TRACK: Road America (4.014-mile, 14-turn road course), DISTANCE: 55 Laps (221 Miles)
Favorites – Watch Out For Ganassi
Four top fives including two wins and a third place effort in his last five tries makes him the favorite in my opinion.
He’s had three top two finishes in six tries and should be fast again this weekend.
He was eighth in Race 1 last year and runner-up in Race 2.
He won this race in 2019 and was third in the second race last year. Watch out for him. He’s hungry.
He was third and seventh on this track last year with Coyne. Imagine what he can do in a Ganassi car.
His five Road America finishes – third, eighth, sixth, fourth and seventh respectively. This could be his weekend.
The NTT IndyCar Series continues their midwest tour as they’ve gone from two races at Indy last month, a doubleheader at Belle Isle last week and now to Road America on Sunday. This is one of the most exhilarating yet physically demanding tracks that the series goes to. It’s also the biggest.
Sunday will mark the ninth race of 17 this season, as we really start eyeing the championship even more now. Pato O’Ward leads Alex Palou (-1), Scott Dixon (-33), Josef Newgarden (-51) and Simon Pagenaud (-56)/ Rinus VeeKay (-56) entering the weekend. After Road America, we go to Mid-Ohio in two weeks before a full month off to observe the Olympic break.
The “Big 3” teams are certainly going to be the ones to watch with Penske, Ganassi and Andretti winning all six races since the series returned here in 2016. In fact, Ganassi swept the doubleheader weekend last year with Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist winning last July. Rosenqvist has since moved to Arrow McLaren SP while Dixon looks for his third win in his last six tries on the 4.014-mile road course.
Pato O’Ward narrowly lost the second race last year to Rosenqvist as he looks to extend his points lead on Sunday.
Team Penske needs a rebound but this may not be the place. Josef Newgarden had a streak of three straight podiums entering last July here but was only 14th and ninth respectively in the doubleheader format. Can he improve? Will Power has four top fives in six tries including a win and two runner-ups. Simon Pagenaud has not scored a podium in six tries. Can they sneak a win out on Sunday. They’re 0-for-8 this season after winning the final three races a year ago including five of the last six overall.
Maybe Andretti can be around too. Alexander Rossi’s last win came here in 2019 as he has two podiums in his last three Road America starts. Ryan Hunter-Reay has three top fours in five tries while Colton Herta (8th, 5th, 5th) and James Hinchcliffe (2 straight top 10’s) are always good on this scenic Wisconsin track too.
The sleepers to watch out for though is RLL. Graham Rahal has not finished worse than eighth in five tries and should have a top seven in all eight races run this season while Takuma Sato has four straight top 10’s.
Four of the six races at Road America were won by a top five starter including three of those from the front row at that.
We’ve had two or fewer cautions in four of the six races run at Road America. Without a caution, this could be all about pure pace on Sunday.