Road America Wrap-Up
After an eight-year absence, American open-wheel racing has finally run a race at Road America. From what I saw, it was not the most scintillating of races as Will Power pretty much dominated the race leading forty-six of the fifty laps. But there was quite a bit of jockeying for position behind Power throughout the day.
Tony Kanaan and Graham Rahal had a good battle going throughout the entire race, before finishing second and third respectively. Conor Daly had a great race going until Lap 40, when he crashed hard into the tire barrier in Turn One, bringing out the only full course yellow of the day. I thought that Power might be a sitting duck to Simon Pagenaud on the restart, but that was not the case.
In fact, in what has become a recent trend – Pagenaud faded in the waning laps. On the Lap 44 restart, Pagenaud was running second. By the end of the race at Lap 50, Pagenaud had fallen to thirteenth. It’s lucky for Pagenaud that Scott Dixon, his nearest pursuer in the points battle, fell out of the race after only six laps and finished last. Otherwise, Pagenaud could have taken a giant hit in points.
As it is, Pagenaud’s teammate has quietly moved into second place in the points battle after a solid fifth place finish. Simon Pagenaud still has a comfortable seventy-four point lead over Helio, but it doesn’t seem as formidable as it did a few weeks ago when Pagenaud seemed unbeatable and untouchable. I think now, Pagenaud has shown over the last few races that he is very vulnerable. Many have pretty well handed the trophy to Pagenaud, but I think it is pretty well up for grabs between many drivers – including Scott Dixon, who had a miserable race.
And don’t count out the charging Will Power. After a slow start that included a DNS in the season-opener; Power has won two races in a row, sits in third at 81 points behind Pagenaud and only six points behind Helio. In what was looking like a shaky year for Team Penske, now finds them with the top three cars in the championship points standings. I see the second half of the season shaping up into an interesting battle.
So congratulations to Will Power and to the Verizon IndyCar Series for a fantastic weekend. The attendance was far greater than what I anticipated and the fans were very enthusiastic to have IndyCar back at Road America. This was one of the most enjoyable race weekends I’ve ever had and I don’t think I’m alone in that assessment.
Tomorrow, I’ll have more when I post my “Random Thoughts” article. Please check back then when I’ll have more to ramble about. Susan and I are trying to get out so we can go see the actual lake at Elkhart Lake. We understand it’s beautiful, but we have yet to see it.
And thanks to everyone that followed along with us here and on Twitter. As you can tell, we had a blast.