IMS Expecting ‘Colts Football Range’ of Fans at Cup Series Race

Joey Logano

Getty Joey Logano (right) heads down pit road at Indianapolis.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the first time on Aug. 15, testing the drivers in a different way. The track officials are expecting a sizable crowd for the race, one that rivals Indianapolis Colts home games.

According to 1075 The Fan, IMS President Doug Boles said that ticket sales are strong with mere weeks remaining before the green flag waves. “Our overall number is gonna be similar to where they’ve been in the past,” he said. “We’ll be in that Colts football range so roughly 50,000 to 60,000 people on Sunday.”

Boles added that the Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Aug. 14, is about 15% behind, but he is not worried. He explained that he expects several fans to walk up and purchase tickets at the gate on the day of the race.

The Verizon 200 at the Brickyard takes place on Sunday, Aug. 15, at 1 p.m. ET. NBC will broadcast the race. The Cup Series drivers will take 82 laps around the road course, covering 200 miles while fighting for the checkered flag.

The Xfinity Series Previously Tested Out the Road Course

This foray onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will be the first for the Cup Series, but their younger peers previously took on the track. The Xfinity Series took part in the inaugural Indianapolis GP on July 4, completing 62 laps for a total of 151.218 miles.

Chase Briscoe, the rookie driver for Stewart-Haas Racing, captured the checkered flag during the first-ever NASCAR trip to the road course. He held off Justin Haley and Noah Gragson during an exciting finish, locking up 57 points in the process. Briscoe’s win, one of nine on the season, helped propel him to the Cup Series.

Briscoe will now return to the site of the victory, albeit in a different vehicle. He will try to use his experience to turn in a season-best finish. The rookie driver of the No. 14 SHR Ford Mustang currently sits 24th in points, below the playoff cut line, but he can lock up a spot in the playoffs by winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bubble Drivers Will Make a Final Push at Indianapolis

The trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course takes place during the final four-race stretch of the regular season. The Cup Series returns from a two-week break on Aug. 8 with a trip to Watkins Glen International in New York. They then head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second consecutive road course race.

The schedule continues with trips to Michigan Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, the final race of the regular season. Achieving victory will not be a simple task for the bubble drivers such as Austin Dillon, Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez, and Chris Buescher, especially considering the regular number of crashes at Daytona International Speedway.

There are only three spots remaining in the 16-driver playoff field. Denny Hamlin currently holds one as the points leader while Kevin Harvick and Reddick hold on to the final spots. However, Reddick is only five points above Dillon and is not remotely safe. He could easily lose his spot in the playoffs with one bad performance at Watkins Glen, Indianapolis, Michigan, or Daytona.

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