Indy Road Course 101: Qualifying format, TV times, Goodyear tires and more

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
Indy Road Course 101: Qualifying format, TV times, Goodyear tires and more
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series caps off an incredible weekend of racing in Indianapolis with the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road-course layout.

Before this weekend’s chain of events leading up to Sunday’s race (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, NBC Sports App, IMS Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), take a look at some important information you need to know.

LET’S GET DIALED IN

The Cup Series slate kicks off Saturday with practice and qualifying. For practice (9:35 a.m. ET), teams will be divided into two groups (A and B) for separate 20-minute sessions.

Qualifying (10:35 a.m. ET), following the standard r0ad-course format, will see two groups have 15 minutes of on-track time to set their quickest lap. The five fastest from each group will advance to the final round and compete for the Busch Light Pole Award. The final round will be a 10-minute run.

Both practice and qualifying will be broadcast on USA Network and streamed live on the NBC Sports App.

INDIANAPOLIS: Weekend schedule | Cup Series entry list

SETTING A NEW CUP TREND?

Under the control of Tony Hulman’s grandson, Tony George, the speedway began a program of diversification. For the 2000 season, a deal was struck with Bernie Ecclestone to re-establish a US Grand Prix on a new 2.605-mile road course, built within the infield and utilizing Turn 1 of the oval course.

Changes in the circuit were made for the 2014 season to accommodate a new event for the month of May: the Grand Prix of Indianapolis run by IndyCar. The revised course ran in the opposite direction of the Formula 1 course, raced from 2000-07, with a “Snakepit” series of corners inside Turn 1.

After racing 27 times on the oval layout, spanning from 1994-2020, Sunday will be the second Cup Series race on the Indy Road Course after the inaugural event a season ago.

Source: Racing Insights

GOODYEAR TIRES

Sunday in Indianapolis, Cup Series teams will run the same tire that was run at Road America earlier this month. While teams will be running the same tire on each corner of the car, there will be two separate tire codes on the left front and right rear.

“Running the same tire with two different codes allows us to mount tires directionally on all four corners of the car,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear‘s director of racing. “Doing this — with one code on the left-front and right-rear and the other on the right-front and left-rear — helps protect the beveled splice of the tread component. This allows the tread splice to be ‘closed‘ on both front tires under the force of braking and on both rear tires under the force of acceleration.”

Cup teams will be allotted seven sets of tires: one for practice, one for qualifying and six sets for the race (five new race sets plus one transferred from qualifying).

Seen exclusively for road-course events, Goodyear will also bring the wet-weather tire in preparation for inclement weather.

INDY STORY LINES

— Three drivers without a win in 2022 have previously won on a road course.

— Ford is winless in the last 15 road-course races.

— Chevrolet has won the last nine races on road courses.

— All three road courses in 2022 were won by drivers getting their first Cup win with crew chiefs getting their first Cup win.

— The last five road-course races were won by five different drivers.

Source: Racing Insights

BRICKYARD BETS

If you’re familiar with his track record, it is not surprising to see Chase Elliott (4-1) leading the charge at the top of this week’s oddsboard. Though winless on road courses this season, his track record, performance at Road America and dominant run-of-form leaves him a no-brainer when analyzing the projected outcome. Perhaps the most surprising odds stand for a driver a bit further down the list — Chase Briscoe at 14-1.

Briscoe put on a stellar performance at the Indy Road Course in 2021, leading 12 laps and contending for the win before being parked for an incident with Denny Hamlin. This time around, the second-year driver from Mitchell, Indiana, will be looking to seal the deal in his home state. But to do so, he has to beat defending winner AJ Allmendinger (16-1) who is back for another chance to kiss the bricks.

If you are looking at true dark horses, Justin Haley’s odds at 125-1 bring solid value. Though he has been quiet this season, his seventh-place finish in the inaugural race last year with Spire Motorsports is pretty impressive. His 17.0 average finish this season on road courses, including two top-15 finishes, means he could be a sneaky-good play if you’re looking to bet big.

MORE: Complete list of odds for Sunday

FANTASY LIVE

Want to manage a team and race your way to the top of the leaderboards? Check out NASCAR Fantasy Live, which is open now. The free-to-play game lets you choose your drivers each week and show off your crew-chief instincts by garaging a driver by the end of Stage 3, and there is a $25,000 prize for the winner.

The 2022 Fantasy Live points leaders are Chase Elliott (781), Ross Chastain (671) and Ryan Blaney (668).

How to play: Fantasy Live | Set up a team today!

ALSO ON NASCAR.COM

Get additional camera views by logging on to NASCAR Drive, where each week a select number of in-car cameras will be available — as well as a battle cam and an overhead look.

NASCAR has partnered with LiveLike to add fan engagement in the NASCAR Mobile App. Log in to the mobile app during the race for polls, quizzes, the cheer meter and more — and see instant results from NASCAR fans like you.