Changes to IndyCar’s Nashville track in its second year

IndyCar has taken steps to modify its Nashville street course for this weekend after the chaotic and drawn-out inaugural event last year.

Changes to IndyCar’s Nashville track in its second year
Listen to this article

There were a total of nine cautions in the 2021 Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, so that 33 of the 80 laps were run under yellow, and there were two red-flag periods.

 • Click here for details on start time, how to watch, entry list & more

This year, restarts will be held in the same place as the start, the longest straight on the track, namely the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge that leads into Turn 9. The push-to-pass boost will first become available to drivers as they approach the start-finish line.

Last year the restarts began just before the last turn so the cars were up to speed before they reached the start-finish line, but green-flag conditions before the whole pack had filed through the last turn meant that passes were made while the cars were still packed tightly together, leading to clashes and controversy at Turn 11, the final corner on the 2.1-mile course.

Further easing this potential issue is that the track is now four feet wider at the apex allowing better sight lines.

The entrance to Turn 9, by contrast, has been considerably narrowed – from 85 feet to 60 feet – due to hospitality suites being added, which significantly slows down the corner entry. Coming as it does after the long bridge drag over the Cumberland River, the turn should offer a far more effective passing opportunity.

In both directions, the transitions between bridge and terra firma have been reprofiled in an attempt to reduce the bumps. Prior to the inaugural event, this repaving was carried out just 20 feet after the transitions, but this year the extra asphalt has been increased to 125 feet to make the transitions far more gradual.

A bump in Turn 5 has been reprofiled, too, but more significant could be the reduction in pitlane speed limit from 45mph to 40, which IndyCar estimates will add around three seconds to time loss in pitlane. This should eliminate the chance of the race leader pitting under caution and hitting the pitlane/racetrack blend line ahead of whichever cars remained on track, bottled up behind the safety car.

shares
comments
IndyCar in Nashville: Start time, how to watch, entry list & more
Previous article

IndyCar in Nashville: Start time, how to watch, entry list & more

Next article

Castroneves to suffer grid penalty in Nashville

Castroneves to suffer grid penalty in Nashville
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021