Pennzoil 150 at Indianapolis (Xfinity Series) - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- The NASCAR Xfinity Series will race for the first time on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- After a disappointing result at Pocono last Sunday, Austin Cindric hopes to find victory on a layout that plays to his strength.
- Road-course ace AJ Allmendinger returns to the Xfinity Series in his part-time role with Kaulig Racing.
|What||Pennzoil 150 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Where||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course|
|When||Saturday, July 4, 3 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||NBC|
The NASCAR Xfinity Series makes history on Saturday with the running of Pennzoil 150 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. The race will be the first featuring one of NASCAR’s top three touring series on the 2.49-mile, 14-turn layout.
The occasion is historic for another reason. NASCAR’s Cup and Xfinity Series will race on the same weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series, which will hold its GMR Grand Prix on the Indy Road Course three hours before the Xfinity drivers take the green flag.
Saturday’s Xfinity race will be contested at 151.22 miles (62 laps), with stage breaks scheduled at 20 and 40 laps. The Xfinity Series has raced at Indy eight times—all on the 2.5-mile traditional oval, not the road course. Justin Allgaier is the only driver in the Pennzoil 150 field who has won an Xfinity race on the Indy oval.
NASCAR Xfinity Series at Indianapolis July 4 Odds
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NASCAR Xfinity Joins Other Major Series with Indy Road Course Run
Since 1994, when the first Brickyard 400 captured the collective imagination of NASCAR fans, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been an important part of the stock car consciousness. All 26 Brickyard 400 NASCAR Cup Series have been contested on the 2.5-mile oval, the same track that has hosted the Indianapolis 500 for open-wheeled cars since 1911.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series joined the party in 2012, shifting the event from the Lucas Oil Raceway short track, a move that was not universally popular. But when NASCAR announced this season that the Xfinity schedule would include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, most drivers cheered the decision.
“Having a road course on Saturday and a (Cup) oval race on Sunday, I’m excited for that,” says Xfinity regular Justin Allgaier (+600), who has notched three of his 11 wins on road courses. “To be able to come here and be part of this event, to be the first NASCAR road race at IMS…we’re all going to want to win that first race. It’s new, there’s a lot of excitement, and I couldn’t be more excited myself to get back here on July 4th weekend.”
The Xfinity Series joins Formula One, the NTT IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as divisions that have raced on the Indy Road Course.
Austin Cindric Hopes for First 2020 Win on a Track That Favors Him
Last Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Austin Cindric had the fastest car in the Pocono Green 225. After winning Stage 1 and leading 11 laps, however, Cindric was wiped out in a Lap 52 crash that was not of his making and finished 29th.
On Saturday, Cindric (+140) will race on the kind of track for which he has a special gift, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. The son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric has 27 top-five finishes in 79 Xfinity starts, but both of his victories in the series have come at road courses—in 2019 at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio.
The Pennzoil 150 at Indy is the first road course race on the Xfinity schedule this season, and it figures to be Cindric’s best chance so far to pick up a victory. Among drivers who have yet to secure a 2020 win, Cindric is second to Ross Chastain in points and all but certain to secure a spot in the Xfinity Playoffs. A victory on Saturday would seal a berth in the postseason.
AJ Allmendinger Could Prove a Spoiler in Return to Action
If Cindric is particularly adept at road courses, so is former IndyCar driver AJ Allmendinger, who picked up his lone Cup Series triumph at Watkins Glen and three of his four Xfinity wins on road courses. Allmendinger returns to his part-time role with Kaulig Racing hoping to add an Indy win to the oval-track trophy he collected earlier this season at Atlanta.
Allmendinger (+250), who doubles as a racing analyst for NBC Sports, didn’t race last Sunday at Pocono, but he’ll be back with a vengeance at Indy.
“I feel refreshed—I got my weekend off,” Allmendinger says.” My TV body needed a break after three weeks of working. We’re getting ready for Indy, a historic Xfinity race on the road course for the first time. I’m pumped for it.”
Allmendinger will get something he didn’t have at Atlanta. Because NASCAR has never raced the Indy road course before, Xfinity drivers will be able to practice the day before the race, something they haven’t been able to do since NASCAR’s reopening in May.
Austin Cindric (+140)—Though the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford is loath to be pigeonholed as a road course specialist, he’s a great bet on a track that plays to his strength.
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association.