IndyCar resumes on Saturday with the GMR Grand Prix in Indianapolis. Let’s prepare ourselves in advance of odds being released.
NTT IndyCar Series: GMR Grand Prix
Saturday, July 4, 2020 at noon ET (NBC)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
History To Be Made
This weekend’s racing schedule in Indianapolis will be historically significant. For the first time ever, NASCAR and IndyCar are collaborating by running races at the same venue on the same weekend. Given the fact that both NASCAR and IndyCar regularly compete with each other — for viewers, general attention, etc. — their collaboration is highly unusual. Their collaboration offers racing handicappers the opportunity to grow acquainted with everything that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has to offer. While NASCAR’s Cup Series participants will race on the venue’s rectangular oval course, IndyCar (as well as NASCAR Xfinity, which is basically like the minor leagues of NASCAR), will be run on the venue’s road course.
Because Indy cars are different in various respects — such as size, structure, material, and so forth — from NASCAR vehicles, they would not benefit from utilizing the same track. Over the years, Indianapolis’ road course has undergone modifications with which course designers intended to make the course faster. They’ve tried to do this by making corners more obtuse and introducing elevated curbs. Without tighter corners, passing must also be easier and drivers are less likely to incur danger.
This course has essentially stayed the same since its remake in design and its last repavement in 2013. Overall, there are 14 turns in this venue’s road course. Some are still sharp and tight, still requiring a reasonable use of the brakes that compels drivers to negotiate between maintaining speed and avoiding danger through reckless driving.
IndyCar competitors will get to enjoy an advantage that we haven’t seen in the NASCAR Cup Series since the return from the COVID-induced panic. Namely, on Friday and Saturday they will have opportunities to practice on the course. Friday morning and afternoon features IndyCar practice and qualifying, respectively, Saturday at 9 a.m. is the time for warmup, which precedes the race at noon. Importantly, you’ll be able to watch qualifying on NBCSN.
With its 14 turns, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course requires 2.439 miles to be driven per lap. The race itself is 80 laps-long. Overall, drivers will hopefully have accumulated 195.12 miles.
A Big Betting Advantage
At a venue such as this, it helps to have bigger teams with more experienced people who can do more work. Given this advantage, a Team Penske member has won each of the past five races in the GMR Grand Prix. The two drivers for bettors to know are Simon Pagenaud and Will Power. Both are Team Penske members and either one of the two drivers has won each of the past five GMR Grand Prix renditions. Pagenaud won the last GMR Grand Prix rendition in 2019. Will Power won in 2017 and 2018. Pagenaud won in 2016, Power in 2015, and Pagenaud again in 2014, which was the debut year of this particular event.
Pagenaud and Power
It is a bit too early to judge racing form. IndyCar had actually not started its season before the virus-inspired panic-induced postponement. The last race was on June 6, almost a month ago, at the Genesys 300. Penske drivers may have had some rust from not competing for so long. One can more confidently say that Team Penske itself had rust as three of its cars suffered technical issues. Still, even though Team Penske was far from perfect, it could still boast positive race results. Pagenaud, especially, was successful as his vibration issues did not hinder him from finishing runner-up.
IndyCar oddsmakers have yet to release racing odds for this event. But be sure to check 5Dimes, BetOnline, and other of the SBR-approved best sportsbooks. With my IndyCar betting pick, I want to invest in both Pagenaud and Power given their and Team Penske’s history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I recommend splitting a unit on each driver to win.
With attractive odds available, one will profit nicely if either one wins. I think that this strategy constitutes a reasonable negotiation between risk and reward.
Best Bet: Pagenaud and Power To Win