Power has points lead back, Dixon and Rossi surging, O’Ward/Newgarden biding time with INDYCAR heading to Road America

Will Power became the 6th different winner in the first 7 races to the NTT INDYCAR Series season last Sunday via his victory in Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in the final race on the streets of Belle Isle. In a race that featured no cautions, we saw the podium finishers come from 16th, 11th and 9th respectively. Now we head to a track to where track position rings king.

Other than 2020, the previous four races at Road America and even last year’s here were won by a top five starter including three of which from the front row.

For a series that has also produced 7 pole winners in as many races run in 2022 as well, you get the sense that this weekend in Road America is going to be a wild one at stake.

Power holds a slim 3 point lead over Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson while Pato O’Ward sits 12 points back in 3rd. Alex Palou (-14) and Josef Newgarden (-47) round out the top five.

Power has 6 top 4 finishes in the 7 races run this season in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet and wrangled the points lead back away from Ericsson last Sunday after Ericsson took it away from him in the Indy 500. That’s the way this season has gone. We’ve had a points lead change after 6 of the 7 races too.

Right now, 10 of the top 11 in points belong to Penske, Ganassi, Andretti and Arrow McLaren SP. Penske and Ganassi have combined to win 13 of the last 14 series titles including 8 straight. Andretti won the other.

Will Power came from 16th to win Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in Belle Isle. Photo Credit: INDYCAR Media Site

In fact, if you go all the way back to 2003, Penske, Ganassi and Andretti have won every series championship. O’Ward (3rd) and his AMSP teammate of Felix Rosenqvist (9th) hope to sneak in and steal this year’s away from them.

O’Ward has 4 top 5’s in his last 5 starts on the season and has 3 top 10’s in his last 4 starts at Road America including a runner-up in the middle. Rosenqvist won here in 2020, his last start on this track at that since he was injured last season and is coming off of a pair of top 6’s in Indy and a last to 10th run in Belle Isle.

Palou and Newgarden had good points days in Belle Isle to salvage top sixes while Scott Dixon (-53) and Alexander Rossi (-74) are heating up.

Dixon led the most laps (95) in the Indy 500 and the only reason that he didn’t win was due to a speeding penalty on his final stop. Rossi went from 20th to 5th in Indy and 11th to 2nd in Belle Isle. While Rossi hasn’t won in his last 44 starts and Dixon in his last 20, expect both to end those droughts in this next 3 race stretch.

Rossi’s last win came at this very track in 2019. He has 2 podiums in his last 4 Road America tries. Then it’s to Mid-Ohio to where he has 6 straight top 6 results including 3 podiums in his last 5 tries. After that we go to Toronto to where he has 2 podiums in his last 3 efforts there too.

He’s steadily improved in poitns too going from 27th to 18th to 13th to 15th to 11th and now to 7th.

Dixon has 5 top 5’s in his last 6 at Road America, 6 wins at Mid-Ohio and 3 wins at Toronto including 2 straight top 2’s there.

Team Penske and Ganassi have won six of the last seven races in Road America with Andretti taking the other. They all three combined to go 1-2-3-4 last year.

That bodes well for Power, Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin at Penske, Dixon, Palou, Ericsson and Jimmie Johnson at Ganassi and/or Rossi, Colton Herta, Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco at Andretti.

But you still have AMSP or even someone like Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing who can play spoiler. Pagenaud is quietly there in 8th with 5 top 11’s in his last 6 starts on the season. His teammate Helio Castroneves was ninth, seventh and third respectively in his last 3 Road America starts and he and Pagenaud showed great pace in both the Indy 500 and Belle Isle.

2 comments

  1. […] Alexander Rossi is on a roll. The Andretti Autosport driver drove from Row 7 to 5th in the Indianapolis 500 back on May 29 and then last week went from 11th to 2nd on the streets of Belle Isle. On Friday, he continued the upward momentum in putting his No. 27 Dallara-Honda P1 on the speed charts in the 75 minute long practice session from Road America. […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s