Bob Jenkins Memorial Streamed at 10 AM Today

From the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Robert F. Jenkins
September 4, 1947 – August 9, 2021
A memorial service will be held virtually at 10:00am EST, Monday, August 16th. The service will be streamed globally at https://bobjenkinsmemorial.com
Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Bob was a true friend of the IMS Museum and he will be missed.
Click here to donate now or via mail to:
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’
4750 West 16th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46222
In his own humble words: “A race fan that got lucky” ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌  ‌

Warm up Results

RANKCAR NO.DRIVERTEAMENGINEQUICK LAPDIFFERENCETOTAL LAPS
18Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:11.3705——22
227Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportHonda1:11.38950.019018
32Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevy1:11.46390.093422
460Jack HarveyMeyer Shank RacingHonda1:11.49510.124616
559Max ChiltonCarlinChevy1:11.57600.205518
630Takuma SatoRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda1:11.66970.299220
715Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda1:11.67430.303822
820Conor DalyEd Carpenter RacingChevy1:11.68180.311320
99Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:11.70510.334618
1051Romain GrosjeanDale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware RacingHonda1:11.75730.386821
1128Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportHonda1:11.90890.538411
1210Alex PalouChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:11.98220.611715
133Scott McLaughlinTeam PenskeChevy1:12.09390.723421
144Dalton KellettAJ Foyt EnterprisesChevy1:12.09520.724720
156Helio CastronevesMeyer Shank RacingHonda1:12.12390.753419
1626Colton HertaAndretti AutosportHonda1:12.12620.755716
1721Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevy1:12.13410.763619
1845Christian LundgaardRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda1:12.18400.813523
1918Ed JonesDale Coyne Racing with Vasser SullivanHonda1:12.20530.834818
2022Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeChevy1:12.24070.870218
2114Sebastien BourdaisAJ Foyt EnterprisesChevy1:12.27190.901422
227Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SPChevy1:12.29810.927622
235Pato O’WardArrow McLaren SPChevy1:12.40921.038723
2412Will PowerTeam PenskeChevy1:12.41831.047820
2548Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi RacingHonda1:12.54161.171120
2629James HinchcliffeAndretti Steinbrenner AutosportHonda1:12.85641.485918
2775RC EnersonTop Gun RacingChevy1:12.96891.598415
2852Cody WareDale Coyne Racing w/Rick 

A Nashville Dining Guide

It’s Race Week in Nashville as Indycar returns to action after a month long break. The inaugural Music City Grand Prix begins Friday. I had not spent any time in Nashville until this week, and in my time away from the hospital I have been able to explore the city and sample some places to eat and drink. Most of the places in this piece are out of the downtown area. If you are staying downtown, you will need to drive to these spots. Fortunately Nashville is a very compact area and nothing is really far away.

I began a conversation with a man at a bar this evening who added to my experiences. He has an office in a high rise building downtown and has a great view of the track from there. He was well aware of the race and is excited to see it. The guy has even heard of Josef Newgarden.

Closer to downtown on West End around 20th Avenue, three places I enjoyed are Las Palmas for Mexican food, Amerigo, for Italian, and Jasper’s. Las Palmas is very economical , America is a bit on the high end but not outrageous, and Jasper’s is somewhere in the middle. My new friend made several barbecue recommendations as well. Martin’s BBQ on Elliston Point, Peg Leg Porker on Leads St., Central Barbecue on 21st Avenue South.

I discovered a nice little area with many shops, restaurants, and bars just a block or so from Vanderbilt University Hospital. It’s a three block area called Hillsboro Village. My favorite place in the village is Pizza Perfect. The name is not a lie. The pizza is outstanding.

I had a drink at Double Dogs, a sports bar with large television screens on every wall.

I am planning to have breakfast at Pancake Pantry tomorrow. I hear you need to get there early. The sign boasts 23 different pancakes. I probably won’t try them all.

Yesterday I had lunch at Athens, a Greek restaurant on Belmont, directly across from Belmont University. It is worth the drive, which really isn’t that long.

Marti Update: The doctors at Vanderbilt believe she has an autoimmune issue and are treating it. She is in the middle of the course of treatment. Her blood pressure is improving and is more consistent. She has a PET scan this morning to see if there are any other issues. Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and cards. We think we are on the right track.

I will be heading back to Indy for a few days and return to Nashville Thursday. Look for race coverage all week.

Grosjean Oval Test; Special Liveries for Nashville

Update- We are in Nashville. Marti is still undergoing tests and seeing many doctors. The two most difficult tests are coming today and tomorrow. Thanks again for your continued thoughts and prayers. I had a nice afternoon yesterday visiting with George Phi.lips. Thanks, George, for the much needed break. If time permits I will go take a look at the track today.

Arrow McLaren SP and the 48 car of Jimmie Johnson revealed special liveries for the Music City Grand Prix next weekend. The designs all had some fan involvement.

AMSP:

Felux Rosenqvist
Pato O’Ward

Johnson:

The Arrow cars look similar to their testing camo liveries. I like the looks of the 48. I think it’s a nice shade of blue. I’m not a huge fan of the dark Carvana car.

Grosjean Looking to Future?

Romain Grosjean complete his rookie oval test at World Wide Technology Raceway a couple days ago. He was eighth fastest in an 11 car test. He has been saying since he joined the series that he wanted to race at this track.

Is Grosjean also looking at next year’s Indianapolis 500?. If the rumors of him moving to another team are true, he would definitely need to run the full schedule.

Jimmie Johnson said this week he wants to do an oval test with an eye toward running the106th 500.

I knew it was just a matter of time before these two rookies would want to try ovals. It’s what racers do.

Off to Nashville!

This is a Marti Update:

Last night Vanderbilt opened up a space and Marti will go by ambulance to Nashville this morning. She should arrive by noon. I will follow in my car. After 38 days in the hospital in Indy, there is now a chance of recovery. We are hopeful that her issue can be resolved and we can return to a more normal life.

I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. We really need them this coming week. I’m not sure how long she will be at Vanderbilt, but I plan to post some racing stories and post updates on Marti’s progress in what will likely be copious amounts of free time. Nashville should be an inspiring place to write as it is home to a world famous blogger .

Race Day at Mid Ohio

i should be on the road to Mid Ohio as you read this. It is going to be a very warm day, which might affect tire wear.

The teams made their starting tire selections after final practice yesterday afternoon.

Car Driver Name C/E/T Tire
1 2 Newgarden, Josef D/C/F Alternate
2 26 Herta, Colton D/H/F Alternate
3 8 Ericsson, Marcus D/H/F Alternate
4 12 Power, Will D/C/F Primary
5 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Alternate
6 27 Rossi, Alexander D/H/F Primary
7 10 Palou, Alex D/H/F Alternate
8 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Alternate
9 29 Hinchcliffe, James D/H/F Primary
10 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/F Primary
11 21 VeeKay, Rinus D/C/F Alternate
12 14 Bourdais, Sebastien D/C/F Primary
13 7 Rosenqvist, Felix D/C/F Primary
14 3 McLaughlin, Scott (R) D/C/F Primary
15 22 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/F Primary
16 18 Jones, Ed D/H/F Primary
17 59 Chilton, Max D/C/F Primary
18 51 Grosjean, Romain (R) D/H/F Alternate
19 30 Sato, Takuma D/H/F Primary
20 5 O’Ward, Pato D/C/F Primary
21 4 Kellett, Dalton D/C/F Alternate
22 45 Ferrucci, Santino D/H/F Primary
23 60 Harvey, Jack D/H/F Primary
24 20 Daly, Conor D/C/F Primary
25 48 Johnson, Jimmie (R) D/H/F Primary
26 52 Norman, Ryan (R) D/H/F Primary

Interesting choices by Rossi and Power. There will be a race wrapup tomorrow. Enjoy the race. Green flag is at 12:05 EDT on NBC.

Mid Ohio Preview- Fighting for the Title and Next Year’s Seats

Photo from Mid Ohio Sports Car Course

Update on Marti- She is still in hospital and working hard to improve. She began a new treatment yesterday which should yield some results by the weekend. Thanks for all the kind words and thoughts.

Today’s Schedule:

Indycar Practice- 2:30-3:15 pm EDT. On Peacock and Sirius XM 205

The Honda Indy 200 (actually 180) has three levels of importance in 2021. As the unofficial start to the second half of the season, the race could determine the shape of the battle for the Astor Cup. Some drivers unsure of their futures are auditioning for 2022, and everyone wants to enter the month long break w]on a positive note.

Alex Palou has a mildly comfortable 28 point lead over Pato O’Ward with Scott Dixon 53 points behind. Some think Josef Newgarden has a chance, but 88 points is a lot to overcome in just seven races. Track position is key at Mid Ohio, with the pole sitter winning four of the last six races here, including both races of last year’s double header. Where the contenders start might determine where they finish in relation to one another.

2022 Tryouts

Felix Rosenqvist returns to his full time seat after missing the last two races after suffering injuries in Detroit Race 1. Rosenqvist is 24th in the point standings with a best finish of 12th at St. Pete. He is thought to be the driver most likely to be looking for a ride next year. Rosenqvist needs seven good performances.

James Hinchcliffe and Ed Jones also need to have solid second halves to retain their seats at Andretti Atosport and Dale Coyne Racing.

Ryan Norman makes his Indycar debut in the 52 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR this weekend. Norman is seeking a full time ride this year.

Three Indy Lights drivers have plans to move up in 2022. Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas, and Linus Lundquist, the htree title contenders, all are good enough to go to Indycar. The Lights champion will have at least three races next year. the other two need a budget. At least one of this trio will probably get a chance at an Indycar race in August or September.

The Wild Card

Santino Ferrucci returns to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at Mid Ohio. Ferrrucci has three top ten finishes in his three races this season. Last year for Race 2 here, he earned a front row starting spot with an amazing lap in the rain. He never got to show what he could do in the race after a first lap scuffle with pole sitter Bryan Herta. I look for Ferrucci to be a factor this weekend.

The race at Mid Ohio is usually a processional affair with pit activity determining the outcome. in 2021 we have seen several tracks known for this type of racing spring to life with good racing. There have been some good races here. The last lap of the 2019 event when Felix Rosenqvist chased down and nearly caught Scott Dixon was one of the best laps of racing I’ve seen.

Will the 80 lap distance change strategy? It should allow for more options. I’m not a fan of shortening races, but this might save us from having a fuel saving affair. Full course cautions will also be a factor in strategy. Yellows seem to be occurring at strange times this year.

Scott Dixon did win after starting last in 2014, but qualifying position usually goes a long way toward deciding the winner.

I think we will see a Penske car win at last this weekend. I’m not sure which driver, but Josef Newgarden has been on a qualifying tear lately, but he has lost leads late in the last two races.. Will Power has five poles at Mid Ohio, including Race 1 last year when he went on to win.

Green flag is at 12:05 pm EDT on NBC.

Mid Ohio Fast Facts

Via Indycar:

Race weekend: Friday, July 2 – Sunday, July 4

Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a 13-turn, a 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio

Race distance: 80 laps / 180.64 miles

Media links: Entry List | Driver Video Quotes | Trackside Book

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate to be used during the event 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: @Mid_Ohio, @IndyCar, #Honda200, #INDYCAR

Event website: www.midohio.com/

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2020 race winners: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) and Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda)

2020 NTT P1 Award winners: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1:06.3343, 122.543 mph and Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda) 1:26.2788, 94.215 mph

Qualifying record: Simon Pagenaud, 1:03.8700, 127.271 mph, July 30, 2016

NBC Sports telecasts: Qualifying: 8 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (same-day delayed); Race: Noon ET Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for NBC Sports telecasts this weekend 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 analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers with Joel Sebastianelli and Alex Wollf in the pit lane. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the HPD Ridgeline 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 local):

Friday, July 2

2:30-3:15 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 1, Peacock Premium (live)

Saturday, July 3

9-9:50 a.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2, Peacock Premium (live)

Noon-1:15 p.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium (live); TV: NBCSN (8 p.m. ET, Same-day delay)

3:30-4 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium (live)

Sunday, July 4

11:58 a.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”

Noon: NBC on air

12:05 p.m.: The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the HPD Ridgeline (80 laps/180.64 miles), NBC (Live)

Race notes:

  • There have been seven different winners in nine NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this season. Alex Palou (Barber Motorsports Park, Road America), 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 record (1946-present) for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014.
  • There have been eight different winners in the last 10 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races (Josef NewgardenAlex PalouColton HertaScott DixonPato O’WardRinus VeeKay, Helio Castroneves and Marcus Ericsson) The only repeat winners in that stretch are O’Ward (Texas-2, 2021 and Belle Isle-2, 2021) and Palou (Barber 2021 and Road America 2021)
  • The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by HPD Ridgeline will be the 38th INDYCAR SERIES race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Will Power and Colton Herta split the doubleheader races in 2020. Johnny Rutherford won the first INDYCAR SERIES race at Mid-Ohio in 1980.
  • Scott Dixon is the winningest INDYCAR SERIES driver at Mid-Ohio with six victories (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2019). Emerson Fittipaldi won at Mid-Ohio three times, while Michael AndrettiHelio CastronevesTeo FabiBobby RahalAl Unser and Alex Zanardi all won at Mid-Ohio twice. Past winners Dixon, Graham Rahal (2015), Simon Pagenaud (2016), Josef Newgarden (2017), Alexander Rossi (2018) Will Power (2020-Race 1) and Colton Herta (2020-Race 2) are entered this year.
  • Will Power has won five poles at Mid-Ohio, the most of any driver. Power won the pole in 2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and 2020-Race 1. Mid-Ohio pole winners entered in this year’s race are Power, Scott Dixon (2011, 2015), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2013), Simon Pagenaud (2016), Alexander Rossi (2018) and Colton Herta (2020-Race 2).
  • Fourteen drivers have won the race from the pole – Mario Andretti (1984), Bobby Rahal (1985), Roberto Guerrero (1987), Teo Fabi (1989), Michael Andretti (1990, 1991), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Patrick Carpentier (2002), Paul Tracy (2003), Scott Dixon (2011), Simon Pagenaud (2016), Alexander Rossi (2018), Will Power (2020-Race 1) and Colton Herta (2020-Race 2)
  • Twenty-two drivers entered in the event have competed in past INDYCAR SERIES races at Mid-Ohio. Scott Dixon (17) has made the most starts at Mid-Ohio among the entered drivers. Ryan Norman, one of four rookies who will make their first start at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut. Thirteen drivers have led laps at the track (Dixon 261, Will Power 205, Josef Newgarden 89, Alexander Rossi 71, Colton Herta 61, Sebastien Bourdais 38, Simon Pagenaud 37, Ryan Hunter-Reay 33, James Hinchcliffe 30, Graham Rahal 27, Takuma Sato 16, Felix Rosenqvist 15 and Marcus Ericsson 1).
  • Chip Ganassi Racing has won 11 times at Mid-Ohio, including eight of the 15 races sanctioned by INDYCAR at the track. Ganassi’s winning drivers are Alex Zanardi (1996, 1997), Juan Pablo Montoya (1999), Scott Dixon (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019), Dario Franchitti (2010) and Charlie Kimball (2013).
  • Team Penske has 10 wins at the track with Emerson Fittipaldi (1992, 1993), Al Unser Jr. (1994, 1995), Helio Castroneves (2000, 2001), Ryan Briscoe (2008), Simon Pagenaud (2016), Josef Newgarden (2017) and Will Power (2020-Race 1)
  • Scott Dixon has finished in the top five in 11 of his 17 starts at Mid-Ohio, including six wins between 2007 and 2020 … Will Power has finished in the top five in nine of his 13 starts at Mid-Ohio … Simon Pagenaud has finished on the podium four times in his previous 11 starts.

Indycar’s Second Half- More of the Same Would be Fine

Update- Marti is improving as the medical team works out a treatment plan. Thank you all again for your kind wishes and concerns. We will get through this.

Photo: Alex Palou leads Colton Herta at Road America. Joe Skibinski, Indycar

Indycar had itself one heck of a first half- seven different winners, including four first time winners; only two winners over the age of 30; dramatic finishes, and really good racing. Only two drivers have won more than once, and four of the top seven in points are under the age of 25.

Alex Palou holds the trophy for the REV Group Grand Prix. Photo by Joe Skibinski, Indycar

Road America traditionally marks the end of the first half of the season, but with the cancellation of Toronto, which will not be made up, last Sunday was the first race of the season’s second half. The loss of the race, which is not a shock, narrows the field for the championship to three drivers-Alex Palou, Pato O’Ward, and Scott Dixon.

I think the title fight comes down to a battle between Palou, the current points leader, and O’Ward. Only O’Ward and Palou have won more than one race. Palou has led seven of the nine races. Palou has been on the podium five times, O’Ward finished in the top three four times. The 28 point lead Palou enjoys is essentially the difference in points between the two drivers at the Indianapolis 500.

I think Palou will prevail this season. Here’s why.

O’Ward Oddities

Both of Pato’s wins came in the second race of the two double headers. He finished third in the first race of each double header, and he was on pole for the first race in Detroit. In both of his victories, O’Ward overtook Josef Newgarden late in the race.

There are no more double headers this season It seems the Arrow McLaren SP team needs a bit of a longer window to figure things out. I’m not sure O’Ward wins another race in 2021, and he may have trouble holding on to second place in the standings.

The Iceman Lurketh

Six time champion Scott Dixon sits on the verge of history on two fronts. His next win, which is very likely this season, will tie him with Mario Andretti for second place on the career win list with 52. Winning the title will tie him with A. J. Foyt with seven championships.

Dixon has been competitive, as always, but the car looks to be just a step behind the front runners. The Indianapolis 500, despite Dixon winning the pole, did not turn out well. Dixon is 53 points behind, and 49 points of that gap are from the 500. He has come from larger deficits to win take a couple of his titles, but I don’t see it happening this year. Still, dixon will continue an amazing string of finsihes in the top five in points.

More Winners

There will be more drivers winning a race this season. It is inveitable that Josef Newgarden and/or Will Power will win a race before the season ends. Newgarden has won the last two poles and has had victory in his grasp the last two races. He has lost the lead with three laps remaining in Detroit and with two laps left at Road America. Mechanical gremlins and tire strategy have kept Team Penske out of the winner’s circle so far in 2021, but I think we see that situation change in the next three months. It is hard yo believe we are nine races into the season and wondering when a Penske will win a race.

Look for another win by an Andretti Autosport driver as well. Either Colton Herta wins another time, or Alexander Rossi will finally break through. This team has been just as puzzling as Team Penske. Herta has been the only bright spot for the team.

Nice Surprises

The biggest surprise this year is the overall performance of Romain Grosjean. The former F1 driver has won a pole, took a podium spot, and has been overall competitive in his 6 races in 2021. Grosjean is an outstanding qualifier, starting in the top six three times and seventh twice. Missing the Indianapolis 500 and the two Texas races will probably cost him Rookie of the Year since the award is based solely on points. He would win it if the trophy were awarded based on his performance on track.