Road America Saturday Wrap Up

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If you are reading this before watching the delayed IndyCar Qualifying show on NBCSN, I will let you know when the spoiler alert is coming.

After Practice Three, we went to one of my favorite concession stands, not so much for the food but for the view. Bear in mind, the food is good but the view is spectacular as it overlooks Turns Six and Seven where some great racing takes place. I consider this a race fan’s paradise. You can sit out in perfect weather while eating a brat and cheese curds, drinking a cold beer and watching race cars go by. Can life get any better?

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Susan was kind enough to snap a shot of me just as I was stuffing a brat in my face. What you are looking at is the face of a very simple, but happy man.

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After lunch, we went around and checked out various vantage points around the track. As mentioned earlier, I gave Susan a camera for her birthday a couple of weeks ago for her birthday. She has taken well over a thousand photos this weekend – and that is not exaggerating. She plans to put a post up sometime tomorrow, probably tomorrow morning before the race. I think there will be photos representing most vantage points around the track.

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***SPOILER ALERT***

OK…This is your last chance to stop reading if you don’t want to know the results from qualifying.

I mentioned yesterday that although the Team Penske cars were fast, you didn’t get the feeling that they were going to dominate like last year, when they swept the first four qualifying spots. That turned out to be partially true. Josef Newgarden won the pole with a time of 1:43.203, and his Penske teammate Will Power will start alongside on the front row. But the third Penske driver, Simon Pagenaud, didn’t even make the Firestone Fast Six. Congratulations to Newgarden, who needed a good result. Thanks to Susan for providing these two photos from her collection.

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The second row will be filled by two Andretti Autosport drivers, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi. The final two spots from the Fast Six will be filled by Robert Wickens and Sébastien Bourdais. That’s two Chevys and four Hondas, for those of you keeping score. The remainder of the Top-Ten will be occupied by Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Spencer Pigot.

Notable for not qualifying higher besides Dixon, was Simon Pagenaud who will roll off fourteenth, Marco Andretti was no better than fifteenth and James Hinchcliffe, who qualified sixteenth. Tony Kanaan will start eighteenth.

Three Chevys bookended the Top-Ten; the two Penskes up front and Spencer Pigot in tenth. Otherwise, it’s all Hondas in between. I still like Alexander Rossi to win tomorrow. He has been quite but consistent all weekend and qualified fourth. But don’t be surprised if Josef Newgarden takes the win. He seems focused and was very hungry for the pole today.

That is going to do it for today. Don’t forget that tomorrow’s race is earlier than usual. Coverage on NBCSN starts at 11:30 CDT, with the green flag flying shortly after noon. We will make an effort to be here early tomorrow as well. I’ll have a post up here first thing in the morning and then (hopefully) Susan will have her post and photos a little later on before the race.

For now, we are going to another of our favorite places to eat – PJ Campbell’s at the Depot in nearby Plymouth, just a few miles south of the track. And yes, they serve Spotted Cow. Check back early in the morning.

George Phillips

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One Response to “Road America Saturday Wrap Up”

  1. madtad1 Says:

    Qualifying coverage was not bad, tho NBC did tend to focus on only a few drivers. Biggest issue I had was during the fast six they only showed the Tracker thing showing who was 1-6 for the last 30 seconds of the Fst 6! What the Hell! No way of knowing who was in what place.

    Other than that they did a decent job.

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