NASHVILLE, Tenn — I expect fireworks in Sunday’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). Which is why it’s a good thing Romain Grosjean is rolling off on the front row for today’s race. The driver of the No. 28 Dallara-Honda for Andretti Autosport scored his 1st front row start with the team via a phenomenal qualifying run in Saturday’s rain and lightning delayed session. Now, can he turn it into his first career NTT INDYCAR Series win?
Grosjean has as many top 10 finishes this season as he had in the same amount of starts on a part-time basis with Dale Coyne Racing/Rick Ware Racing last year at 6. However, he has 1 less top 5 (4-3) and 2 less podiums (3-1). He’s also led just 1 lap all year after leading 53 laps a year ago.
This weekend though is his chance to possibly shine. 5 of the last 6 races on the year were won by a 2nd place starter.
“I think anyone can win this thing if you’re a lap down and you have a stop-and-go,” Grosjean admitted.
“We’re definitely in a good position. Penske has been really strong this season, whole season, but this weekend… We’ll see. But we’ve definitely picked up the pace during qualifying. We’ve had some good practice session. We obviously going to make few changes for tomorrow, including putting the AC in the car, go from there.”
Changes is to what got Grosjean his 3rd Fast 6 of the season.
“Yeah, quite a bit,” he said of changes made this weekend. “We ended up not too far from our street course package and philosophy. So that’s pretty positive.
“Really yesterday was funny because we made that change, one driver would say, I have a good front end now. We looked at the data, it’s the same.
“Yes, we brought it to a good place. I got the confidence going into the corner from the front, the front has to turn. Obviously on a street course that make a huge difference.”
He has Scott McLaughlin alongside of him and some hungry drivers behind but he isn’t going to flinch at the start.
“Let me know where you go, I’ll let you go first into turn nine, then we will work from that,” he joked to McLaughlin.
Last week an Andretti driver won at Indy. If it Grosjean’s turn on Sunday?