The NTT IndyCar Series returns on Saturday, August 14, for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. The race will be held at the 14-turn, 2,439-mile circuit at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix will be one of three major events on the course this weekend. NASCAR Cup Series will compete on Sunday, August 15, while the NASCAR Xfinity Series will race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
The big story to follow for Saturday’s race is Christian Lundgaard’s IndyCar debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL). Make your bet on BetUS Sportsbook online!
Lundgaard’s IndyCar Debut
The Formula 2 driver, Christian Lundgaard, has announced that he will make his IndyCar debut this weekend, driving RLL’s #45 car in the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. The 20-year-old Dane will take over for Santino Ferrucci, who drove the #45 in five races this season.
— Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (@RLLracing) August 9, 2021
Lundgaard enters the race as the current no.12 in the FIA Formula 2 Championship after 13 rounds of the 2021 season. With only 28 points to his name, Lundgaard is miles from the current Formula 2 frontrunner, Oscar Piastri; however, the Dane has had a couple of solid showings this term.
He finished second in the second Spring Race in Bahrain and third in the first Sprint Race in Silverstone. Last year, Lundgaard finished seventh in the F2 Championship, with two wins, one pole position, and 149 points.
The Dane has shown a lot of promise throughout his career and is one of the most talented drivers of the Alpine Academy program. Entering a proper IndyCar race should be a good test for him; however, it seems unlikely that he will compete for top spots.
Ericsson Could Make It Two In A Row
Marcus Ericsson turned last week’s start-line crash into an incredible victory in Nashville when he claimed his second victory of the season at the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.
During the 80-lap contest, Ericsson hit the back of Sebastien Bourdais’ car, for which he received a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact. However, he came back with an impressive performance and scored his second W of the season.
Ericsson seems to be in excellent form ahead of the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix, having already claimed silver at Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at the start of July. Although Ericsson was shocked after his win last week, he should feel confident about his chances to make it two in a row.
“It just shows in IndyCar anything can happen. You can never give up,” said Ericsson.
“And if you have a good team and a good car, you can still get to victory lane.”
If you’re looking to bet on an in-form driver, Ericsson is hard to pass on. Although he hasn’t achieved much over the season and was largely inconsistent, his recent resurgence should make him a solid pick-up for the upcoming race.
However, it’s still hard to look past the current best drivers in the IndyCar Series, namely Alex Palou and Scott Dixon. Palou finished the Nashville race in seventh, which marked his third-worst finish of the year.
Over the 2021 season, the Spaniard has won two races and added four podiums. Even though he failed to finish inside the top-three last time out, Palou’s record across the last four shows: 7th, 3rd, 1st, 3rd.
Dixon broke his dry streak last week when he claimed his first podium after seven races. Even though he has managed only two podiums and one win in 2021, Dixon has been consistently good — only once placing outside of the top 10 — which has earned him 368 points on the season.
Palou seems poised for a strong finish, but we wouldn’t bet on the current IndyCar frontrunner after a shaky showing in the recent race. Instead, we like our chances with the in-form Dixon at five-to-one.