WATCH: Ceremonial First Lap Kicks off Weekend Full of Country Music, Racing at Music City Grand Prix

by Jonathan Howard

With the NTT IndyCar Series stopping in Nashville for the Music City Grand Prix, fans are already getting some great moments. The ceremonial first lap took place Saturday. Organizers have planned a full weekend of events, racing, and live music. Nashville will take the opportunity to make its case as a regular IndyCar venue.

During practice laps on Friday, it was clear the course had its own challenges. There was a video of Colton Herta going over the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge. What fans saw was a rough and bumpy road. Many chimed in with their personal stories of being casual drivers on the bridge. Watching a car drive 175 MPH over it, makes you clench your fists a little.

However, the rough patches are not impossible to drive over. Each course has its own issues and city streets are not always the best for racing. The ceremonial first lap went off without a hitch. Over on the NTT IndyCar Series Youtube, a great video was put together showing the scenery of the course. Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden drove the lap to kick off the weekend of racing.

Music City Grand Prix Weekend Kicks Off

Dixon and Newgarden are both champions in their own right. Both racers have roots in Music City. As two of the sport’s best, they took the honor of opening the streets up for racing. This weekend isn’t just for racing, Nashville is Music City for a reason. Throughout downtown Nashville, country music stars will entertain the thousands in attendance.

Among those country music stars are Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, and Jon Pardi. With a lineup like that, there will be some great, must-see performances. Those performances will take place at the main stage downtown. As for after the race, the Grand Ole Opry will host a show at the track.

With the growing popularity of IndyCar in America, hopefully, more southern cities will host races in the future. Nashville is always going to be a good time. Honky tonks, music, and cool cars, what else do you need? As long as the racers get over that bridge with all their teeth in their mouth, things should be great.

Josef Newgarden, being the hometown hero, has been receiving a nice spotlight heading into the race. On Friday Newgarden hosted a celebrity ping pong tournament. Newgarden is just as serious in table tennis as he is behind the wheel. The 30-year-old, two-time IndyCar Series Champion (2017, 2019) proved IndyCar’s supremacy over NASCAR.

With a resounding win over NASCAR’s Joey Logano, Newgarden put one on the board for IndyCar. Both sports are great though, and a lot of money was raised for a good cause. The Music City Grand Prix event raised almost $300,000 for SeriousFun Children’s Network.