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Brickyard schedule: TV, weather, odds for NASCAR race

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Kevin Harvick won the Brickyard 400 last year, but the race moves to Indy's road course in 2021.
USA Today

The NASCAR Cup Series visits Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for its second consecutive road course race after an exciting weekend at Watkins Glen. Kyle Larson was victorious at The Glen, holding off a hard-charging Chase Elliott for his series-leading fifth win of the season. Now, the series visits the 14-turn, 2.439-mile track for its sixth of seven road course races this season.

Here’s everything you need to know for the Brickyard:

What is the 2021 Indianapolis schedule?

The race weekend at Indianapolis will resemble a more traditional NASCAR schedule, with sessions for practice and qualifying prior to the main event. Here’s the Cup Series schedule:

Practice will be held from 11:05 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 14, on the NBC Sports App.

 

Two-round, elimination qualifying is set for 9:05 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 15, on CNBC and the NBC Sports App.

The Verizon 200 at the Brickyard will go green at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 15.

How does NASCAR practice and qualifying work in 2021?

The Brickyard is one of just eight tracks this season that will have practice and qualifying sessions. NASCAR went away from the traditional race weekend schedules, eliminating practice and qualifying, starting in 2020 after returning from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, NASCAR is holding practice and qualifying only at crown jewel events (Daytona, Charlotte, Phoenix) and the five new tracks on the schedule (Bristol Dirt, Circuit of the Americas, Nashville, Road America, Indianapolis Road Course). Indy will be the final race with practice and qualifying until the season finale at Phoenix in November.

What channel is the Brickyard race on?

The race at Indianapolis is on NBC starting at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday (Aug. 15). NASCAR Countdown to Green will begin before the race at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Qualifying will be shown live on CNBC and in the NBC Sports app at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, while practice will be broadcast on Saturday (Aug. 14) at 11:05 a.m. ET in the NBC Sports App.

Has the Cup Series ever raced at the Indianapolis road course?

This is the first time in history that Cup cars will race at the Indy road course after 27 consecutive years racing on the famed oval. The NASCAR Xfinity Series raced on the road course for the first time in history last year, which was the first and only time a NASCAR-sanctioned event raced on the layout.

Who is favored to win at Indianapolis?

While no driver has Cup Series experience at the Brickyard road course, a handful of drivers competed in the Xfinity Series race there last season. Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, A.J. Allmendinger and Anthony Alfredo raced in the Xfinity race last season, while Cindric, Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick and Austin Dillon will run the Xfinity race this Saturday to prepare for the Cup race.

Even though those drivers have more experience, the favorites for Sunday are the usual contenders on road courses. Chase Elliott (seven career road course wins), Kyle Larson (two road course wins, including last week at Watkins Glen) and Martin Truex Jr. (four road course wins) have the highest odds, with Elliott and Larson as the heavy favorites.

Here are some of the odds for Indianapolis, courtesy of our partner, PointsBet:

 

Chase Elliott +195

Kyle Larson +325

Martin Truex Jr. +775

Kyle Busch +1100

Denny Hamlin +1600

Christopher Bell +2200

Austin Cindric +2200

Joey Logano +2500

William Byron +2500

A.J. Allmendinger +2500

Kevin Harvick +3000

Alex Bowman +3300

Ryan Blaney +3500

Kurt Busch +4000

Chase Briscoe +4000

Ross Chastain +5000

Brad Keselowski +6000

Tyler Reddick +6000

Matt DiBenedetto +9000

Michael McDowell +15000

Austin Dillon +20000

Bubba Wallace +50000

What is the weather for Indianapolis?

The Weather Channel is predicting a great weekend in Speedway, Ind., where Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located. Saturday is expected to be partly cloudy with a high of 82 degrees and a 15% chance of rain. Sunday looks to be nice as well, with mostly cloudy skies, a high of 78 degrees and just a 15% chance of rain.

Even if rain does fall on Saturday or Sunday, on-track activities will go off without a hitch. Cup Series cars have rain tires and windshield wipers available at road courses, so barring lightning or dangerous conditions, weather won’t stop practice, qualifying or the race.

How to buy tickets for Brickyard race

Tickets for the Cup Series race at the Brickyard are available on the track’s website right here. Information about parking, camping, scanner rentals, pre-race pit passes and tickets for Friday and Saturday events are also available on the track’s website.

 

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.