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No. 5: Brickyard Week Brings NASCAR, INDYCAR Tripleheader to Fans for First Time

Note: The editorial staff at IMS.com is taking a look back at the 10 biggest moments of 2021 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in this year-end series, with one installment appearing on the site per day in countdown fashion from Dec. 22-31.

For the first time with fans in the stands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR, INDYCAR and USAC came together for a week-long celebration of motorsports that resulted in a marquee sports weekend.

A revamped Brickyard Weekend welcomed race fans to the Racing Capital of the World for three days of road course action Aug. 13-15, with three of the most popular racing series on the same track on the same weekend, an opportunity not available to fans anywhere else in the world.

Will Power won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES event early Saturday afternoon, while Austin Cindric sang “Back Home Again in Indiana” on his radio while taking the checkered flag for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race late Saturday afternoon.

Sunday’s main event featured the NASCAR Cup Series on the IMS road course for the first time ever, and AJ Allmendinger scored a huge win for himself and Kaulig Racing.

The crossover between the NTT INDYCAR SERIES paddock and the NASCAR garage, something that couldn’t have been imagined even one decade ago, was in full force all weekend.

Austin Dillon and Felix Rosenqvist hopped in each other’s non-running cars. Joey Logano took in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race from atop the Pagoda. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Blaney watched from the pits during the opposite series’ race. Rinus VeeKay watched his first NASCAR Cup Series race in person from the infield. And race fans of both disciplines got to experience each respective racing series from the grandstands for the first time ever.

Just days later, USAC took to The Dirt Track at IMS for the Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy drink National Midget Championship event. The event, which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, drew a spirited crowd for two nights of grassroots racing action as USAC champions and NASCAR and INDYCAR drivers got down and dirty.

Eventual NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson capped off a momentous month for his professional racing career by winning the BC39 with a thrilling late-race battle.

Brickyard Weekend in its current form was held in 2020, with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR Xfinity Series sharing the road course on Saturday and the NASCAR Cup Series competing on the oval on Sunday. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 safety measures, there were no fans in the stands.

But Brickyard Weekend in 2021 was a different story. It was a rousing success for drivers and fans alike, and it set the blueprint for an exciting future for Brickyard Weekend in 2022 and beyond.

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