NASCAR and IndyCar Drivers Eager to Watch Each Other Race at Indianapolis

Published 08/17/2021, 8:38 AM EDT
Jun 13, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) and driver Kyle Busch (18) and driver Christopher Bell (20) and driver Cole Custer (41) and driver Chase Elliott (9) lead the field at the start of the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On rare occasions in NASCAR and IndyCar history, races have been held on the same day. However, none of these races have ever taken place on the same track. In 2021, NASCAR and IndyCar will finally meet at the same track in a double-header at Indianapolis. Needless to say, drivers from both sides are eager to watch the other side race.


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IndyCar driver Alex Palou said, “I never saw a NASCAR race in person, so if I have a chance, I will because it’s something I need to experience. This year it’s been so fun to watch NASCAR on road courses. The races are super fun like the races in IndyCar when it’s wet. There’s lots of stuff happening. Big overtakes from three wide and stuff like that, so I think it’s crazy racing in NASCAR and super fun, so I just want to get to see the race in person.”

Apr 18, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Indy driver Alex Palou (10) at Barber Motorsports Park. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Palou is not the only IndyCar driver who is excited to see the NASCAR stars in action. Former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson, also confirmed that he will also watch the motorsport crossover when his own race ends. The Cup drivers will race in the Oval, while the Xfinity and Indy drivers will use the road course in Indianapolis.


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Even the NASCAR drivers want to see their IndyCar counterparts

“I’ve been inside that garage area enough that it’s not new to me, but it’s really new to a lot of other people in the (NASCAR) garage area,” said Xfinity driver Austin Cindric. “So it’s kind of fun to see everyone’s perspective on how things work, even having some of our leadership on the NASCAR side observe IndyCar practice from the pit stand, listen to the timing and scoring, the telemetry and so on and what’s different and translatable. I think that’s important as a race team having two programs at a racetrack at the same time is pretty cool.”

On the other side of the fence, the NASCAR drivers are equally excited to see their open-wheel neighbors compete. Apparently, Joey Logano and his son Hudson arrived early to watch the IndyCar practice session on Friday. Similarly, Conor Daly caught up with Noah Gragson before the practice session.

Rinus VeeKay will be cheering for William Byron during the Cup race on Sunday. It is also worth mentioning that a familiar face returns to the NASCAR paddock, and his name is Jimmie Johnson. The 7-time Cup Series champion was thrilled to reunite with his NASCAR family. Without a doubt, he and everyone else will be looking forward to the weekend.


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Dhruv George

11987 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.