Road America Saturday Wrap-up

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As noted yesterday, it seems that Alexander Rossi picked up where he left off at Detroit. Even with a clutch issue in this morning’s practice, Rossi was fourth quick – following Pato O’Ward, Will Power and Alex Palou. This afternoon – Rossi put his No. 27 Honda on the pole for Sunday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America, with a time of 1:44.8656.

Josef Newgarden had been fast all weekend, but was just shy with a fast time of 1:44.9371 Newgarden will start alongside Rossi on the front row; or if you’re a NASCAR fan, you might prefer one of the dumbest terms I’ve ever heard of – the outside pole.

Two Ganassi cars will make up Row Two. Alex Palou earned the third starting spot, while Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson will roll off fourth. Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward round out the Firestone Fast Six.

Romain Grosjean had an issue getting his car into gear while trying to leave the pits after a red flag for Callum Ilott’s crash. Once he finally got going, he would have time for one good lap. He made the most of it and barely missed making the Firestone Fast Six and will start seventh. Felix Rosenqvist, Scott McLaughlin and Scott Dixon round out the Top Ten for Sunday’s grid.

Some of the surprising results include last week’s winner, Will Power, starting fifteenth. As for the Rahal cars that I’ve been watching closely lately; only Christian Lundgaard will start higher than twentieth. The rookie from Denmark will start thirteenth. Jack Harvey and Graham Rahal will start twentieth and twenty-second respectively. I’m not the only one that is curious about what is going on with them. During qualifying, I overheard a conversation in the pits involving some fairly high ranking IndyCar officials. They were wondering the exact same thing.

Getting back to this weekend’s pole-sitter, Rossi’s pole marks the eighth different pole winner in as many races so far in 2022. The last time that feat was achieved was in 1961. That is very representative of the current depth of talent and teams in the NTT IndyCar Series.

The predicted rains barely showed up today, however most of the day was spent under gray overcast skies. With no sun and a fairly substantial breeze, yesterday’s warm sunny temps gave way to almost chilly temperatures today. I was glad that I brought a windbreaker to the track as almost an afterthought. As soon as we got out of the car, I knew I would need it. It may be summertime where you are, but tonight we’ll be donning jackets and sweatshirts.

Tonight we go to another one of our favorite spots – PJ Campbell’s at the Depot in Plymouth, about five miles south of the track. It is a German-style restaurant that has some of the best prime rib I’ve ever eaten.

On a personal note, my son, who lives in Idaho, sent a text overnight from the hospital. Apparently, before the night is out – I will be a grandfather for the first time. Stay tuned.

George Phillips

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