Concrete structures, such as airports, pavements, industrial floors and so on are prone to sudden, excessive and adverse loading conditions. This has become a major topic of interest for many researchers in recent years. An experimental investigation on evaluating the impact resistance of concrete is carried out as per ACI 544. 2R using concrete cubes of size 100 mm. This experimental investigation has been validated numerically with the help of concrete damaged plasticity (CDP) model using ABAQUS explicit software. The results of CDP model-based prediction were found to be in good agreement with the obtained experimental results, i.e. the initial failure (initial cracking) for plain concrete occurs at eighth blow and final failure occurs at fifteenth blow. The maximum strain absorbed by the concrete at failure is 0.00275. It is also observed that the percentage increase in strain increases drastically till 7 blows, suddenly decreases at the onset of micro-cracks at eighth blow followed by a small gradual increase in strain till 14 blows. This is followed by a decrease in strain which is an indication of failure of the concrete specimen after 15 blows. © 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.