The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season has produced some of the closest racing the sport has seen in recent years and as the sport prepares for the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville next month it is time to reflect on what has been to date, an absolutely incredible season.

Heading into the season, Chip Ganassi Racing signed Alex Palou from Dale Coyne Racing and signed seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Jimmie Johnson and the return of Tony Kanaan for oval races.

Alex Palou was the start of the show as the IndyCar Series season got underway with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park where he took his maiden NTT IndyCar Series victory, The Spaniard was joined on the podium by Team Penske’s Will Power and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and defending series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda.

In the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda came home ahead of Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and his teammate Simon Pagenaud.

Defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda took victory in the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway coming home ahead of NTT IndyCar Series rookie Scott McLaughlin who is competing in his first full-time season in IndyCar with Team Penske, claiming his IndyCar Series podium in the No.3 PPG Chevrolet, ending the race just ahead of Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward.

In the XPEL 375, race 2 of the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader, it was Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward in the No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet who claimed his first career win which was also McLaren’s first IndyCar Series victory since they returned to IndyCar in partnership with Sam Schmidt and Rick Peterson in 2020. O’Ward was joined on the podium by Josef Newgarden and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal who claimed his first podium of the season.

The GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course saw IndyCar Series rookie and former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean take his first NTT P1 Pole award and came home in second place in the race just ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay who claimed his first career win. Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing completed the podium.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Helio Castroneves returned to IndyCar competition with Meyer Shank Racing alongside Jack Harvey for the race in May and he took victory in the ‘Greatest Spectacle In Racing’ making him a four-time champion and ended the race ahead of Alex Palou and Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet.

In race one of the Detroit doubleheader last month, Marcus Ericsson in the No.8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda took his first NTT IndyCar Series victory coming home ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda.

In race two of the Detroit double, Pato O’Ward took his second victory of the season for Arrow McLaren SP coming home ahead of Josef Newgarden and Alex Palou.

In the REV Group Grand Prix of Road America, Alex Palou scored his second victory of the season for Chip Ganassi Racing just ahead of Colton Herta and Will Power. On Sunday in the Honda Indy 200 presented by HPD Ridgeline at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course it was Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden who scored his first victory of the season coming home ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou.

Alex Palou heads to the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville with a 39 point lead over Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward while Scott Dixon is third on 328 points.

(Video courtesy of Music City Grand Prix via youtube)

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