Good morning from the Olivette media center annex. Here is the latest from @Indycar_Wxman
It looks like we will get the race in, althiough maybe later than scheduled. I wil We just might get the night race we want. l up date the weather situation during the on Facebook on The Pit Window and on Twitter @tutorindie.
Today’s Schedule: All times Central
The Indy Lights race ius on Peacock. The Indycar race is on USA Network and Peacock.
Thew starting lineup, which includes Romain grosjean’s penalty:
Rahal Leads Final Practice
Graham Rrahal had the fastest time in last night’s warm up for today’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500. He went to the top of the chart late in the session. Scott Dixon led a good portion the practice.
Jimmie Johnson spun entering pit lane with about two mi nutes remaining to end the practice early.
Silver Crown- Lots of Action
I watched the first half of the USAC Silver Crown race. I need to get to more of their races. The cars are loud and the action us furious. There was constant passing and several lead changes.
It was nice to watch a race at night (Ahem-Indycar).
I very much enjoyed this race. I hope they will accompany INdycar to more short ovals next year.
Will Power is the prohibitive favorite, but just one race has been won from the pole this year. I am looking at Josef newgarden, Scott Dixon, or Pato O’Ward to win.
I don’t think Arrow McLaren SP had gotten enough credit for the job they havedone on ovals this season. O’Ward has a win and two second place finishes. Felix Rosenqvist has a pole, a topo 5 and two top 10 finishes.
If you are looking for a dark horse, keep an eye on Takuma Sato.
Will Power finally caught Mario Andretti’s pole record. But first he had to catch Marcus Ericsson. Poiwer. the final car to qualify, topped Ericsson’s 182.070 mph average speed with a two lap average of 182.727 mph.
The qualifying session was arguably the most dramatic oval qualifying of the season. Takuma Sato was the eighth driver to make a qualifying run. He took the top spot and held it until Pato O’Ward beat his time 12 drivers later. Scott McLaughlin grabbed the pole until teammate Josef Newgarden made his run.
One of the possible pole contenders, Felix Rosenqvist, spun on his first qualifying lap in turn 2. He hit the inside wall. Rosenqvist will start last.
Ericsson’s qualifying time shot him to the lead. Scott Dixon was next, but he could only manage the fifth best time. Then Power came on track to end the qualifying round.
Power’s first lap was good enough to put him on the pole and his second lap reinforced his spot.
Power has tied Andretti for the most career poles with 67. His next win will tie him for third place all time with Michael Andretti. At the last race in Nashville, Scott Dixon moved ahead of Mario in career wins with his 53rd win, second to A. J. Foyt’s 67 victories.
Imagine being the top performer in your field and living to see your records equalled or broken. Andretti probably knew it would happen someday. I wonder if he thought he would be alive to see it happen.
Andretti’s last pole was in 1993.
In Dixon and Power we are witnessing two of the legendary drivers of open wheel racing.
Andretti Autosport cars showed to be relatively equal as they qualified 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th. Romain Grosjean, the fastest qualifier on the team, will serve a nine spot grid penalty and will start the race in 18th.
PThe top five contenders in the points chase-Will Power, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Josef Newgarden, and Alex Palou- all start in the frirst three rows.
“It just shows no one’s letting up, no one will until the end.Yep, pretty tight battle to the end. It will be very interestingto see how it unfolds. All you can do is just do your best. Do your best. Can’t control some things, so see what happens,” Power said.
“I think it shows howcompetitive this series is. It’s going to be tough. It’s going tobe tough to battle it out, try and beat the guy next to me here. It’s going to be very tough.” Ericsson added.
A, J, Foyt Racing teammates Kyle Kirkwood and Dalton Kellett start 20th and 24th respectively. This usually one of the best tracks for Foyt’s cars.
Photo: Will Power has a shaky six point lead heading into the final oval race of 2022. Indycar photo by James Black
World Wide Technology Raceway has a tough act to follow. After the smash hit at Iowa, the final oval of the year, which usually puts on a great event, may seem a bit less so this year. Hy Vee is assisting in the production, but I don’t know if they can match Iowa’s energy.
Saturday’s race begins the final stretch of the 2022 Indycar season with three races in 22 days. I always feel sorry for the winners of these last races if they are not one of the title contenders. The focus is on the drivers going for the title. And we have quite a title fight going. Seven drivers have a mathematical chance of winning, but only five have a realistic shot at the Astor Cup.
The top five are within 33 points of leader Will Power, and just 12 points separate the top three. This race could stabilize the title picture or it could jumble it even more.
Team Penske has been strong at Gateway the past few years. Josef Newgarden has been especially dominant here. In the last three races at WWTR, Josef Newgarden has won twice. Will Power has two poles and two third place finishes. Scott McLaughlin finished fourth in 2021 in his debut. The team has been strong at Texas and Iowa as well, with Newgarden winning at each track and Power and McLaughlin sweeping the poles.
I don’t see Team Penske having any fall off this weekend. The finishing order of this trio will determine who remains in the championship hunt.
What Does Ganassi Have?
Scott Dixon is right where he wants to be- second in points, jus six behind power, with just three races left. If Dixon can’t win here, which he did in 2020 race 1, he has two chances on road courses to get by Power. I would not count him out.
Will Weather Give Us a Night Race?
Storms are forecast around race time Saturday, and a delay could push the event to the night race everyone wants. I detest rain delys, but I wouldn’t mind this one.
Kirkwood’s Best Opportunity
Rookie Kyle Kirkwood has a chance for a bit of redemption Saturday. Kirkwood thew away a career best finish at Nashville with his late crash. Gateway has been the best track for A. J. Foyt Racing. the team has a podium and to top fives in this event. Can Kirkwood bring the car to the finish?
A Second Groove
The first half hour of the post qualifying practice Friday will feature nine cars- one from each team except Foyt, running in the high groove to laydown some rubber to improve the racing line. Some drivers believe the high line will be good for the start and restarts, but that everyone will settle in to the low groove after a few laps.
Indycar did this at Texas, and it did help the race a bit.
Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi have no realistic hopes of winning the championship. Both Andretti drivers were running well last year before encountering issues. Herta and Rossi overcame qualifying and early race problems at Nashville to finish the top five. The duo could have a say about who wins the title by having good results and taking points away from one or more of the contenders.
In fact, I think that is what will happen. Herta will win the race, and Rossi will grab a top five spot. Obe of the top four chasers will have a big issue and see his hopes dashed, and this tight title fight will become even titghter.
Kyle Kirkwood will carry the main sponsor of the Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway next weekend in the final oval race of the Indycar season. Sexton properties has been Kirkwood’s main sponsor since Mid Ohio when Rokit was dropped from the team.
The release from A. J. Foyt Racing:
ST. LOUIS (August 10, 2022) — The Bommarito Automotive Group continues to expand its footprint in motorsports. Missouri’s #1 automotive group has signed as the primary marketing partner of AJ Foyt Racing’s No. 14 Chevrolet for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway August 19-20. Associate sponsor and friends over at Rebel Bourbon are also proud to be a part of the 6th Annual Bommarito 500 NTT INDYCAR Series race.
A.J. Foyt, the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, started his race team over 50 years ago.
He won three of his seven INDYCAR championships and claimed the final two of his Indy 500 victories while driving for his own team. Since his retirement from driving in 1993, his team has continued to win, claiming two more national titles and the 1999 Indy 500 with Kenny Brack. At WWT Raceway, the team has five top-10 finishes, three of which were in the top-five, including a fifth place last year with Sebastien Bourdais and a third place in 2019 with Tony Kanaan.
The No. 14 Bommarito Chevrolet will be driven by rookie Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 Indy Lights Champion who won a pole and finished second in both Indy Lights races last year at the 1.25-mile oval track at WWT Raceway. The 23-year-old Floridian’s meteoric ascent to the NTT INDYCAR Series is marked by consecutive championships in the three-tier Road to Indy ladder series.
Bommarito Automotive Group is Missouri’s largest automotive group that began with a single Oldsmobile dealership managed by Frank Bommarito over 50 years ago. In 1998, Frank Bommarito handed over the reins to his son John Bommarito who continued to build the network of dealerships to its present number of 20 locations employing over 900 team members in the St. Louis area.
“We are honored to be a part of bringing the NTT IndyCar Series to the St. Louis region. Thanks to the support of race fans across the country, we’ve demonstrated that when you win on the weekend it generates sales on Monday,” said John Bommarito, President of the Bommarito Automotive Group.
“As an iconic brand here in the St. Louis marketplace and selling vehicles nationwide, the Bommarito Automotive Group could not be more proud to adorn the iconic AJ Foyt Racing No. 14 Chevy, driven by Kyle Kirkwood, for the 6th Annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 right here in our own hometown. Bommarito and A.J. “Super Tex” Foyt, together making history.”
“I’ve been a dedicated race fan for decades and to have the opportunity to partner with AJ Foyt Racing at the sixth annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 is an honor,” said Chuck Wallis, Vice President and General Manager of the Bommarito Automotive Group. “To be able to be involved in the motorsports industry at the level Bommarito has dedicated to it is an absolute dream come true.”
Tickets for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 are on sale now at WWTRaceway.com. The race will be broadcast by the USA Network Aug. 20, Saturday night starting at 6 p.m. ET.
About Bommarito Automotive Group For over 50 years, Bommarito has been a staple in the St. Louis marketplace. The Bommarito Automotive Group currently operates 20 automotive locations throughout every St. Louis neighborhood, led by President John Bommarito and over 900 dedicated team members. Bommarito is recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as Missouri’s No. 1 Automotive Group.
Bommarito Automotive Group continues to grow its brand while also growing its involvement in motorsports. Bommarito began its motorsports involvement in 2015 with Jordan Anderson Racing and since has evolved into Jordan Anderson Racing with Bommarito Autosport and are owners of the No. 31 NASCAR Xfinity team with driver Myatt Snyder and the No. 3 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Bommarito also holds the title sponsorship for the Bommarito 500 NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at WWTR since 2017. In addition, Bommarito now is involved with the sponsorship of the Vasser Sullivan IMSA team which recently has earned podium finishes in consecutive races. Recently they were the primary sponsor on the iconic #43 Richard Petty NASCAR CUP car at the inaugural Cup Race at WWT Raceway. And now they are proud to announce the partnership with AJ Foyt Racing for the 6th Annual Bommarito 500 with Kyle Kirkwood in the driver seat.
Visit online 24/7 at Bommarito.com and follow their social channels @BommaritoAuto and @BommaritoAutoSport
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Photo: Josef Newgarden may not have had the fastest car, but he had the best looking one. Photo by Chris Owens, indycar
The Bommarito Autuomotive Group 500 last night was many things. It was messy, it was great racing, it was processional, and it was dramatic. When six cars are knocked out of the race in the first 65 laps, you have to wonder if anyone will be left by the end. The race then settled down and Colton Herta, who had the fastest car took control on lap 139. behind him was a great battle for second and Takuma Sato and Romain Grosjean kept the crowd’s attention. Sato with a couple of close calls as he battled Ryan Hunter-Reay- they have tangled several times in the past- and Grosjean, in his first ever oval race, wowing the crowd with good passes and some anxious moves toward the outer wall. In the end, after Pato O’Ward’s best chance at catching winner Josef Newgarden’s car failed, it was a procession to the end.
The race changed after Herta’s third pit stop when the drive shaft broke on his out lap. That left Rossi as the only other driver to contend with Newgarden, although his car was not good after his last stop. Rossi crashed on lap 200, and O’Ward had one last chance to catch the leader on the final restart.
Saturday’s race was the second of the last three with six or more cars eliminated by contact. Two of the four title contenders, including Alex Palou, the points leader, were involved last night. It didn’t help either of them that the other two contenders finished 1-2. Just 43 points separate the top four in the standings with three races to go. The next race, Portland, has the always risky first turn, which has resulted in lots of car damage in the last two starts.
Josef Newgarden has won three of the six Indycar races since the series returned in 2017.
Foyt’s Best Track? World Wide Technology Raceway has produced great results for A. J. Foyt Racing the last five years. Last night Sebastien Bourdais finished fifth and led 18 laps. Dalton Kellett finished 12th. In 2019 tony Kanaan stood on the podium in 3rd, and in 2017, Conor Daly ended the race in fifth. Larry Foyt told in 2017 that the team found something about this track and whatever they learned still seems to work.
Changes at the Top- yesterday was a day of changing leadership. Not only did Pato O’Ward retake the lead in the Indycar standings, David Malukas is the new leader in Indy lights after sweeping the two races this weekend. Whether they can stay on top is going to be exciting to watch.
Lots of Beer, Little Food– It seems the beer vendors decidedly outnumbered the food vendors Saturday by at least two to one. i saw mostly barbecue and the standard track fare of burgers and little else. But if you wanted a beer or other adult beverage, a booth was always in arm’s reach. It seems to me that there were more food vendors in previous years. The event is supposed to be growing, and Indycar will be back for five more years. It’s an area th track needs to give attention to.
Scott Mclaughlin increased his lead over Romain Grosjean for Rookie of the Year to 23 points with his fourth place finish last night. I still think Grosjean will be ahead going into the season finale at Long Beach.
Thanks for following along on this hectic weekend. I am going to take a break for a couple of days unless something major happens, like F1 replacing the Japanese Grand Prix with an oval race at IMS.