Ryan Norman Set for Indycar Debut at Mid Ohio

Photo form Dale Coyne Racing Twitter Account

The release from Dale Coyne Racing:

Plainfield, IL (June 24, 2021) – Indy Lights Series graduate and Cleveland, Ohio native, Ryan Norman will be making his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut next weekend at the Honda Indy 200 aboard the No. 52 Koinu Inu / EVO entry of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Norman, who will be representing partners Koinu Inu, EVO and Three Chord Bourbon on his No. 52 Honda, had the opportunity earlier this week to test with the team at his home track alongside Romain Grosjean ahead of his first official appearance as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver next week.

“My goal throughout my whole racing career has been to become an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver,” said Norman. “So many years of hard work and sacrifices have finally paid off and I want to thank Dale Coyne for giving me a shot to show what I can do in the series. It’s an honor to be able to drive for DCR. They have shown over the years that they have created a great competitive program and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together. I’m more prepared than ever before to show that I belong in IndyCar and can fight for podiums and wins. It’s time to get to work!”

The 23-year-old driver started his racing career on two wheels in his native Cleveland, Ohio and was a successful motocross racer. He transitioned to cars in 2015 and found immediate success, winning in multiple classes and winning the SCCA Formula Atlantic Championship.

Norman then moved to the competitive Indy Lights Series in 2017 where he drove for Andretti Autosport and scored podiums and victories over three seasons finishing fourth in the Championship.

Recently, he joined Bryan Herta Autosport in 2020 to compete full-time in the #33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR and won the drivers’ championship alongside co-driver Gabby Chaves. For 2021, Norman joined Parker Chase in the #98 Elantra N TCR.

The former Indy Lights driver will get a first chance to measure himself to the rest of the field on Friday, July 2 from 2:30pm ET during the first practice session. The Honda Indy 200 goes green on Sunday, July 4 at 12:05pm ET and will be broadcast live on NBC.

About Koinu Inu
What is Koinu Inu?
Koinu Inu ($KOINU) is a team-built, community driven ERC-20 token project that combines three of the most popular & rapidly growing industries in the world – DeFi (Cryptocurrency), Video Games + Gambling. The team’s goal is simple and attractive – to become the world’s most popular and profitable eSports Casino & Token Marketplace.

What can it do?
The $KOINU platform will allow holders to wager tokens against others in popular eSports titles like Call of Duty, Overwatch, League of Legends, Valorant, Rocket League & many more. Token holders will also be able to wager tokens on Professional eSports matches to win a portion of a shared prize pool.

About EVO
EVO is a revolutionary athlete-development company which plans to eliminate the financial burdens of tomorrow’s champions and change the way fans experience sports through the power of investment. EVO aims to take skilled professional athletes in individual sports and provide them with world-class development and support, in exchange for a share of future earnings. A portion of those earnings will be shared with EVO investors, and this model will allow athletes to focus on winning, without the burdens of financial constraints.

About Three Chord Bourbon
WHO WE ARE
Founded by music legend, Neil Giraldo, Three Chord celebrates creativity, community, and tradition by bringing together the award-winning musician and producer’s love of whiskey and music with his passion for conversations with family and friends.

Inspired by the simplicity yet infinite expressions of the three chord progression — the foundation of the blues — Neil collaborated with master blender and distiller, Ari Sussman, to bring together notes from a variety of whiskies to create products with distinctive flavor profiles that balances simplicity and complexity in perfect harmony.

WHAT WE DO
Three Chord sources high quality and rare whiskies from the top distilleries in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Indiana for use in blends, single-source bottlings, and special releases. By using carefully selected barrels and combining unique flavor profiles, Three Chord creates an expression that is greater than the sum of its parts. Three Chord whiskies are aged in heavy toast 4 char #1 barrels, French and American oak “hybrid” char #3 barrels, barrels imported from Cognac (not charred), and barrels from Spain, (not charred). After blending, they are returned to the barrels a second time, then bottled in Chelsea, Michigan.

For a full list of states of distribution and availability please visit http://www.ThreeChordBourbon.com

No Toronto Replacement; Schedule Stays at 16 Races

The signs were there, and today it is official. The Toronto Honda Indy, originally scheduled for July 11, but cancelled in May due to COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario, will not be replaced on the 2021 schedule.

Mid Ohio and World Wide Technology raceway were two tracks considered to host a second race to make up for the loss of the Toronto race. Each venue had some advantages, but a combination of factors probably led to the decision to stick with the original schedule.

The series decided that a double header would not offer the promoter a good return on their investment. Finding a suitable television slot may also have played a role in the decision.

I think it was a good decision. While I would have liked to see another oval added to the schedule, adding a race that late in the season is a big ask for teams, especially those fighting for the championship. Drivers more than 50 points behind leader Alex Palou have an even tougher task trying to catch him now.

The remaining schedule:

Racing Takes a Back Seat

As I mentioned yesterday when I posted qualifying results, I am back in Indy. Friday I night I could not reach Marti, my significant other. I didn’t think much of it because sometimes she retires early. An attempt to call yesterday morning also went unanswered and I became concerned. I received a text from her just as I got to the track. She said she was in the hospital. I turned in my golf cart, went to back to my Airbnb and packed, and headed for home.

It turns out Marti fainted Friday afternoon. She was able to reach her phone and call 911. We are awaiting the results of one test. The other lab work does not indicate anything serious, just perhaps a severe electrolyte imbalance. She is resting comfortably. Tanks to everyone who reached out with good thoughts yesterday afternoon.

I will watch the REV Group Grand Prix from home today and post my thoughts either later this evening or tomorrow. It looks like a really good chance of rain late n the race. Who goes to rain tires first? In 2018 at Barber in the rain postponed race, Josef Newgarden went to rain tires before the track got slippery. The move paid off as he retook the lead when everyone else had to pit for the treaded rubber.

How will the same front row as Detroit’s Race 2 last Sunday play out today? In consecutive races weekends we have had two multiple pole winners and our first multiple race winner. I see our eighth race winner of 2021 happening today.

If you are at Road America, have fun and be prepared for the weather. For those of you driving back to Indy, Chicago traffic was a nightmare yesterday. Be careful coming back. I will keep you updated on things here at home. Thanks for reading.

Road America Day 2-Qualifying, Weather or Not

Today’s Schedule All time are Central Daylight Time

Qualifying will be shown on NBCSN at midnight. Personally, not my idea of how to build a lead in for the race, but Peacock we must.

The weather looks a bit wet.There is a high probability of a thunderstorm in about an hour (8am local) . Another chance of rain is between 11 am and 1 pm Practice could be wet and qualifying might be damp.Right now it is mostly sunny. High temperature will be around 74.

I hope to have brief post session reports all day and a wrap up later tonight.

Grosjean Tops Practice 1

Photo of Romain Grosjean by Walt Kuhn Indycar

Romain Grosjean led this afternoon’s Indycar practice at Road America with a lap of 1:47.681, beating Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden. The 45 minute session featured the Indycar debuts of Kevin Magnussen and Cody Ware. Ware ended the practice 22nd and Magnussen was 23rd. Oliver Askew, subbing for Rinus VeeKay, had the ninth fastest time.

Ryan Hunter-Reay led most of the session until Grosjean put down his quick lap on his next to last circuit. Points leader Pato O’Ward had the 11th quickest time today.

As we have seen all season, the top ten was split evenly between Honda and Chevrolet.

A second practice at 10:10 Central tomorrow morning will set the qualifying groups for Firestone Fast Six qualifying at 1:30 Central. A post qualifying session follows at 4:30 Central.

Ryan Hunter_Reay led most of the session
Points leader Pato O’Ward was 11th fastest

New Look

After a long construction delayed journey, I arrived at Road America around 2:30 Central time. I had a pleasant surprise at Gate 3. The gravel road is now paved, and there is a large, nice looking sign identifying the gate. I later noticed Gate 4 had similar improvements. In the past, the gate sign was inconspicuous and easy to pass by if you didn’t know what you were looking for. Signage all around the track is upgraded. The look is much improved.

The track also received a makeover. Turns 5, 6, and 14 have a new coat of asphalt.

Overall, Road America looks a bit nicer this year. The changes haven’t altered the character of the place at all, but they have enhanced it.

Road America Preview- Halfway Through a Weird, Wonderful Season

Above: Felix Rosenqvist passes Pato O’Ward in the closing laps to win Race 2 at Road America in 2020

Today- Indycar practice at 5 pm Eastern on Peacock

What a memorable season 2021 has been so far. We have seen four first time winners, seven winners in eight races ,a powerhouse team still looking for its first victory, and a new four time winner of the Indianapolis 500.

Road America is arguably the crown jewel of road courses in America, a race track set inside a national park. It is by far my favorite road course, not only because of the layout and the setting, but also because of the lively, spacious infield. Even last year, Road America seemed to be the track running closest to normal..

This weekend’s race could be the turning point of the year. Pato O’Ward, the only driver with more than one win in 2021, could expand his slim one point lead to a more comfortable margin. If he should get his third win of the season, O’Ward will be in good shape. Series champions usually have at least three wins in a season.

Magnussen Subs for Rosenqvist, Askew for VeeKay

Felix Rosenqvist will miss his second consecutive race. He is still not cleared to drive after his frightening accident Saturday in Detroit. Kevin Magnussen, a former F1 driver currently driving for Chip Ganassi in IMSA will fill in this weekend. Oddly, Magnussen’s father Jan had his second Indycar start at Road America subbing for an injured driver.

Kevin Magnussen

Oliver Askew had just ten minutes in the car last Sunday subbing for Rosenqvist, but with two practices before qualifying, he should be better acclimated to the car.

More Progress for Jimmie Johnson?

Jimmie Johnson seems to finally be getting comfortable in Indycar. Race 2 in Detroit was his best of the season, despite a late spin. Johnson passed cars and was on pace with the field. I see a better finish for him and perhaps a slightly improved qualifying spot.

Penske, Andretti Come back?

Team Penske was on the brink of their first win last weekend. Twice. Still Josef Newgarden grabbed the team’s first pole of the year, and the team seemed stronger overall.

Despite not having a win, Team Penske has seven podiums. Newgarden is fourth in the standings, 51 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

Andretti Autosport is in a funk. The team has qualified well, and they do have a victory and a pole, both by Colton Herta. Yet their races seem to get away from them. Herta, in ninth place and 97 points behind the leader, is the team’s top driver right now.

Both teams need a strong weekend showing.

Cody Ware Debut

In addition to Kevin Magnussen’s Indycar debut,

#52: Cody Ware, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda, portrait

Cody Ware will premiere with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR. Ware has spent most of his career in stock cars. He has tested Indycars this year. He will be interesting to watch.

The Points Battle

Pato O’Ward leads Alex Palou by one point and Scott Dixon by 36. Dixon has come from farther back than 36 points to win a championship, and this is the time of the year when he begins to hit his stride.

Will Dixon begin to chip away at the lead this weekend. or will O’Ward and Palou continue to top the charts? O’Ward started race two on the pole here last year and came within a couple laps of his first win.

I don’t think any of the top three drivers wins this weekend. The standings will depend on which driver finishes ahead of the other two. In a season where wins are hard to get, every spot in the race matters.

I think Alexander Rossi finally breaks through for his fist win since won at Road America in 2019.

REV Group Grand Prix Presented by AMR-Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 18 – Sunday, June 20
Track: Road America, a 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course (clockwise), in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Race distance: 55 laps / 220.77 miles
Media links: Entry List | Driver Video Quotes | Pre-Event Video Conference Transcript (Dixon and Pagenaud)
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate for use during the race weekend. One additional set of primary tires may be used by teams fielding a rookie driver. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of new (sticker) alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.
Twitter: @RoadAmerica @IndyCar, #REVGROUPGP, #IndyCar Event website: www.roadamerica.com INDYCAR website: www.indycar.com
2020 race winners: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) and Felix Rosenqvist (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)
2020 pole winners Josef Newgarden (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 45.5191 seconds, 136.964 mph and Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet), 1:44.8971, 137.758 mph
Qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000
NBC Sports telecasts: Qualifying: Midnight ET Saturday, NBCSN (taped); Race: Noon ET Sunday, NBCSN (live). Kevin Lee will serve as the lead announcer for NBCSN’s REV Group Grand Prix telecast alongside analyst Townsend Bell. Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analysts Davey Hamilton and Nick Yeoman. Jake Query and Michael Young are the turn announcers with Ryan Myrehn and Joel Sebastianelli in the pit lane. The REV Group Grand Prix will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
At-track schedule (all times Eastern Time):
Friday, June 18 5 – 5:45 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 1, Peacock Premium
Saturday, June 19 11:10 – 11:55 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2, Peacock Premium 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium/NBCSN (Taped, midnight, June 20) 5:30 – 6 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Final Practice, Peacock Premium Sunday, June 20 12:05 p.m. –  Driver introductions 12:38 p.m. – Command to start engines 12:45 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix (55 laps/220.77miles), NBCSN (live)
Race notes: · There have been seven different winners in eight NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this season. Alex Palou (Barber Motorsports Park), Colton Herta (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Texas Motor Speedway-1), Pato O’Ward (Texas Motor Speedway-2, Raceway at Belle Isle Park-2), Rinus VeeKay (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-1), Helio Castroneves (Indianapolis 500) and Marcus Ericsson (Raceway at Belle Isle Park-1) have all won in 2021. The modern era record (1946-2021) for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014. · There have been nine different winners in the last 10 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races (Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Scott Dixon, Pato O’Ward, Rinus VeeKay, Helio Castroneves and Marcus Ericsson) The only repeat winner in that stretch is O’Ward (Texas-2, 2021 and Belle Isle-2, 2021). ·
The REV Group Grand Prix will be the 32nd INDYCAR event conducted at Road America since it hosted its first INDYCAR event in 1982. · Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Alexander Rossi are the only entered drivers who have won an INDYCAR race at Road America. Rossi won in 2019, Newgarden won in 2018, Dixon won in 2017 and the first race of 2020’s doubleheader. Power won in the INDYCAR SERIES return in 2016 – the first race at the track since 2007 when Bourdais won at Road America. Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi have the most wins by an INDYCAR driver at the track (three). ·
Twenty drivers entered this weekend have previously raced in INDYCAR SERIES events at Road America. Nine of those drivers have led laps at the track (Sebastien Bourdais 92, Josef Newgarden 91, Will Power 60, Alexander Rossi 54, Pato O’Ward 43, Scott Dixon 42, Graham Rahal 5, Marcus Ericsson 2 and Simon Pagenaud 2).
Eight drivers have won the Road America race from the pole: Mario Andretti (1983, 1984 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1989), Paul Tracy (1993), Jacques Villeneuve (1995), Bruno Junqueira (2003), Sebastien Bourdais (2007), Will Power (2016) and Josef Newgarden (2018). ·
Drivers who have won at Road America have gone on to win the INDYCAR championship six times in the same season: Mario Andretti (1984), Michael Andretti (1991), Jacques Villeneuve (1995), Alex Zanardi (1997), Cristiano da Matta (2002) and Sebastien Bourdais (2007) and Scott Dixon (2020). ·
Team Penske has won five times at Road America (1989, 1992, 1993, 2016 and 2018) and is one of three current teams with wins at the track. Chip Ganassi Racing has also won five times at Road America (1997, 2001, 2017, 2020-Race 1 and 2020-Race 2), while Andretti Autosport won its first race in 2019. Newman/Haas Racing won a record 10 times at Road America. ·
Rookies Romain Grosjean, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Magnussen, Scott McLaughlin and Cody Ware will race an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car at Road America for the first time this weekend. Magnussen and Ware will make their series debuts.

Magnussen in for Rosenqvist at Road America

Former Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen (above) will drive the number 7 Arrow McLaren SP car for the injured Felix Rosenqvist this weekend at Road America. Rosenqvist suffered injuries in a crash during the first race last Saturday in Detroit. Road America will be the second race Rosenqvist will miss.

Magnussen drove for McLaren and Haas in F1. He currently drives for Chip Ganassi Racing in IMSA as one of the drivers of the DPi Cadillac team. Magnussen’s team won the IMSA race at Detroit last Saturday.

The team’s announcement on Twitter:

Following an evaluation by the INDYCAR Medical Team, Felix Rosenqvist has not been cleared to race at this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.

Felix Rosenqvist

Felix will continue to be supported by the team as he progresses in his recovery… https://t.co/nVFcXB7PFF

Felix will be replaced for the REV Group Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen, who will be making his INDYCAR debut. Magnussen made 19 starts for the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2014, including a career-best finish of second at the Australian Grand Prix that year. https://t.co/deZpO5a6E7

Felix will be replaced for the REV Group Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen, who will be making his INDYCAR debut. Magnussen made 19 starts for the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2014, including a career-best finish of second at the Australian Grand Prix that year. https://t.co/deZpO5a6E7