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Michael McDowell Kisses the Bricks at Indy

Indianapolis. The speedway capital of the world. If there is one place that a driver in any form of motorsport could win at, it would probably be Indianapolis. Indianapolis is rich in history and tradition for motorsports. This past weekend, the stars of both IndyCar and NASCAR took to the Indianapolis Road Course. Coming out of Michigan last week, the big story was Chris Buescher. Buescher earned his second victory of the season at Michigan. But as the sun sets in Indianapolis, there is another Ford driver that kissed the bricks at the end of the day.

An Old School Butt Kicking at Indy:

Coming into Indianapolis, Michael McDowell was only three points out of making it into the NASCAR playoffs. With just three races left before the playoffs, it was very possible for McDowell to make it to the playoffs on points. Including Indianapolis, two of the three remaining regular season races are Road Course races. In the last few years, McDowell has become a notable Road Course racer. Up to this point, McDowell has only won one race in his career, that being the 2021 Daytona 500. Not a bad race to win. Coming into Sunday at Indianapolis, McDowell qualified in fourth and it was obvious that he had a fast car. Right from the get-go, McDowell got the lead from Daniel Suarez on lap 6. McDowell would go on to win the first stage of the race. During the pit cycle, Suarez was able to leapfrog McDowell on pit road.

Denny Hamlin would win the second stage after not pitting, but McDowell was able to get back by Suarez for what would be the race lead. During the last cycle of green flag pit stops, Suarez would get held up on pit road due to an issue, which cost him an opportunity to win. This race was now McDowell’s to lose. After holding off a hard-charging Chase Elliott in the closing laps, McDowell did it. Michael McDowell can call himself a winner at two of the biggest racetracks in the world, Indianapolis, and Daytona. There was only one caution during the race, and the last 77 laps of the race were run under green flag conditions. McDowell led 54 of the 82 laps on the day, a dominating performance for the underdog. But now the question is, what is the future of the Indianapolis Road Course?

Will the Indianapolis Road Course return next year?

Over the past few days, specifically Monday and Tuesday, NASCAR and Goodyear have been conducting tire testing on the Indianapolis Oval. With that being said, the rumors and speculation of the Brickyard 400 returning next year have intensified. Ever since the Indianapolis Road Course debuted for the Cup Series in 2021, fans have been calling for the series to return to the oval. The last time that NASCAR ran on the Indianapolis Oval was in 2020. The event was won by Kevin Harvick, which was his third Brickyard 400 win. With team owner Roger Penske owning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, rumors are saying that the oval and Road Course will alternate on the schedule every other year. If this rumor is true, then there will be a race on the traditional Indianapolis Oval next year. Officially, we won’t know until the 2024 Cup Series schedule is released.

What to Expect from Watkins Glen:

As the stars of the Cup Series head from Indianapolis, they will head north to New York to the beautiful town of Watkins Glen. Dating back to 2017, four of the last five races at Watkins Glen have been won by Hendrick Motorsports. Two by Chase Elliott, and two by Kyle Larson. Larson has won the previous two Watkins Glen races and is looking for the hat trick this coming Sunday. Elliott is returning to what is considered his best track, and the track where he won his first race at. If there are two drivers to keep an eye on, it would be Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. Elliott needs a win to get into the playoffs, so he will do anything to get that win this coming Sunday.

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