500 Qualifications Update

All cars have nade at least one qualifying run. Alexander Rossi has the fastest average at 233.528 mph. The highlight of the top 12 is Santino Ferrucci in the A J Foyt car 14 in fifth place. benjamin pedersen, in the other Foyt car, is also in the top 12, sitting ninth currently. Three Arrow McLaren cars and three Chip Ganassi cars are in the pole eligibkle group. Josef newgarden is currently 12th, the only Team Penske car in the top 12.

At the other end of the grid, the preeicted troubles for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racinbg team are showing. Currently Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey are outside the 30 cars who will be locked in at the end of the day. Rahal mjust made a second attempt but did not improve his time. Christian Lundgaard is now in 30th place. Kartherine Legge has qualified 28th. I think Legge is safe, but if Rahal gets bumped tomorrow, does she start the race?

Outside the top 30 right now- Harvey, Sting Ray Robb, Rahal, Callum Ilott.

Qualification day is sunny but cool with a wind making the temperature feel even lower. Another large crowd is on hand. This weekmis arguably the best attended pre race week in several years.

I’ll be ba back later with another update.

Rossi Making Smooth Transition to New Team

Alexander Rossi is happy with his move to Arrow McLaren for 2023. The 2016 Indianapolis 500 spent his first seven Indycar seasons with Andretti Autosport before signing with Arrow McLaren in early June last year. This morning Rossi said there is still a learning curve not only for him, but also for all the new personnel McLaren is bringing in. He thinks he will get a better idea of the differences between his old and new team after the race,.

“It’s hard to say immediately because we’ve got a race weekend.” Rossi said. “You know, there’s just a lot of obvious structure that exists in an organization from top to bottom. And I’m sure a lot of it comes from, you know, the overarching brand, getting out and about doing things and running race teams. You know, like, there’s pros and cons that are two ways you go about it, you can run them and be like, Oh, I kind of want to vice versa. So there are some some differences that can ultimately be successful if you have anything else. It’s been nice to see areas that they are different in various matters.”

Rossi explained that hisn transition was a little more challengin vecause McLaren hired 40 new people during the off season to accomodate the third car.

” Because we had so many new people in general, like everyone just kind of going through a process. It is challenging in terms of the actual application, being easy to get to work doing what we need to in our condensed timeframe.”

Rossi’s biggest concern this weekend? Driving into the pit of his former team.”This weekend my pit box is right in front of my old 27, so I’m just like please do not drive into that one. So that’s my only concern. It’s pretty easy now to think that you know, the seven car driver tweeted at me like I had to read it a couple of times because I was like, Am I allowed to say this? I mean, it’s been everyone’s been super welcoming.”

Rossi said it was sad to leave his old team after seven tears.

“But you know, I still I’m still very close with Jeremy and Scott and obviously, I’m still in communication with them. So I don’t feel like a whole life changing. ”

Rossi is ot changing his driving approiach with his new team.

“I’m just going out and execute,” he said.

The difference between the Chevroley and Honda engines surprised him.

“I was surprised that engines with basically the same architecture could be that different. They are very different in the way they make power and deliver it. It took some gettinmg used to,” he said.

Alexander Rossi left a formerly elite team that has struggled recently to join a team that is on the verge of joining the top of the grid. I look for have some struggles early, but by Road America Rossi should return to his championship form.

New Start Procedure; Rossi Leads Final Practice

Indycar as updated the starting procedure for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Portland. Cars will be allowed top accelerate at the exit of turn 12. BY doing so, the series hopes to avoid what has become annual first turn carnage by spreading out the cars. The start may look more ragged than ususal, but avoiding the first turn chaos is better.

Alexander Rossi had the fastest time in this afternoon’s final warmup. The 30 minute session ran without incident.Most cars took a couple drives through the escape road in turn1 for practice.

The crowd today seemed a bit down from the last time I was here, and there looked to be fe3wwer food vendors than I remember.

This will do it for today’s coverage. thanks for following along.


Rossi, Team Penalized After Win

The NTT Indycar Series announced this afternoon penalties for Alexander Rossi and the team of the number 27 car for a post race infraction. The cxar did not meet minimum weight.

The statement from Indycar:

Gallagher Grand Prix Post-Event Infraction

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022) – INDYCAR is announcing a post-event infraction from the conclusion of the Gallagher Grand Prix, which was completed Saturday, July 30 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
INDYCAR has fined Andretti Autosport $25,000 and penalized the team 20 entrant/driver points after the No. 27 entry of Alexander Rossi was found in violation of the following in post-race inspection:

Rule The minimum weight shall include the car in ready-to-compete condition excluding Driver, Driver Equivalency Weight, fuel and drink bottle content.

Rule Minimum weight for Road/Street Events – will be 1700 pounds.

“From a sporting perspective, the car met minimum requirements,” said INDYCAR President Jay Frye. “From a technical perspective, the way they achieved the weight is not allowed. To meet minimum weight, the drink bottle and its contents were used as car ballast, which is not permitted and why the team is being fined and penalized.”
Members may contest the imposition of the penalties detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES rulebook.

Rossi Returns to Victory Lane; Thoughts on the Gallagher Grand Prix

Indycar photo by Joe Skibinski

It took 49 races and more than 1,100 days for Alexander Rossi to once again see the checkered flag first. It happened to be in the same venue where he won his first race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track layout was different than when he won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, but a win is a win.

It’s not that Rossi forgot how to drive. He endured a telephone book’s worth of issues n the pits, bad luck, and untimely mechanical failures. How did he keep going through all of the frustration?

He told the media,

“It’s human nature to start to question things when it continually doesn’t kind of fall your way. You just have to remember that you’ve done it before, you can do it again.”

Rossi tried to take the lead on lap 2 with a bold move on Felix Rosenqvist going into turn one, but ended up off course and fell back to third. He later passed Rosenqvist and set off after teammate Colton Herta, who had charged from ninth to take the lead.

It appeared to be Herta’s race, but he slowed on lap 42 and barely coasted into the pit entrance. Rossi inherited the lead and never looked back.

Rossi’s eighth career win comes as his time with Andretti Autosport nears its end. He was happy that he could win for his crew. Rossi spoke about what winning at IMS means/
“…it’s a hard one to put into words. Every time I come here, I just appreciate it more and more, whether it’s for an event — I mean,
obviously the 500, but whether it’s this event, a
sponsorship thing, a media thing, giving laps around the
track. Like it’s just such an amazing place for us.
For me, being my seventh season in the series and
knowing what it means to the NTT INDYCAR Series, as
well, yeah.

I kind of was hoping on the Road America
weekend for it to kind of start and end this drought or
whatever there, but it actually ended here was actually kind
of a cooler story. To be able to go up on the lift with the
guys and let them experience that because that didn’t exist
in 2016, there’s a lot of special things about this place. The
fan turnout here for us as INDYCAR drivers is always
amazing, and seeing everyone with the merch and the
autograph session, it’s just a very special thing today for

I have a feeling the gap to his next win will not be as long. Arrow McLaren SP will be very happy to have Rossi driving for them.

Great day for RLL

Overshadowed by Rossi’s win was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s best day of the season. The team has struggled for results all season, but today rookie Christian Lundgaard finished a career best second, and Graham Rahal came home in seventh. It would be great to see this team become a factor over the last four races of the year.

Christian Lundgaard

Lundgaard extended his lead in the rookie standings to 27 points over David Malukas.

Power Leads- For Now

Will Power retook the points lead over Marcus Ericsson. The difference between them is just nine points. Ericsson won at Nashville, the next race on the schedule.

The top five in points are separated by just 46 points. This race is still wide open.


Colton Herta may not want to race on Saturday anymore. Last Saturday in Iowa he made a great run through the field from his 17th starting spot only to have a mechanical issue and finish 24th. Today he took the lead from ninth and was in control at the halfway point when another issue put him out of the race.

I will have a race wrapup post tomorrow where I will discuss the call to stay green with a car stalled on track, whether three Indycar races at IMS is too many, and if this current shared weekend format should continue.

Thanks for following along. I appreciate you.

Rossi Leads Practice

Alexander Rossi led the lone practice session for the GMR Grand Prix at IMS with a lap of 1:10,091. Josef Newgarden was second quick. Newgarden showed no ill effects from his crash last Sunday but still needs to be evaluated before he is allowed to continue the rest of the weekend.

The session run without interruption, although several drivers had some off track excursions and some half spins.

Top 13 Results:

Rossi Leads Toronto Practice 1

Alexander Rossi had the fastest lap in the first practice for the Honda Indy Toronto this afternoon with a lap of 1:00.6090. Simon Pagenaud was second, just 0,0901 seconds behind. Graham Rahal was third, 0.0941 seconds off Rossi’s lap.

The session stopped four times. The first red flag was for a track inspection of a manhole cover in turn 2. Callum Ilott tagged the wall his front wing to cause the second halt to action. Jimmie Johnson spun in turn eight, just lightly brushing the barrier with the end plate of the front wing, and Helio Castroneves caused the final red flag when the went into the tire barrier n turn eight and stalled his car.

Alex Palou put aside this week’s controversy and turned in the10th best time. He told the media this morning that he will not make further comments on the situation. Palou said he is concentrating on repeating as series champion.

Points leader Marcus Ericsson finished the session in fourth place, ahead of his two closest rivals. Will Power ninth and Josef Newgarden was fifth.

Rahal’s third place is the first time this year the team has been in the conversation at the end of a session. He said that a test at Sebring gave the team a good idea of what would work at Toronto. Rahal would like to find more pace on the red alternate tires.

Graham Rahal


I had forgotten how tight and narrow the Toronto circuit is. There is little room for error anywhere on the track.

Pit entrance and exit look very tight. Pit boxes have been reduced to 35 feet from their normal 40 foot space to accommodate the extra entries. The grid is expected to be even larger in 2023. The series is working with the promoter to redesign the pit lane for more cars..

It was great seeing the Princes’ Gate again. I have always thought that the track should be driving through it at the start of each lap rather than it being part of the runoff area.


Rossi’s Black Strategy Pays off with Road America Pole

It worked for Josef Newgarden last year at Road America, and it worked again for Alexander Rossi in 2022. Rossi ran the entire eight minbutes of the The Fast Six on sticker primary tires, and he becomes the eighth pole sitter in eight races this season.

Rossi’s pole winning lap of 1:44.8656 edged Newgarden by0.0715 seconds.

Rossi explained the tire choice in the post qualifying press conference.

“I think the Firestone blacks, the
primaries, were a pretty easy decision based on what Josef
did last year. I think you saw quite a few guys besides
myself on them as well.
It’s just with the nature of the track, it being so long, a new
black is usually a little bit better than a used red. That
being said it was still a lot of work to get it done. Happy we
were able to achieve it.”

Rossi backed up his second place finish at Detroit last weekend with two strong days in practice and qualifying. The last time Rossi started on the front row at road America, in 2019, he led flag to flag and won by 28 seconds. I’m not expecting that kind of blowout tomorrow, but Rossi does know how to control a race.

Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden looked to have the strongest car going into qualifying, but he chose to run used red s. It was an odd choice considering he used the black tires to win the pole last year.

Will Power, who won Detroit from 16th on the grid, will have to nearly duplicate that feat Sunday as he starts 15th.

The only incident came at the start of Round 2 when Callum Ilott locked up the reartires in turn 14 and slid off track. Ilott made the second round after sitting out last week with a hand injury.


The Fast Six had cars from what we can now call the Big Four- Team Penske, Arrow McLaren SP, and two cars each from Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport.

The last time eight different pole winners began the season? 1961. That year the first nine races had a different pole winner. No, I cannot name them.

Colton Herta had the fastest lap of the entire session, 1:44.4038 in Round 2.

A final 30 minute practice is scheduled for 4:20 pm. Rain is expected around 4:15.

Rossi Leads Practice 1

Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta led an Andretti 1-2 in the openeing round of practice yesterday afternoon at road America. The teammates exchanged the top spot a couple of times in the last few minutes of the extended session.

Much of the session saw few cars on track as teams tried to save their tires for the race. In the end there was about the same amount of activity as in a 45 minute practice round. The 75 minutes was an experiment, and I would rather see two shorter sessions on Friday than one long one.


Today’s Schedule:

Saturday, June 11, 2022 All Times Central
7:00 a.m. Gates Open
8:00 a.m. Indy Pro 2000 Q2
8:45 a.m. INDY LIGHTS P2
9:45 a.m. INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2 Peacock
11:00 a.m. USF2000 R#1
12:00 p.m. INDY LIGHTS Qualifying

12:45 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying/Firestone Fast 6 Peacock
2:15 p.m. Indy Pro 2000 R#1
3:20 p.m. USF2000 R#2
4:20 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES Final Practice Peacock
5:05 p.m. RADICAL CUP R#2
6:10 p.m. Vintage Indy Registry

I will probably get to the track in the middle of the morning practice,and I will have a more detailed report.