I mean, it’s unfortunate if you’re leading, but just know that’s going to be the deal.”

“Yeah, I’ve got a good pit box for yellow flag stops. If it goes full course, we’ve got a good pit box.”

Colton Herta      Photo Nashville Music City GP courtesy of Penske Entertainment

Colton Herta added his thoughts on how to win the race.

“It seems like the fastest way to win this race is crash your car in the first lap, do six pit stops, then pit with six to go and stay out.”

“I don’t know. It’s a crazy one. Obviously it’s very different to any other race that we go to. But we always plan for the most normal race possible, then obviously strategies change. In this one, they really change.”

“It’s hard to know what a good strategy and bad strategy is depending on what’s happening. I’m hoping this new restart zone fixes a lot of the problems we’ve had in the
past and it’s a little bit more of a normal race.”

“You don’t want a full green flag race because that makes it stale for the racing. We definitely want to do better than eight or nine cautions than it has been the last two years.”


Alexander Rosssi – Photo Nashville Music City GP courtesy of Penske Entertainment

Alexander Rossi is in his first season with Arrow McLaren.  The American is not happy with his results so far this season.  AR1 asked Alexander what it would take to finally get a win this weekend.

“This race is such a weird one. Who knows how you win this one.  It seems for you to win this race, you have to have at least do five pit stops, break your car and drive for Ganassi.”

“I am honestly surprised that this race is such a disaster from a driving quality standpoint.  If you look at it compared to Detroit this year,  it is not as tight as Detroit.  But ultimately,  Detroit was a good race.  It had some issues but it was a good race.”

“I do not know why here we are not able to mange the track.  Maybe it is the excitement of Nashville and people wearing cowboy hats.”

“We all love driving this course, but it is an annoying race because we do more laps under yellow or red than you do under green.  With that being said, I mean have had two years of that, what are the odds that it will happen for a third year.  So it might be a good race this year.”

Today’s IndyCar schedule is Practice two at 10:40 am CT.  The Firestone Fast Six Qualifying format is scheduled for 1:45 pm.  Final practice is scheduled for 5:25 pm which replaces a morning warm up on race day.

Lucille Dust reporting live from Nashville



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