Road America Friday Wrap-Up

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If your idea of a perfect day is sunshine, good food, cold beer and fast cars; then Friday at Road America would have been for you. I almost feel like every time we come here, it is like a broken record of superlatives regarding Road America– but how on earth could you ever tire of days like today?

I didn’t see every lap of every series on-track today, but I’m not sure if there were any incidents at all today.

After lunch, we hopped in our golf cart and made the rounds. There are so many nooks and crannies around this facility, you’re always finding different vantage points that you’ve never seen before. For a while, we went up to the top of the hill overlooking Turns 7 & 8 and just sat there watching the USF2000 race and enjoyed a cold adult beverage while still sitting comfortably on the golf cart. Shortly after that, we got some ice-cream. There are few better ways to spend a sunny Friday afternoon.

Ice Cream

When the NTT IndyCar Series took to the track, things got more serious. We kept seeing Ed Jones walking around aimlessly in the pits. We then learned that his car suffered a waste gate fire just before practice, meaning Jones never even got on-track.

Emotions at Dale Coyne Racing ran the gamut this afternoon. While the Jones car sat in the garage area; his teammate, Romain Grosjean, was the fastest in Friday’s practice. Grosjean continues to impress me, the way he shows up at tracks he barely knows and immediately excels. Last week at Belle Isle was the first time he laid an egg in the race(s), after doing so well in practice and qualifying.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was the second quick of the day, giving hope to all of the Andretti Autosport cars, after the team’s struggles this season. Unfortunately for them, it did not translate throughout the entire team. Colton Herta was strong, being sixth fastest on the day, but Alexander Rossi was only sixteenth quick, while James Hinchcliffe was twentieth fastest. The only cars that were slower than Hinch belonged to Jimmie Johnson, Cody Ware, Kevin Magnussen, Dalton Kellett and the aforementioned Ed Jones. Draw your own conclusions.

Speaking of teams that have struggled this season; Team Penske had three drivers in the Top-Ten today. Josef Newgarden was third quick, while Scott McLaughlin was eighth and Will Power was tenth. Only Simon Pagenaud ran outside of the Top-Ten. He finished the day seventeenth quick.

Alex Palou was fourth quick on the day, and Graham Rahal was a very quiet fifth quick. Don’t overlook Rahal on Sunday. He has had some solid runs lately (his lost wheel at Indianapolis, not withstanding), and he could very easily win on Sunday. He had the pace in both races at Belle Isle, and it looks like that is carrying over here at Road America.

Colton Herta, Sébastien Bourdais, Scott McLaughlin, Oliver Askew and Will Power rounded out the Top-Ten.

We’ll see how it all shapes up tomorrow. Practice Two for the NTT IndyCar Series is at 10:05 CDT and Qualifying will take place at 1:30 CDT.

That’s going to do it for us today. Friday night dining in Wisconsin means Friday Night Fish Fries. We found a place we loved for our Friday night dining the very first time we came here in 2016, that overlooks Lake Michigan. They have delicious Lake Perch, Blue Gill and Walleye. We always get a treat when the wildlife (deer, fox and raccoons) show up outside the windows. If you are ever in the area, it’s called Majerle’s Black River Grill in Sheboygan.

I’ll also put in a plug for where we went last night in Fond du Lac – Schmitty’s Oar House Bar & Grill. That was from a recommendation several years ago from long-tie reader Ron Ford. Both of these places are in our usual rotation here each year. Some will ask why not go someplace different/ It’s because we love these places and look forward to going to them each year. Besides, change is bad!

I’ll close with some of the photos that Susan took this afternoon. We will be back here tomorrow. Please check back then.

George Phillips

hinch

pagenaud

pato

marcus

harvey

hunter reay

newgarden press

hunter Reay Press

grosjean

2 Responses to “Road America Friday Wrap-Up”

  1. Good to see you and Susan tonight at Black River. Have a great weekend

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