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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Nashville checks all the right boxes for an Indycar party

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There’s really no big surprise about the usual weather in Tennessee during the month of August. Ninety plus degree days with a humidity level to match are certainly not uncommon for this region, and while it was definitely a warm one this past weekend in Nashville, it once again proved to be an ideal setting for an Indycar street race.

For the third consecutive year, the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix brought Indycar racing together with the eclectic downtown Nashville vibe and provided a three day event in which local bars, hotels and restaurants were serenaded by the sweet sound of their cash registers ringing continuously, not to mention the drivers of Indycar battling it out on a demanding 2.17 mile temporary street course that includes a mind-boggling crossing of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge perched high above the Cumberland River below.

With numerous food trucks and breweries showcasing their local wares to the estimated three-day total of 100,000 in attendance, no fan went hungry or thirsty during an event that showcased some spirited racing along with family friendly fan zones and multiple concert performances. 

Indycar has already recognized the growing popularity of this three-day extravaganza and wisely arranged for next year’s race to be the final one of the season in September of 2024, hoping to capitalize on the NTT Series Champion then being crowned in all his glory amongst yet another three day hoedown in which all the businesses involved profit both from a financial and public relations standpoint.

Notes: Andretti Autosports driver Kyle Kirkwood drove the wheels off his Honda powered Dallara to his second victory of the season at Nashville.  Team Penke’s Scott McLaughlin who sat on the pole, brought it home second and Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou rounded out the winner’s podium in the third-place position. 

Indycar also announced that the Series Championship Banquet will also be held in Nashville next September on the Monday following the race, capitalizing on the momentum of the race weekend and keeping their sponsors engaged accordingly. 

The quest for the championship this season intensified even more so despite the point standings favoring Alex Palou who currently leads with 513. Josef Newgarden sits in second with 429, and Scott Dixon remains in striking distance in third place with 387 points.

With just four races left in the season, Palou appears to be poised to win his second title.

The next stop for the NTT Indy Car Series is this weekend here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when they invade the road course at 16th and Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. General admission is just thirty-five dollars, but for twenty dollars more you can purchase a flex ticket, which enables you to view the action from multiple grandstands.

Children up to the age of fifteen are admitted free when an accompanying adult purchases the flex admissions ticket.

If you can’t attend, you can view the race on the USA Network, stream it live on Peacock, or by tuning in to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. 

Danny Bridges, who prefers the BBQ ribs as opposed to hot chicken when visiting Nashville, can be reached at (317) 370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com.

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