The odds are out for Sunday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). With an early look at these, you can get some good numbers now before qualifying. For a week that’s going to be so qualifying dependent, it’s better to grab some drivers now and then double down if needed on Saturday afternoon.
Draftkings has Alex Palou (+500) listed as the favorite. For these odds that are available now, here’s who I’d look at putting some wagers on and why.
1st off, Road America is going to be won by a driver that’s going to make it to the 2nd round of qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Other than 2020, the previous four races and last year’s here were won by a top five starter including three of which from the front row. 95% of the last 41 series races on natural race courses were won by a top 10 starter including every race with the exception of the wet one in Indy since the 2018 season finale.
If you break it down, 78% of the same races were won by a driver in the Fast 6 including 16 of the last 18 coming from 7th or better.
6 of the 7 races at Road America (86%) since 2016 were won by a top 7 starter.
So, you’ll want to look at who’s good at qualifying this year and maybe who’s had some past Road America success on who to wager on.
Also, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing have won six of the last seven races here with Andretti taking the other. They all three combined to go 1-2-3-4 last year and have taken wins in 6 of the 7 races run in 2022 in general.
However, Penske is winless (0-for-2) on natural road courses this season but 3-for-3 on street courses and 1-for-2 on ovals. Ganassi is also winless on natural road courses (0-for-2) as well. That’s why the door may be open for Alex Palou and Colton Herta.
- Alex Palou (+500) – won this race last year. Was 2nd at Barber back in May and qualified 3rd and 5th in his last 2 Road America starts.
- Will Power (+550) – was on the podium last year. Has a top 4 finish in 6 of 7 races run this season, qualified on the pole on the Indy road course and has been in the top 8 for all 7 Road America starts including 6 of the 7 in the top 5. Too good to pass up now because these odds will drop if he qualifies on the pole on Saturday.
- Colton Herta (+600) – he won the Indy road course, has qualified on the front row in 3 of his 4 Road America starts and was 7th in the other.
- Josef Newgarden (+600) – Qualified 7th and 3rd on natural road courses this year and qualified in the top 2 Rows in 5 of the last 6 tries at Road America though too including 3 of the last 5 from the pole. He should have won this race last season.
- Romain Grosjean (+1500) – He qualified 8th and 10th in the 2 natural road courses and he finished fifth as a rookie here last year.
- Alexander Rossi (+1600) – Rossi has 2 Fast 6 appearances (2018, 2019) at Road America, 2 top 10 starting spots all season but 1 was at Barber. 5 of his 7 qualifying attempts have seen him start 11th or worse with each of his last 5 Road America starts being 4th, 2nd, 11th, 10th and 9th respectively. So while I don’t think a pole is coming, he’s within striking distance and you get a driver who went from Row 7 to 5th in the Indy 500 and from 11th to 2nd last week with a win here in 2019 for these odds.
- Rinus VeeKay (+2000) – This is one of his best tracks. He swept both USF2000 races here in 2017. He was 5th in both races in the Indy Pro 2000 Series a year later. In 2019 he was in Indy Lights and went from 7th on the 1st race to winning Race 2. That’s 3 wins in 6 Road to Indy starts at Road America with 5 top 5’s. He also won the pole in Barber and led the most laps there too.
- Felix Rosenqvist (+2500) – He’s qualified 6th in literally both natural road course races in 2022 and won his last start at Road America in 2020.
- Graham Rahal (+5000) – Outside of being 14th last year, he qualified 6th, 6th, 9th, 5th, 4th and 5th respectively prior. His six Road America finishes – third, eighth, sixth, fourth, seventh and 11th respectively. This could be his weekend.
- Takuma Sato (+5000) – He has five straight top 10 finishes here and driving a car that Romain Grosjean finished fifth in in 2021.
- Jack Harvey (+10000) – Harvey has qualified 19th, 2nd 9th and 3rd in his 4 Road America starts.
- Pato O’Ward (+600) – He told me last year that these tracks aren’t his strongsuit. While he won at Barber, he was also good at Barber in 2021 too. At Road America, he won the pole in 2020 but his other 3 starts have been 10th or worse. He’s been in the Fast 6 in both natural road courses this season too which leads me to believe he’ll be a better fantasy play than an outright winner for these odds.
- Scott Dixon (+1000) – great odds for a driver of Dixon’s caliber, right? He led the most laps in the Indy 500 (95 of 200) and was on the podium last week. However, Dixon has not made the Fast 6 on a road/street course all season. He’s also made the Fast 6 in Road America just once in his last 5 tries too. His best 2 qualifying efforts were on ovals. He was 7th in St. Pete, 16th in Long Beach and 9th at Belle Isle. For the natural road courses, he was 13th in Barber and 21st in the Indy GP. He qualified 13th here last year.
- Scott McLaughlin (+1200) – Hes backing his way into this weekend and makes me believe he needs a solid top 5 and not necessarily a win to get his season back on track. McLaughlin was 1st, 9th and 10th on street courses this season and 4th and 11th on natural road courses. He started 17th in Road America last year.
- Marcus Ericsson (+1600) – Marcus Ericsson (qualified 17th, 13th,16th, 18th at Road America) qualified 8th in literally all 3 street course races in 2022. In Barber and Indy though he was 12th and 18th respectively. He’s a better fantasy play this week as he was 10th in Race 1 at Road America and fourth in Race 2 in 2020. He was sixth last year at that too.
- Simon Pagenaud (+2000) – His best qualifying performances were on street courses (2 top 6’s in 3 tries and 3 top 10’s) but on natural road courses he was 24th and 20th. He has 2 Fast 6 appearances at Road America and the 4 times being eliminated in Round 1. All 4 happen to be in his last 5 tries at that.