• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

2022 NTT IndyCar Series preview: Music City Grand Prix

BySean Clark

Aug 7, 2022
Colton Herta at Nashville

Photo via Kevin Dejewski

Last year, the streets of Nashville course debuted in the NTT IndyCar Series, becoming the first professional motorsports race to cross a body of water on the track (Cumberland River). 

It was a chaotic race with Marcus Ericsson going airborne on Lap 4 during a caution after colliding with Sebastien Bourdais. However, he was able to work his way to the lead after getting that early pit stop to gain valuable track position. He led the entire second half of the race, but had to withstand Colton Herta’s charge. 

With six laps to go, Herta’s brakes locked up, causing him to crash out of the race in which he started on pole. Ericsson cruised to victory from there, giving him his second-career win in IndyCar. 

In 2022, Ericsson, the former Formula 1 driver who last drove for Sauber in 2018, is competing for the title after winning the Indianapolis 500 back on Memorial Day weekend. With five top-five finishes this season, he sits nine points behind leader Will Power with four races to go in the season. 

The 41-year-old Power has been the model of consistency throughout the IndyCar season, achieving 10 top-five finishes in 13 races this season. The 2014 champion won the Detroit Grand Prix in the final race at Detroit Belle Isle, holding off a late, furious charge from Alexander Rossi.

Power and Ericsson will start eighth and 18th. 

Scott McLaughlin picked up his second pole of the season and his first since converting a pole in the opener at St. Petersburg to his first-career IndyCar victory. It’s also an historic pole for McLaughlin as he passed Helio Castroneves for most poles with Team Penske throughout their motorsport teams (Australian Supercars).

Romain Grosjean will start beside McLaughlin on the front row. It has been a disappointing season for the French driver in his debut season for Andretti Autosport with only one podium after three a season ago. He will roll out on the front row for the first time since winning pole during the 2021 GMR Grand Prix. 

A huge story in IndyCar right now is rookie Christian Lundgaard, who finished second during the Gallagher Grand Prix at the Indy Road Course. In the rookie standings, Lundgaard leads David Malukas by 27 points. The Danish rookie has followed his stellar result at Indy by qualifying third at Nashville. 

Alex Palou, who continues his legal battle with Chip Ganassi Racing after declining to drive for them next year despite them saying in a press release that he will, will start P4. His feud with CGR was matched by Oscar Piastri in Formula 1, who said he will not drive for Alpine in 2023 despite the team releasing a press release saying otherwise. 

Patricio O’Ward, Palou’s Arrow McLaren teammate for 2023, rounds out the top-five starters. 

Coverage for the 2022 Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will begin at 3:00 p.m. EST. There will be 80 laps over 168 miles in downtown Nashville. You can catch the race on NBC while streaming on Peacock.

Starting lineup:

Row 1

1. Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet

2. Romain Grosjean, No. 28 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda

Row 2

3. Christian Lungaard, No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda

4. Alex Palou, No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda

Row 3

5. Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet

6. Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet

Row 4

7. David Malukas, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Dallara-Honda

8. Will Power, No. 12 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet

Row 5

9. Graham Rahal, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda

10. Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet

Row 6

11. Jack Harvey, No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda

12. Dalton Kellett, No. 4 A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara-Chevrolet

Row 7

13. Simon Pagenaud, No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Dallara-Honda

14. Scott Dixon, No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda

Row 8

15. Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet

16. Kyle Kirkwood, No. 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara-Chevrolet

Row 9

17. Alexander Rossi, No. 27 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda

18. Marcus Ericsson, No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda

Row 10

19. Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Dallara-Chevrolet

20. Takuma Sato, No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Dallara-Honda

Row 11

21. Colton Herta, No. 26 Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda

22. Conor Daly, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet

Row 12

23. Devlin Defrancesco, No. 29 Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Dallara-Honda

24. Helio Castroneves, No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Dallara-Honda

Row 13

25. Simona de Silvestro, No. 16 Paretta Autosport Dallara-Chevrolet

26. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda

Track layout:

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