The NASCAR Cup Series is staging its annual doubleheader with the IndyCar Series this weekend, with both running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
In two events since joining the Cup calendar, the Indy road course has been as predictable as summer weather in the Midwest. It’s safe to expect more of the same this weekend with four available playoff spots to be decided with three races remaining in the regular season and a host of road course shooters in the field.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Verizon 200 at The Brickyard:
Verizon 200 tv/streaming schedule
All times are oriental
11:35 AM – 12:35 PM: Practice (NBC Sports app)
12:35 PM – 1:45 PM: Qualification (NBC Sports app)
2:30 PM – 6 PM: Verizon 200 (NBC app, NBC Sports)
Verizon 200 details
a path: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (14-turn hybrid racing facility, 2.43 miles clockwise)
Length: 82 laps for just under 200 miles
Last year’s winner: Tyler Reddick (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Top drivers and best bets for the Verizon 200
Road racing requires a very different skill set than the ovals that make up the majority of the schedule, and as such, only the four drivers who excel in them enter the weekend at better odds of 10 to 1. According to BetMGM.
The best odds of winning
Martin Truex Jr. +500
Tyler Reddick +525
Chase Elliott +700
Shane van Gisbergen +850
Truex has five road course wins in his 17 seasons, including one earlier this season in Sonoma. Riddick has won road courses three times in the past two seasons, including this event a year ago. Elliott has seven road course victories from 2018 to 2021, and Van Gisbergen won in his Chicago street race debut earlier this season.
Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports wrote earlier in the week about the odds and suggests that good value could be found at the intermediate level in 2021 Indy Road Tournament winner AJ Allmendinger (+1400) and Chris Buescher (+2000) who have won the last two races on the trot.
William Byron was prevented from qualifying
NASCAR suspended driver William Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for Saturday’s qualifying session after it failed inspection three times. The problem was with the right front fender. In addition to starting in the back of the field for the race, Byron’s crew chief, Tyler Jones, will be out for the weekend and Byron will have to serve up a drive-through.
Noah Gragson at the LMC
Five days after NASCAR and the Legacy Motor Club both suspended Noah Gragson indefinitely, the team has released its No. 42 Chevrolet driver. Last week, Gragson liked an Instagram meme mocking the death of George Floyd in 2020 while in Minneapolis police custody.
Endurance car veteran Mike Rockenfeller will drive the No. 42 car this weekend and next weekend at Watkins Glen—another road course.
The pioneers of road racing are Shane van Gisbergen
Last month, Van Gisbergen became the first driver in 60 years to win his first Cup Series event when he emerged victorious in a Chicago street race back in Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet’s entry for the third time.
Van Gisbergen’s fellow Supercar competitor Brodie Kostecki would drive in a one-off turn for the Richard Childress Racing entry (No. 33). 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button will make his third Cup Series start in Rick Weir Racing’s No. 15 Ford. Andy Lally will make his 43rd Cup Series start in Rick Weir’s No. 51 entry. Kamui Kobeshi, who started 75 Formula 1 races from 2009-2014, will drive a third entry Racing 23XI (No. 67).
Nascar bubble clincher cup series
With Buescher’s winning streak over the past two weeks, at least one driver who didn’t win in 2023 will be among the qualifiers. Here’s what a match bubble looks like:
Driver – before / behind the 16th position
Kevin Harvick – +180
Brad Keselowski – +168
Bubba Wallace – +58
Ty Gibbs- +3
Michael McDowell – -3
Daniel Suarez – -5
AJ Allmendinger – -24
Alex Bowman – -44
Verizon 200 Entry List
Russ Chastain (1), Track House Racing Chevrolet
Austin Cindrick (2), Team Pensky Ford
Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford
Corey LaJoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Kyle Busch (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ryan Blaney (12), Penske Ford Team
Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Jenson Button (15), Rick Ware Racing Ford
AJ Allmendinger (16), College Racing Chevrolet
Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford
Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Christopher Bell (20 years old), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Joey Logano (22), Penske Ford Team
Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota
William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Justin Haley (31), College Racing Chevrolet
Brody Kosteki (33), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Todd Gilliland (38), Ford Motorsports front row
Ryan Preece (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Mike Rockenfeller (42), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet
Eric Jones (43), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet
Tyler Reddick (45), 23XI Racing Toyota
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Connor Daly (50), TMT Racing Chevrolet
Andy Lally (51), Rick Ware Racing Ford
Ty Gibbs (54), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kamui Kobayashi (67), 23XI Racing Toyota
Ty Dillon (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Josh Bilicki (78), Live Fast Motorsports Ford
Shane van Gisbergen (91), Track House Racing Chevrolet
Daniel Suarez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
Verizon 200 weather
Forecasts are for warm temperatures in the mid-80s and highs More than likely rain on Saturday and Sunday. Thunderstorms are expected in Saturday’s Cup qualifying and IndyCar race, while there is a 66% chance of rain in Sunday’s Cup race.