This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
This weekend the NASCAR Cup Series visits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit for the first time. This track is a 14-turn, 2.534-mile long road course that is built into the historic oval at Indianapolis. The event is 82 laps, divided into three stages of 15 laps, 20 laps and 47 laps. Top speeds are somewhat higher than typical road circuits due to the incorporation of the front straight of the oval into the layout and the 14 turns are less than the typical road course.
The circuit is somewhat reminiscent of the pace and tempo of the Circuit of the Americas course, but lacking the elevation changes. The track is really unlike any other road course that NASCAR races on currently. Formula 1 used to compete on this course and IndyCar has raced here since the 2014 season. NASCAR held an Xfinity Series race on the layout July fourth weekend of last year, and that was the event that kicked the door open to the Cup Series scheduling an event at the Indianapolis GP circuit. The Xfinity race here last season was one of the more entertaining and dramatic races of 2020.
Since this is a completely new race, at a completely new course, we have no historical loop stats to examine this weekend. That does put us at a bit of a disadvantage. However, we're not completely without some numbers. For much of our analysis this week, we're going to rely on the statistics that our NASCAR Cup