The season continues on this weekend at Road America. Following a month between races at Texas and last weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series continues on with four races over a six day span. Both are doubleheader weekend’s which isn’t something completely out of the ordinary for the series.
This concept has been around for several years now, with recently seeing only the weekend at Belle Isle becoming the lone doubleheader weekend on the circuit. Now, we get two in as many weeks.
So, for the teams, it’s not like they’re not used to this. Still, they say there’s a distinction between the two races. We saw as much in the NASCAR doubleheader weekend in Pocono.
Drivers said that they raced a tad differently in the opening race at Pocono because they didn’t want to tear their stuff up and cause more work for the limited amount of time available between Saturday and Sunday’s race. They were more conservative per say.
The Indy Car drivers say they do the same thing.
Plus, guys will have a good first race and guys will have a bad one. The bad day racers will definitely change setups to evolve. The ones with good finishes, have to adapt too, even though it’s tricky in doing so because you may not know what or how to change on your car with it being so good on Day 1.
“The key is, if you have a decent day in the first race, how do you make it an even better day for day two?” said Conor Daly “You know what I mean? Each time on track, you’re going to have to do the best job possible. Use race one as a test session for race two if you’re struggling a little bit.”
Simon Pagenaud agrees.
“I think it will be interesting,” said the Team Penske driver. “Obviously we’ve seen it with NASCAR in Pocono last weekend. First day you’re going to have some really good cars. The next day everybody gets better, like Conor said. The second day is actually really, really tough racing day where you’re a little bit drained from the day before. Decision making is going to have to be on point despite being tired.
“We’ve had some practice with Detroit. It’s grueling. The IndyCars are extremely physical cars. It’s going to be hot again with the new windscreen as well. A lot to take in combination there.
“I have no doubt it should be an amazing event. But certainly second race will be interesting to see who gets better.”
Pagenaud notes, that these formats typically aid in the bigger teams being the ones to beat. With us racing still in the midst of a pandemic, the amount of crew members per each car are scaled down. The big team though can reshuffle some of the process and still have hands on deck or guys doing other jobs from a far to help.
“I think the big teams might have an advantage for sure because of the amount of people they have working with them,” Pagenaud continued. “The smaller teams, on the other hand, it’s going to be hard for them because of all the work they have to do for all these weeks. They have reduced the amount of people.
“Overall all the teams are so professional that it should be normal. I expect nothing less than usual.”