Today’s question: Who will win the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix Music City this Saturday, Aug. 14 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)?
Curt Cavin: In years past, a Team Penske driver would be a lock for this selection, but as was the case in May when Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay won the GMR Grand Prix at IMS, I’m projecting a new race winner for the series. Romain Grosjean, in his first INDYCAR season with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, was brilliant in the previous road race at the Speedway – he won the pole and led a race-high 44 laps -- and he has had five races since then to learn what it takes to win one of these unpredictable affairs. I’ll say he takes this one.
Zach Horrall: I think it’s hard to argue with Curt here. The way I see it, Romain Grosjean is the favorite to win the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Saturday. His drive in May was impressive for just his third NTT INDYCAR SERIES race. But when you factor in the idea that the IMS road course is a European-style track with a smooth surface and curbing, his success makes sense. He’s been racing on these tracks his whole life, and now he returns to an NTT INDYCAR SERIES track for the first time. I’ll give an honorable mention to Will Power. Roger Penske owns IMS, but his driver has figuratively owned this place since his first win on the road course in 2015.
Paul Kelly: You guys are looking at the form book, which usually is a good strategy when trying to predict a winner. But previous stats don’t mean a damn thing this Saturday because there won’t be a more motivated race driver anywhere on Earth than Colton Herta. He will atone for his stunning mistake with five laps to go while chasing for the lead in Nashville with a storming victory Saturday at IMS for Andretti Autosport. It’s not like Herta’s dominance in Nashville was any kind of fluke – he’s one of the fastest drivers in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on any circuit. Plus, Andretti Autosport put two drivers into the top four for the first time this season even after separate incidents derailed the team’s two quickest drivers of the weekend, Herta and Alexander Rossi. An incredibly motivated driver plus a rapidly improving team equals seeing the drummer for The Zibs atop Victory Podium Saturday afternoon at IMS.