Music City Grand Prix Friday Wrap-Up

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After spending the afternoon at different vantage points on the temporary circuit for the Inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, I’ve become certain on a few matters. First of all, despite what many of the locals fear – I have no reservations at all, having cars cross the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Cumberland River. That stretch of road is so wide, I don’t foresee any problems whatsoever. After all, Milka Duno hasn’t driven in the series for years.

I can’t say the same for how I feel on a couple of other spots. Earlier, I indicated that the Turn Five area may be better than some fans are thinking. I’ve changed my mind. That appears to be an extremely tight and slow section of the track. A mishap there could bring out a red flag just to clear the track.

The main section I’m concerned about is the chicane at the end of the area that runs right in front of Nissan Stadium. The chicane is actually considered Turn One and it merges in with the pit exit. To me, this looks like an accident waiting to happen. Long Beach with Emmerson Fittipaldi and Michael Andretti in 1991 comes to mind. We were sitting in the stands during the Trans Am practice and got a first hand look at the merging area.

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The cars in the photo are coming off the front stretch. The section of road to the far right are the pits. It’s almost as if the track is forced to merge with the the pit lane. There were no incidents today that I was aware of, but I’ll be surprised if none of the series running here this weekend don’t have some sort of issue.

There were a couple of crashes in the IndyCar practice. Pato O’Ward clipped the Turn Three wall and bent his suspension – ending his day fairly early in the session. With just over four minutes to go in the seventy-five minute session, Conor Daly misjudged the apex going into Turn Nine and slammed his US Air Force machine hard against the tire barrier. That red flag ended the session early.

At the press conference afterwards; Colton Herta, Alex Palou and Will Power all praised the track. I didn’t feel like they were just spewing the company line. I felt it was genuine praise.

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Before the practice started, I was able to catch a couple of good photos of a couple of legends in the pits. Mario Andretti walked by, which will always draw my camera.

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Shortly afterwards, Roger Penske rode by on his scooter and shook hands with Bobby Rahal. It dawned on me that when you combine driving and ownership; I was looking at twenty-one different Indianapolis 500 wins.

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That’s going to do it for us today. We’ve been here for over ten hours, and I’m tired. The IndyCar practice tomorrow is at noon local time. We will be here probably around 10:00. Please check back then.

George Phillips

2 Responses to “Music City Grand Prix Friday Wrap-Up”

  1. I really like the track after seeing Indycars on it. It has lots of fast areas and enough braking areas to make it challenging and interesting. I loved watching the different lines through turn 3.

  2. James Thomas Says:

    George awesome day in Nashville you need to be aware of one major Issue. Grandstands 6 where my seats are stands are not finished. Hopefully today they are ready. I bought 3 days tickets 7 total tickets no seats yesterday. Walked around had super day . Unbelievable saw Roger Penske walking across bridge among crowd and no one recognized him had me in total Shock!! Heading out soon for day 2.

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