STREETS OF NASHVILLE RACE PREVIEW
FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2023
RACE: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix
TRACK: Streets of Nashville
LOCATION: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.15-mile, 11-turn street circuit
RACE LENGTH: 80 laps/173.6 miles
PRACTICE: Friday – 3-4:15 p.m. CT (Peacock Premium)
Saturday – 10:40-11:40 a.m. CT (Peacock Premium), 5:25-5:55 p.m. CT (Peacock Premium)
QUALIFYING: Saturday – 1:45-3:15 p.m. CT (Peacock Premium)
RACE: Sunday – 11 a.m. CT (NBC)
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 20 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet: “The Music City Grand Prix presents another opportunity for us as a team to push forward and improve on our 2023 season. We have some positives to draw upon from our Toronto race weekend. Hopefully, we can apply those findings to the BITNILE.COM cars on a similarly bumpy street circuit in Nashville!”
|BIRTHDAY: December 17, 1980|
HOMETOWN: Fort Lauderdale, FL
RESIDENCE: Fort Lauderdale, FL
BEST START: 14th (2021)
BEST FINISH: 4th (2021)
NUMBER OF STARTS: 1
- Ryan Hunter-Reay joined Ed Carpenter Racing as driver of the No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet prior to the Road America race weekend in June. Hunter-Reay, recognized as one of the most successful American open wheel racing drivers, has brought a wealth of experience to the team with an INDYCAR career that spans two decades.
- Hunter-Reay was part of the field of the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in 2021. After narrowly missing out on advancing to the second round of qualifying, he started 14th and was up to 12th by the end of the first lap. He continued to carve his way forward with a combination of smart driving and solid strategy. He spent almost the entirety of the second half of the event in the Top 5, moving up to 4th in the final laps.
- The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based driver is an NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion (2012) with 18 career wins, including a victory in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Hunter-Reay also has multiple overall IMSA sportscar wins, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans among them, has been invited to the Race of Champions five times and has won two ESPY ‘Driver of the Year’ awards (2013 and 2014).
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet: “It’s going to be an exciting weekend in Nashville! There is definitely a chance to us to get the BITNILE.COM car into the Top 10 and get some points. It’s a cool track, very bumpy, and there is always a lot of stuff happening. Staying out of that stuff is going to be important! It’s going to be a really warm weekend so living Florida and being used to the heat all the time should help. I just love the city of Nashville. Being able to drive there for the third time already is so exciting, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long but it has!”
|BIRTHDAY: September 11, 2000|
Fort Lauderdale, FL
BEST START: 10th (2022)
BEST FINISH: 12th (2022)
NUMBER OF STARTS: 2
- Rinus VeeKay has spent his entire NTT INDYCAR SERIES career with Ed Carpenter Racing and is the team’s longest-tenured full-time driver, now in his fourth season behind the wheel the No. 21 Chevrolet. Earlier this season, the 22-year-old made his 50th career start and qualified on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 for the third consecutive year.
- Nashville’s tight street circuit presented many challenges for VeeKay in his two starts. In 2021, he was up 10 positions when he came across a completely blocked track. With nowhere to go, the VeeKay made contact with the stopped cars and was then hit from behind, ultimately forcing his retirement from the event. Last year, he was caught in nearly an identical situation. However, damage was limited to only the front wing this time and he was able to rejoin the race. Clean and consistent laps from then on and a last-lap pass contributed to his picking up five positions in the final 15 laps.
- Born in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Rinus van Kalmthout began karting in 2009 at the age of 8. With sights set firmly on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, he transitioned to the Road to Indy in 2017 and launched his U.S. career driving as Rinus VeeKay. Just four years into his time in the United States, he not only reached the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, but earned 2020 Rookie of the Year honors. He became an NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winner in May of 2021 with a victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.