What to Watch: Complete Guide to Road America
Alejandro Alvarez | NASCAR Digital Media
Everything you need to know for Sunday’s Cup Series race at Road America and the 20th paid event of the season.
Or: Road America, a 4,048 mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Green flag race time: 2:40 p.m. ET
Practice: Saturdays at 12:35 p.m. ET on NBCSN | 50-minute open session
Qualification: Sundays at 11:05 am ET on NBCSN | Group qualifications
Television / Radio: NBC / NBC Sports app, MRN, NASCAR SiriusXM radio
Provide: Mostly sunny and warm, with a high near 92. Heat index values ââas high as 95. Wind southwest 10 to 15 mph
Race distance: 62 laps, 250 miles
Steps: 14 | 29 | 62
Pit road speed: 40 mph
Attention car speed: 45 mph
Honorary entry: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers running back
Road America 101: find out all the information
Entry list: see who is in the field
Stand assignments: see who is at the stands where | Explain the pit stops back to Road America
Five to watch
Here are five great stories we’ll be following at Road America.
1. Although Hendrick Motorsports has stumbled a bit from his recent streak in the Pocono Raceway doubles program, it is highly unlikely that all four drivers will not be in contention for victory on Sunday. Chase Elliott is the new king of NASCAR road racing, but Kyle larson is there to pounce. Elliott and Larson finished 1-2 in the last two road races, with Elliott winning the Circuit of the Americas, while Larson fended off his teammate for victory at the Sonoma Raceway. Alex Bowman has finished in the top 10 in all three road races so far this season, while three of the that of William Byron five finishes outside the top 10 this season have been on road courses.
2. There are four Cup Series drivers on the field this weekend who have won Xfinity Series races at Road America – AJ Allmendinger, Christophe bell, Austin Cindric and Michael mcdowell. Of these drivers, Allmendinger and Bell have had the most success in Cup Series road races this season. Bell won the Daytona Road Course, while Allmendinger was seventh at the Daytona RC and fifth at the Circuit of The Americas. All four could be close to stealing the show on Sunday. McDowell has finished in the top 10 in two of three road races this season.
3. With seven races to go in the regular season, three drivers have earned a substantial number of points in the last four races on the playoff cut line. Kurt busch has gained 86 points on the bubble in the last four races and is three points above the cup line, Daniel Suarez won 54 points and is 48 points back on the cut line. Bubba wallace has gained 41 points in the last four races and is 54 points below the bubble.
4. At the top of the spectrum, the race for the regular season championship intensifies between Larson and Denny hamlin. More than 140 points fell between the two drivers in the regular season standings after the Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway on May 9. But in the seven races since, Hamlin is now just two points ahead of the hottest driver in the Cup Series. Larson has won four races this season so far, while Hamlin’s No.11 Joe Gibbs Racing team are yet to break into Victory Lane.
5. The future of Kurt Busch and Ross chastain is a bit hazy after this week’s announcement that Trackhouse Racing Team will take over the assets of Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the 2021 season. With rumors of a silly season swirling, Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks said Suarez will continue to drive the No.99 in 2022, leaving an extra seat up for grabs with a second car. Marks has indicated that Busch and Chastain are the top two contenders for the race, but nothing is set in stone yet.
The essentials of race day
Our biggest pieces of the week – wrap up for race day from all angles.
â¢ Power ratings: Alex Bowman as title contender? | Evaluate the ranks
â¢ Overview of the paint scheme: Road America research | See the diagrams
â¢ Fantastic Fastlane: Kurt Busch an ideal choice? | Full Fantasy Tips | Define your list
â¢ Show preview: Outsiders show promise at Road America | Watch the show
Get in on the action
Think you know NASCAR? Test your courage with play, fantasy.
â¢ Betting odds for Road America | See the odds
â¢ Don’t sleep on Allmendinger | Read why in our BetMGM overview
â¢ Elliott tops odds, but Allmendinger has a party | Learn more
â¢ Is a bet on Elliott to win the title worth the wait? | Learn more
â¢ Try to win cash prizes with the free Jackpot Races app | Hit the jackpot
â¢ Complete Guide to NASCAR Fantasy Live 2021 | Get the FAQ
Back on Road America
As the Cup Series returns to Wisconsin, take a look at history while learning more about the track.
â¢ Back to 1956: A look back at the first Cup Series race at Road America | To go back in time
â¢ Track overview: Will the recent experience pay off at Road America? | Watch the video
â¢ Alternately: Analysis of the 14 turns at Road America | Know the track
Powerful statistics relevant to the race, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.
â¢ Sunday will be the first Cup Series race at Road America since 1956 when Tim Flock won the race. There are 23,702 days between Cup races at Road America, almost 65
â¢ Road America now holds the title of the longest track on the circuit at 4,048 miles, ahead of Circuit of The Americas at 3.61 miles.
â¢ Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson have finished 1-2 in the last two road races. Elliott has won five of the last seven road races.
â¢ Kyle Larson has finished in the top two in seven of the last eight cash races.
â¢ Hendrick Motorsports has won six of the last seven races and has finished 1-2 in four races.
â¢ Martin Truex Jr. has only one top 10 since winning the Darlington Raceway eight races ago. Truex has averaged 17.25 over the past seven races.
Catch the package
Read up on all the headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.
â¢ Trackhouse Racing to acquire Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the 2021 season | Learn more
â¢ Six candidates to watch as potential drivers of Trackhouse’s second car | Who can it be?
â¢ Matt DiBenedetto considers buyout of Road America, historic victory for Wood Brothers Racing | Read more
â¢ Chase Elliott on Jeff Gordon’s managerial skills, early career aide | Read more
â¢ Chase Elliott nominated for 2021 ESPYS Best Pilot Award | Read more
â¢ Michael McDowell Carries The Experience, Good Memories In The Return Of Road America | Read more
â¢ What the Road America Playoff Image Looks Like | Watch the playoffs
Notable quotes from sports stars ahead of Sunday’s race.
âI raced there in an Xfinity car in 2013 before. I remember it was a really fun race track – a really long race track. I’m really excited to go back this weekend because it’s such a cool place. Whether on the simulator or on iRacing, it is good to have visuals of altitude changes in advance. – Kyle Larson, driver of the No.5 Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
âIt’s nice to start the weekend with some experience that Cup veterans might not have since I raced at Road America in the Xfinity Series. Makes me wish we didn’t have training or qualifying so Cup veterans could feel a bit of what I felt before Sonoma Race Weekend without taking a lap there! Anyway, this weekend will be a great opportunity for our team. – Tyler Reddick, No.8 Chevrolet Driver Richard Childress Racing
âI think a lot of people notice how narrow the track is for sure. It’s very unique in this aspect for stock cars, but you still have enough room to move around and race too. I think a lot of them have simulator rides and Kyle (Busch) I think came here and tested too. They are world class racing drivers. They will understand it. Honestly, they haven’t really reached out to me, but I’m sure they’ll be hard to beat whenever they get here. – Christopher Bell, Toyota driver # 20 Joe Gibbs Racing